Special Mass will celebrate marriage SundaySunday is St...

RELIGION NOTES

February 11, 1993

Special Mass will celebrate marriage Sunday

Sunday is St. Valentine's Day. It is also World Marriage Day at Baltimore's Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, where married couples from all over Maryland will attend a special Mass at 3 p.m. Archbishop William H. Keeler will be the celebrant.

People who have been married 25, 50 and more than 50 years will be honored, but special recognition will go to Norman and Wanita Hast of Cumberland, the longest-married couple identified this year by the event's organizers. The Hasts' 69th wedding anniversary was Oct. 1.

"The theme of this year's observance, 'Choose to Love,' echoes the awe-inspiring command God has given us to love one another with reconciling and life-giving love," Archbishop Keeler said. "Men and women pledging themselves to each other in the Sacrament of Marriage are invited to enter the high destiny of God's own love, a love which is at once humanity's origin, constant calling and fulfillment in heaven."

Proclamations by Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke also draw attention to World Marriage Day.

"These devoted couples," Mr. Schaefer said of the large attendance expected at the cathedral, "belong to Worldwide Marriage Encounter, heralded and acclaimed as the world's largest pro-marriage group -- boasting over 1 million married couples around the globe."

Said the mayor, "Our city and our nation have greatly benefited from the strong commitment to marriage and family life of organizations such as Worldwide Marriage Encounter."

World Marriage Day grew out of a celebration in Baton Rouge, La., on St. Valentine's Day in 1981. That year, a group of couples persuaded the city's mayor, Louisiana's governor and the local Roman Catholic bishop to institute We Believe in Marriage Day.

The idea was adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter's leadership and the next year 43 governors in the United States marked the day with proclamations.

This year, celebrations are planned not only in the United States, but in 79 other countries, where millions of couples will formally affirm their marriages.

For more information, call Fred and Kathy Passauer at 374-1470.

Other local church-sponsored St. Valentine's Day observances include a Celebration of Love at 4 p.m. Sunday at Oak Street African Methodist Episcopal Church, 123 W. 24th St. The Rev. Paul R. Ball Jr. is pastor.

Survival skills:

The Rev. W. Blaine McVicker, pastor of the Hereford Assembly of God at 1211 Mount Carmel Road in Parkton, has announced he will lead his congregation and other interested participants in a seven-week study of "the social and cultural changes we've experienced in this country."

The evening classes, titled "Survival Skills for Changing Times," will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the church. The first session will be preceded by an agape dinner at 5:30 p.m. in the church's fellowship hall. Information: 357-8913.

Concert ministry:

The National Christian Choir will bring its concert ministry to Arlington Baptist Church at 7 p.m. Sunday, the church at 3030 N. Rolling Road has announced. The public is invited.

Christian singles:

A seminar titled "Being a Success at Who You Are" will be conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Largo Community Church, 1701 Enterprise Road in Bowie. Andre Bustanoby, psychologist and author, will speak.

"If you are a single Christian," said the Rev. H. Jack Morris, the church's pastor, "explore how your personality affects your relationships with others and how you can make positive changes toward a richer, more fulfilling life." For more information: (301) 249-2255.

Open house:

Baltimore Hebrew Congregation's elementary school will hold an open house for prospective kindergarten and first- and second-grade students and their parents on Tuesday. For information and to make an appointment: 764-1587.

Leaving:

Ken Lyle, who has been executive director and treasurer of the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware for 10 years, will leave April 15 to direct the six-state Baptist Convention of New England.

Lutheran membership:

Lutherans throughout the world numbered almost 58.3 million last year, down from just less than 58.7 million the year before, says the Lutheran World Federation.

Send religious news items -- about events, local personalities, etc., from Baltimore City and Baltimore and Harford counties -- to Religion Notes, c/o Frank Somerville, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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