The following comes from an August 21 story in Catholic San Francisco.

Nearly 1,000 married couples and their families attended the first-ever archdiocesan Marriage & Family Celebration at St. Mary’s Cathedral Aug. 17.

“Your presence is a great sign of hope and vitality in our archdiocese,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told the families who nearly filled the cathedral for a 9:30 a.m. Mass and attended brief talks in Spanish, Vietnamese and English for about an hour afterward.

The event was part of the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s celebration of the Year of Faith and a renewed emphasis on building up marriage and family life in the archdiocese.

“It is true that no family is perfect. All families experience tensions and conflicts to some degree,” Archbishop Cordileone said in his homily. “But if a family seeks to the serve the Lord, then the Lord will care for them as his children.”

God’s endorsement of marriage and family can be seen in the fact that Jesus, the son of God, placed himself under the authority of human parents, his creations, the archbishop said.

“This is the wonder of God’s love-when God’s love is shared in a family, even where there are hurts, where there are bumps in the road, nonetheless, the family remains the greatest gift that God has given us after the very gift of his son Jesus Christ,” the archbishop said. He preached the homily in both English and Spanish….

Archbishop Cordileone encouraged families to pray the rosary and read the Bible together.

“To persevere we need to use signs of God in our lives,” he said, giving examples of a picture of Divine Mercy or the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “When people walk into your house will they immediately know they are in a Catholic household? Are there reminders like a crucifix on the wall or a family Bible on the coffee table?”

“Despite imperfections and hurts, despite difficulties along the way,” Archbishop Cordileone said, “there surely is no greater blessing than to grow up sharing love and life in the context of a family so that one can know truly what it means to have loved ones.”

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