| Weddings & Anniversaries
Support for marriage, new and not-so-new
Rev. George Alengadan
In parishes across the country, National Marriage Week has been celebrated this month. At St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda, marriage is both celebrated and supported by year-round ministries.
"I've started two support groups for marriage," said pastor George Alengadan. Couples married for up to five years are invited to Beginnings, a group for the recently married. The Covenant of Love Date Night program, he said, is for all married couples, which means the newlyweds are welcome in that group as well.
"We consider the first five years to be crucial," said Father Alengadan. "We have a support group for young couples." Their monthly meetings, he said, "have both a spiritual and social dimension" to them.
The Beginnings group, which is smaller than the Date Night group, generally meets on the third Sunday of the month. Babysitting is provided for the Date Nights.
The number of weddings in the parish, he said, might not be numerous — diocesan records show a total of 11 in 2014 —"but sufficient to keep us busy," Father Alengadan said.
In keeping in the spirit of the World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Philadelphia this fall, Father Alengadan has invited parishioners who were married outside the church to consider convalidating — having their union recognized by the Church — their marriages this year.
The parish is holding a preparation for convalidation session from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 7 at the elementary school. There is no fee for the session.
"Many stay away from the church marriage because they think it will be expensive," he said. Several couples have already signed up, he said.
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