Celebrating lifelong marriage: Archdiocese to honor more than 900 couples

September 14, 2012

For immediate release

WHAT: Hundreds celebrate 25 and 50 years of marriage
WHEN: Sunday, September 16, 2012, 3 p.m.
WHERE: George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas
CONTACT: Jenny Faber, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Director of Communications; 713-652-8223; jfaber@archgh.org  

Celebrating lifelong marriage: Archdiocese to honor more than 900 couples

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo to celebrate annual 25th and 50th Wedding Anniversary Mass
Event marks 50th year Archdiocese has held Mass for couples celebrating golden, silver anniversaries

HOUSTON – In a nation where almost 50 percent of marriages end in divorce*, 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries are rare.

Here in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, celebrating lifelong marriage is not so unusual. In fact, on Sunday, September 16, more than 500 couples will receive a certificate from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo during a special Mass honoring their 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries this year. An additional 400 couples unable to attend the Mass will be sent a certificate.

As part of the Mass, couples will have the opportunity to renew their wedding vows with their children, grandchildren and other family members at their side. “Every couple who attends (the Mass) gets invigorated … They remember that they are not alone in their commitment for life; God is present and the whole community is with them,” said Deacon Arturo Monterrubio, Archdiocesan Director of Family Life Ministry.

This year also marks the 50th year the Archdiocese has held the Wedding Anniversary Mass.

As Marian and Gerald Mannix will attest, faith can be significant in a lasting relationship. The couple met in high school; this year they celebrated their 50th anniversary. Mrs. Mannix said their strong faith has been instrumental in helping their marriage and family survive life’s trials. They will be one of the couples participating in the Archdiocesan Wedding Anniversary Mass. “The celebration of Mass was, and is, always special to us,” Mrs. Mannix said. “…The Mass (celebrating anniversaries) is our way to honor Christ, the way we do with other holidays and special events in our life.”

Many find this Mass brings back the memories of when they said “I do” the first time. The love, anticipation, excitement and mirage of other emotions come flooding back and they return to their marriage with a renewed vigor.

“This celebration is a public event in which we demonstrate that the permanence in marriage is possible. Every time I have a chance to attend this celebration, I have the opportunity to enrich my own marriage and witness that marriage forever is a reality,” concluded Deacon Monterrubio.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serves 1.2 million Catholics in 10 counties. It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the 12th largest in the United States.

*Source: Pew Research Center: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1802/decline-marriage-rise-new-families  
The divorce/separation rate for Catholics nationally is only 13% (the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate [CARA], http://cara.georgetown.edu/)

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