This year’s Night of Romance Saturday, Feb. 10, is especially timely. It will be held during National Marriage Week, is just a few days before Valentine’s Day, and will help prepare anyone planning to attend the World Meeting of Families Aug. 21-26 in Dublin, Ireland.
Father Kevin Weber, pastor of St. Mary Queen of the Universe Parish in Salina, will be the keynote speaker and will sing at the 18th Annual Night of Romance Saturday, Feb. 10, at Church of the Holy Spirit in Goddard.
Father Weber plans to talk about the importance of prayer and sacrificial love in the marriage relationship.
“My music background is fairly simple,” he said via email. “I have been singing since I could talk. My mom said that at age 2 I used to walk around the house singing commercial jingles and songs I had heard my older siblings listening to on the radio.”
He used his voice as a cantor at church when he was 15 and majored in music performance at Fort Hays State University, he said, “only because it was the only thing I had any interest in, to see if I could make it in college – I didn’t think I had a chance, as I did not see myself as a very good student before I went to the seminary.”
After his sophomore year at F.H.S.U. he transferred to Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri.
Father Weber said he uses music when he hears lyrics that can be incorporated into a homily.
“I will explain how the lyrics accentuate a point from the scriptures for that weekend,” he said. “It seems to work pretty well. I have had people tell me about a homily I gave years before and they never forgot the message because when they think about or hear the song, they remember the point.”
He said comments like that give him confidence that his technique works.
“If a person comes out of Mass and says, ‘Father, I loved the song.’ I will always say, “Great, but did you get the message?” I have never had a person who has not been able to tell me what the message was. If that ever happens, then I know that I failed, because I was just entertaining and not giving a homily.”
The theme for the 18th annual Night of Romance is “The Glory of Love.” It will be held from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Church of the Holy Spirit in Goddard. Those attending are invited to a vigil Mass at the parish at 5 p.m.
The evening, whose theme is “The Glory of Love,” is part of National Marriage Week Feb. 7-14.
Jake Samour, director of the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life, recalls that St. Pope John Paul II once said the future of the world and the future of society passes by way of the family.
“And so when we see families being torn down, struggling and of course, a lot of children are growing up in broken homes. We have a society that does not value children, it doesn’t value the things that are good for them…to help them thrive.”
One way the Night of Romance will help couples and families is to celebrate the glory of life, Samour said.
“We’re bringing Father Weber who will not only give us a reflection on the beauty of love but also through the beauty of music,” he said. “He will sing a few songs to entertain the couples.”
Marriage and family are meant to be a sign of God’s love, he said. “We can speak of the glory of love because married and family love are an image of the glory of the God, who is love.”
Samour added that the Lord is present in families, even in the midst of their daily struggles, in good times and in bad.
“The glory of family love is made up of thousands of small gestures. God makes his dwelling place in each of these encounters which deepen communion,” he said.
“The triune God is a communion of love and the family is its living reflection. This is why the love shared is glorious since it is filled with the love of God.”

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