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 | By The Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone, DD Bishop of Charleston

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This month, we celebrate the feast of St. Valentine, often praised as the patron of courtly love. However, the Church dedicates the month of February to the Holy Family, the greatest example of love through a family unified.

We are given a special opportunity this month to examine the meaning of love, as love is a theme repeatedly emphasized by the Church, and its implications in our own lives. We can also learn to improve our willingness to answer the call we each have been given, to love God and love our neighbor.

We draw from Christ’s life to discover how to love, as we are meant to imitate him. From the washing of the disciples’ feet to Christ’s heroic death on the cross, we know that true love involves sacrifice. Whether married or single, lay or ordained, it is necessary to offer all that we are as a sacrifice of love, and for this reason we were born.

This edition features pieces centered on charity and love: the celebration of the vocation of marriage, the choice of young women to commit their lives to Christ — source of all love — in religious orders and also how we properly let go of our loved ones.

Because, while love is often accompanied by warm feelings, it transcends our emotions or physical reactions. It is a daily choice that we are given to accept or reject.

Through cooperation in God’s grace, and by fulfilling the vocation that our Lord has given each of us, we express our love to God.

Love should not be offered only to those whose company we enjoy. Christ taught us that even those who wrong us, persecute us and hate us are deserving of our love. Forgiveness is essential for our spiritual well-being, and it is a testament to the love that God has for each one of us as the most merciful judge.

This month and every February, may we be encouraged in our pursuit of love through the contemplation of Christ, his earthly family and those family members and saints who have gone before us as witnesses. Let us dedicate our entire month, and life, to God and treat all our neighbors in a manner befitting Christ’s appointed ministers of love and the Church’s mission of charity. In doing so, we send a message to a broken world, so permeated by division, that the love of Christ has and will conquer all things.

In the Lord’s peace,

Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone, DD

Bishop of Charleston

You are invited to join Catholic couples from around the state for the annual Marriage Anniversary Celebration on Feb. 20 at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Seneca. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone. To register, contact the Family Life Office at or 803-547-5063.