Celebrating decades of love

October 27, 2020

Henry and Marianne Kahlich mark their 25th wedding anniversary while holding hands as they renew their vows wedding vows at the 58th annual Wedding Jubilee Mass on Oct. 18 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston. Below, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo preaches the homily. Far below, couples share a quiet moment during their vow renewals. (Photos by James Ramos/Herald)

HOUSTON — Even with facemasks, their eyes sparkled and said everything in love for the years gone by and the years to come.

Joined by 84 other wedded couples — remotely and in-person — Henry and Marianne Kahlich marked 25 years of marriage at the 58th annual Wedding Jubilee Mass celebrated by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo on Oct. 18 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston.

Though two separate Masses usually honor the 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries of couples in the Archdiocese, the pandemic forced the coordinating Office of Family Life Ministry to consolidate the celebration into a single Mass that celebrated 25 and 50 years of marriage. Still, children and grandchildren turned out to honor the love of their parents as they renewed their wedding vows.

The Mass was livestreamed online for those who were unable to attend.

“Marriage is indeed a marvelous gift,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “We are a [smaller] but hearty group here, and we are here to celebrate with joy.”

PHOTOS: Celebrating Love: Wedding Mass Jubilee 2020

In his homily, Cardinal DiNardo recognized the challenges of married life: “Children, love, problems, difficulties — a couple is made holy through all those experiences.”

The special Mass was an effort to recognize their marriages as a “sign for others... for your families... and in your parishes.”

Cardinal DiNardo added: “In its various challenges and difficulties, [marriage] is what produces holiness. Some people think that you’re married simply for happiness. Well, happiness is a by-product of a marriage’s holiness, and you have shown that throughout all these years.”

Marriage draws a couple into holiness as “understanding and hospitality and patience and humility keep deepening and growing throughout” life, he said.

Cardinal DiNardo thanked them for their brave attendance in spite of the pandemic.

“I‘m very pleased that you would come today to the celebration in the cathedral and that you would renew your vows today,” he said. “And in that renewal, you show that you are in the image and likeness of God.”

He commended the couple’s marriages and encouraged them to find a younger married couple to mentor and walk with as a more experienced married couple.

“Meet with them and help them to grow and deepen in their love by showing how you’ve done it in your marital lives,” he said.

After the Mass, the Kahlichs, who attend St. Thomas More Catholic Church, stopped outside the Co-Cathedral for a photo in a familiar place. On Aug. 12, 1995, the couple said their vows the first time in the old Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral across the street.

A quarter century later, they’d pause and hold hands to renew those same vows on the other side of St. Joseph Parkway wearing matching flowered boutonnières which dazzled in the sunlight that Sunday afternoon.