Cardinal Wuerl Honors More than 800 Couples Celebrating Milestone Wedding Anniversaries
June 15, 2014
WASHINGTON – Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, today celebrated a special Jubilarian Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where he honored more than 800 couples who were celebrating anniversaries of marriages ranging from 25 to 75 years.
Representing parishes from across the archdiocese, 824 couples registered to have their milestone anniversaries recognized by the Archdiocese of Washington this year, totaling 36,963 years of marriage. Over 600 couples attended the Mass with 423 couples married for 50 or more years. Twelve couples have been married for 70 or more years.
“In you whose jubilees we celebrate today, we recognize the power of God’s Spirit at work,” said Cardinal Wuerl in his homily. “It is manifested in your love for each other. In the promises you made to be true to each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, that you would love and honor each other all the days of your life, you accepted to do your part in what Jesus asked of you — to be his witness to his Gospel, his love and the transforming power of his Spirit in this world.”
Cardinal Wuerl spoke of the goal of the New Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Washington’s 75th anniversary year being to help others rediscover the beauty of the Catholic faith. “We are asked to see in your married life, in the jubilee we celebrate today, a work of the New Evangelization. Your lives are a testimony to the power of God’s grace at work in you. It is the goal of the New Evangelization in this year as our archdiocese also celebrates a jubilee – its 75th anniversary – to help others rediscover the beauty of our Catholic faith. We have a wonderful story to tell. These wedding jubilees that we celebrate in this basilica today are part of that story.”
“We for our part have come here today to rejoice with you and to ask God’s blessing on you, your love and your ongoing future together, and to thank you for your witness to the beauty of enduring human love and the power of God’s grace in the sacrament of marriage,” Cardinal Wuerl concluded..
The couples renewed their vows and also received a special blessing during Mass. All the registered couples received personalized certificates commemorating their special anniversary following Mass.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 96 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.