Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

CHARLOTTE — Married couples from around the U.S. who participate in Teams of Our Lady, a lay movement in the Church which helps foster and support the sacrament of marriage, attended the Teams of Our Lady 2016 National Conference July 12-15.

On July 12, Bishop Peter Jugis welcomed the 175-plus participants and celebrated the opening Mass of the conference at St. Matthew Church. During his homily, he drew a link between the love of Christ present in the sacrament of Holy Communion and the sacrament of holy matrimony.

“Here we are celebrating the love of Christ, present of course at every Mass, but a love which is also so beautifully made present in the sacrament of holy matrimony and a love which you so beautifully celebrate in the Teams of Our Lady movement,” Bishop Jugis said.

“In our culture today, we are all so aware that we cannot talk enough about the love of Christ in our divided culture,” he continued. “The Church needs to proclaim and to witness to the love of Christ – especially through the sacrament of holy matrimony.”

The Eucharist is the source of life for the Church, he said. At every Mass, “the Eucharist nourishes us in holiness, nourishes us on the love of Christ. We keep returning to the Mass every day for that ongoing nourishment in His life, His love, His grace and His holiness.”

“It’s inspiring to me as the bishop of Charlotte to see the importance you place on the celebration of the holy sacrifice every day of the conference to continue drawing from the source, the inexhaustible source for all of your work,” he told the conference-goers.

With the help of the Eucharist, he said, “we stand on a very firm foundation of Christ’s love.”

Bishop Jugis added, “Your witness to the beauty of Jesus’ love and grace in married life and your witness to your celebration of Jesus’ love in Teams of Our Lady is so refreshing today, especially in a culture which is so confused about marriage, a culture which has in fact has redefined marriage.”

“There is no way to change the sacrament of holy matrimony which Christ has instituted and which is preserved, safe and inviolable, in the Church. The sacrament of holy matrimony instituted by Christ will never be changed, never be redefined, will never go away,” he said.

In his closing comments, he prayed for the participants that “at this Mass the love of Christ will accompany you during these days of the conference, and that you will be blessed in carrying the love you celebrate here into your daily lives.”

The Teams of Our Lady 2016 National Conference included local and national speakers, daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, the sacrament of reconciliation, training sessions, discussion and fellowship.

Local speakers included Benedictine Abbot Placid Solari, chancellor of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont; and Deacon Tom and Teresa Sanctis of St. Ann Church in Charlotte. National speakers included Deacon Dominick Pastore and his wife Teresa Tomeo, EWTN Radio/TV host and author.

For more information about becoming a part of Teams of Our Lady, go to www.teamsofourlady.org.

— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter

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