Cardinal Wuerl Honors More than 900 Couples Celebrating Milestone Wedding Anniversaries

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 900 couples who were celebrating anniversaries of marriages ranging from 25 to 75 years.

Representing parishes from across the archdiocese, 917 couples registered to have their milestone anniversaries recognized by the Archdiocese of Washington this year, totaling 42,514 years of marriage. Over 620 couples attended the Mass with 503 couples married for 50 or more years. Eighteen couples have been married for 70 or more years.

“What we are celebrating today is a reality that goes all the way back to the beginning of time,” the cardinal said. “The love of husband and wife and a decision to come together in a bond that nurtures both of them and is a witness to all of us.”

“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,” the cardinal told the congregation.

The cardinal spoke about the upcoming worldwide Synod on marriage, saying “this celebration is a reminder that the Lord wants couples to rely on his promise to be present in their day to day lives. God wants to give couples the grace to live out a covenantal love that mirrors the love of the Trinity.”

“Love never fails,” the cardinal reminded those who filled the National Shrine. “So valued is human love, so important is married love that Christ raised it to the capacity to actually reflect His Love for His Church and so become a means of Grace.”

Cardinal Wuerl concluded by thanking the more than 600 couples gathered for their “witness to the beauty of enduring human love and the power of God’s grace in the sacrament of marriage.”

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 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

CONTACT: Chieko Noguchi
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