Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Robert Barron once said that, “in marriage we do not only administer the sacrament to each other, but we also become a sacrament.”
Loving husbands and wives married for 25, 50 and even 65 years joined hands with their spouse and renewed their sacramental commitment to each other before the Lord at the Diocese of Norwich Silver and Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass on Sunday, October 3.
One of the four longest married couples at Sunday's Mass at the Cathedral of St. Patrick, John and Jane Sterry, were wed on June 30, 1956.
The Sterrys stood with other couples in the cathedral and praised God for accompanying them during good times and bad. The Diocese this year honored unions of four years to 74 years.
Celebrant Reverend Msgr. Leszek T. Janik, Vicar General, guided the couples with gentleness and humor in reciting the Renewal of Marriage Commitment.
"We remember today that celebration at which you joined your lives in an unbreakable bond through the Sacrament of Matrimony," he said. The couples turned toward one another and joined hands to read the words of the renewal. Husbands went first, proclaiming that by the goodness of the Lord they were united with their spouse.
The homilist, Deacon Octavio Flores, said that every couple has a beautiful love story that should be made into a Hollywood movie.
"The way you met; the circumstances that allowed you to run into each other. The daily challenges that have brought you closer together," the deacon said.
He met his wife Laura, who grew up in Pittsburgh, almost 2,000 miles away from his hometown of Puebla in Mexico. They've been happily married for almost 24 years.
"God had a plan for us like He did for each one of you," he said. "You have allowed God’s grace to flow into your daily lives; never losing sight of Our Lord Jesus Christ as the center of your love, as the person who has given meaning to your daily lives from day one, as the person who has blessed you for all these years. You understand that Our Lord Jesus Christ is not a thing but a person with whom we have an intimate relationship as husband and wife."
At the conclusion of the Mass, Mary-Jo McLaughlin, Coordinator of Catholic Family Services, read the names of each anniversary couple, who then came forward to receive a certificate of recognition from Office of Faith Events Administrator Marianne Nicholas.
By Ryan Blessing