On Monday last, 13 February, the eve of Saint Valentine’s Day, at the shrine of the holy relics of Saint Valentine in the Carmelite Church in Dublin city, Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin and President of Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service CLG, blessed engaged to-be-married couples Orla Gavin and Patrick Corcoran, and Ilona Catharine Dorrepaal and Patrick Michael Lennon.
In the company of assembled pilgrims and media, Bishop Nulty welcomed the two couples to the shrine, saying, “the celebration of the sacrament of marriage is a profound decision in the life of every couple. Today I am honoured to join with Ilona and Patrick, and with Orla and PJ, at the shrine of Saint Valentine. Our two couples represent the many couples across this island who will celebrate the sacrament and thereby connect their love for one another to the source of love, who is God. A sacrament is like the 3-D glasses we watch movies with; love is not just between the couple themselves, but firmly united with God.”
Following the blessing, the Catholic marriage care service Accord released its latest attendance figures for couples undertaking Sacramental marriage preparation courses.
Speaking at Saint Valentine’s shrine, Mr Tony Shanahan, director of Accord CLG, said, “it is reassuring to see that attendance figures for Accord marriage preparation courses are back up to their pre-Covid levels. In 2019 – the most recent full year available for comparison – we provided 285 marriage preparation programmes to 4,610 couples. This figure equals our marriage preparation service last year when, in 2022, we hosted 4,610 couples on 297 programmes. The publication of this latest data by Accord paints a positive picture in terms of the numbers who are planning a Church marriage in the future.”
You can read the full statements here and here.