By Amanda Murthy
In his Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis stated that “few human joys are as deep and thrilling as those experienced by two people who love one another and have achieved something as the result of a great, shared effort”.
Next month, American theologian-scholar Father Thomas Scirghi SJ will explore this expression during a one-off free talk titled “The Promise of Friendship, Forever: The Sacrament of Marriage”.
The presentation is an initiative of the Centre for Faith Enrichment and is set to take place at Newman Siena Centre on the evening of 26 July.
The talk is based on a course Fr Scirghi developed for the Fordham University referred to as “The Future of Marriage”.
Speaking to The eRecord, Fr Scirghi expressed his gratitude for being invited to speak on a topic he believes often gains a good amount interest from both the Catholic and non-Catholic community.
“Speaking from experience, people often acknowledge that the Catholic Church has a well articulated theology of marriage which carries universal appeal,” he said.
When asked to share an overview on his talk, Fr Scirghi said three aspects of marriage will be highlighted.
“Firstly, we will explore that marriage is a promise, a covenantal agreement which a man and a woman enter into fully, freely and forever.
“Secondly, we will talk about how marriage is a form of friendship – according to Aristotle, it is the highest form of friendship, by which the husband and wife recognise each other as another self.
“And thirdly, the couple’s promise to enter into this covenant forever is a bold statement, reminding the Christian community of God’s love for all of humanity,” he added.
Fr Scirghi encouraged everyone to attend the session, especially those studying the Sacrament of Marriage, married couples, those discerning their vocation, as well as those considering marriage.
“I still find many Catholics who are surprised that marriage is a vocation. They think that “vocation” in the Catholic Church is restricted to religious life to priests, nuns, and brothers.
“On the contrary, as God may call a man to the priesthood, or a woman to the convent, God also calls two people into a marriage covenant,” Fr Scirghi explained.
“Their wedding ceremony gives expression to the presence of God who is active in the Church – the way they live their lives together, in their unconditional love, gives the faithful a glimpse of God’s love for us.”
CFE Director Dr Marco Ceccarelli said Fr Scirghi’s talk is part of a series of talks on Sacraments as part of the adult faith formation.
“We were looking to dig deeper into the Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, and who better to unpack it than Fr Scirghi; we are so thrilled to have him give this talk,” Dr Ceccarelli said.
“The CFE’s purpose is to help people understand how the sacraments can be not just understood, but lived, and lived in their fullness.
“The richness of the Catholic tradition give us so much to draw from – it is up to us to reach for it and grasp the meaning behind so much of the theology that underpins our faith,” he concluded.
The Promise of Friendship, Forever: The Sacrament of Marriage will take place on Thursday 26 July from 7pm to 9pm at Newman Siena Centre (Clune Lecture Theatre), 33 Williamstown Rd, Doubleview. A light supper will be provided.
Click Here for more information or to register.