August 28, 2015

Couples lauded for their ‘rich tapestry of love’ at Golden Wedding liturgy

Richard and Maribeth McKaig, members of St. John the Apostle Parish in Bloomington, hold hands while renewing their wedding vows during the archdiocesan annual Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass on Aug. 23 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. The McKaigs and 102 other couples from across central and southern Indiana were honored during the liturgy for their faithfulness to marriage during 50 years. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

Richard and Maribeth McKaig, members of St. John the Apostle Parish in Bloomington, hold hands while renewing their wedding vows during the archdiocesan annual Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass on Aug. 23 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. The McKaigs and 102 other couples from across central and southern Indiana were honored during the liturgy for their faithfulness to marriage during 50 years. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Sean Gallagher

A month before Catholic married couples and families from around the world will gather with Pope Francis in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, 103 husbands and wives from across central and southern Indiana who have been married for 50 years worshipped together on Aug. 23 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

(Related: See a photo gallery from the Mass)

The occasion was the annual archdiocesan Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass. Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, the principal celebrant of the liturgy, greeted them warmly.

“All these young brides and grooms have come back after 50 years to say ‘yes’ to each other in the Lord Jesus,” said Archbishop Tobin with a laugh. “What a great sign for us as we make our pilgrim way home to God.”

In years past, the Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass, organized by the archdiocesan Office of Pro-Life and Family Life, has honored couples married for at least 50 years, and included many husbands and wives married for 60 or more years.

But the number of couples celebrating such longstanding faithfulness has grown so much that it was decided that the Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass would be open only to couples married for 50 years and members of their family. (See the full list of those couple honored at the Mass)

Another Mass, to be celebrated on April 24, 2016, at the cathedral, will honor all married couples in the archdiocese, with special honor to be given to couples married for 60 or more years.

During his homily, Archbishop Tobin referred to the second reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians in which Paul compared the relationship of husband and wife to the mystical relationship of Christ and the Church.

Paul, Archbishop Tobin noted, taught in this passage that “marriage is divinely instituted and, we might have to add today, not simply a civil right, much less, the concession of any government.”

Archbishop Tobin went on to thank the golden jubilarians for their faithfulness to their vocation to married life.

“Brothers and sisters, we give thanks to God for the choice you made, which has enriched not only your families but your parishes and the whole archdiocese,” he said. “The ‘I do’ that you pronounced on your wedding day was decisive, but no less important are the recommitments you have made since.

“Because of your choice, the Lord has been able to weave all the ‘I do’s’ of your life—the ‘I do’ pronounced in financial insecurity, physical ailment or emotional pain, as well as the ‘I do’ shared in the birth of a child, career success and the warmth of friendship—into a rich tapestry of love. You remind us of the faithful, life-giving love that Christ has for the Church.”

In concluding his homily, Archbishop Tobin praised the jubilarians for their witness of permanence in marriage in the midst of a society where so much, including marriage, is treated as temporary and changeable.

“In the throwaway culture that drives and dominates this world,” he said, “you testify that what was given to you 50 years ago was not Kleenex, but rather a plan, a tapestry prepared for you by God, a path for your salvation.”

Ralph and Sandy Pinnick were married at St. Mary-of-the-Knobs Church in Floyd County 50 years ago, and have been members of the New Albany Deanery faith community for much of their married life. They are the parents of three sons and have three grandchildren.

Sandy was pleased to have worshipped with so many other couples who were married around the same time that she and Ralph exchanged their wedding vows.

“It was a blessing, an absolute blessing to be in the presence of the commitment that people had and continue to have,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll pass it down.”

Ralph and Sandy noted that their shared Catholic faith has been crucial to their faithfulness over half a century.

“Without it, I don’t think that we would have made it,” said Ralph.

“I know I can depend on him just as I can depend on God to get us through,” Sandy said. “Without faith, nothing is possible.”

The couple had simple advice for couples preparing for marriage.

“Be very patient with each other and forgive each other,” Sandy said.

“Be understanding and forgiving,” Ralph added.

Jim and Loretta Miller exchanged their wedding vows on Aug. 14, 1965, and have been members ever since of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus (Little Flower) Parish in Indianapolis.

They raised six children and have 18 grandchildren.

“A great deal of love for God and knowing how he loves us makes us feel a lot of joy in our life,” Loretta said. “It’s got us through hard times. You just feel that he’s there helping you all the time.”

The advice that Loretta had for couples preparing for marriage was marked by faith—and some fun.

“The most important thing is to keep God first in your life, be best of friends, communicate and accept each other’s shortcomings,” she said with a laugh as she tapped her husband’s arm.

“What’d she mean by that?” Jim asked with a smile.

“Try to have fun in life if you can,” Loretta replied. “Don’t take yourself too seriously. He has a great sense of humor.” †

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!