By Jennifer Mauro| Associate Editor

In preparation for National Marriage Week (Feb. 7-14) and World Marriage Day (Feb. 12), the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life will for the first time be holding a Novena for Marriage from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10. 

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. each day and streamed live at, specific intentions will be prayed for all who serve on Pre-Cana teams or in parish Marriage Ministry. Each day, the intentions prayed will include one specific virtue in marriage, one specific struggle in marriage and intentions for specific parishes and teams.

For example, on Jan. 31, a prayer will be said for the virtue of kindness, the struggle of job loss and for the Pre-Cana or Marriage Ministry teams in the parishes of St. Rose, Belmar; St. Robert Bellarmine, Freehold, and Jesus the Good Shepherd, Riverside.

Peg Hensler, associate director for marriage ministries and Natural Family Planning in the Department of Evangelization and Family Life, said it was important to recognize couples and marriage ministry in prayer because marriage is a vocation.

“These are the role models in our parishes, and they need our prayerful support,” she said. “We know that God answers all prayers, and we expect that they [those being prayed for] will have this awareness.”