Couples Say “I Do” All Over Again at Jubilarian Mass

June 12, 2014

More than 800 couples to be honored for milestone marriage anniversaries at special Mass, including a couple celebrating 60 years of marriage

WASHINGTON – Dr. Jack Werning met his wife Marty at a high school football game in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1952. He was 18 years old, and she was 19 years old and studying to become a nurse. They married two years later on Aug. 7, 1954, and Jack spent more than 25 years as an active member of the U.S. Navy, meaning Marty often took care of their eight children by herself while he was deployed overseas.

The couple will commemorate their 60th wedding anniversary at the annual archdiocesan Jubilarian Mass, which will be celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, June 15. The Jubilarian Mass celebrates jubilee anniversaries of marriages ranging from 25 to 75 years.

Jubilarian Mass (Renewal of Vows follows Homily)
Sunday, June 15, 2014
2 p.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Ave. N.E.
Washington, DC 20017

The Wernings credit the success of their marriage to reading Three to Get Married by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen as they were preparing to wed. “That book set us on the right path to what marriage is,” said Marty. “We made every effort to see Jesus at the center of our marriage.”

The couple, known affectionately to their family as Queenie and Pop, has 33 grandchildren and great grandchildren, with another great grandchild expected to arrive in October. Their son, Fr. David Werning, is a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington. Their daughter, Melissa Werning, teaches at St. Elizabeth School in Rockville, Md., and their daughter, Susan Krause, is a teacher at San Miguel School in Northwest Washington. The Wernings, who are members of St. Patrick Parish in Rockville, say everyone in their family is involved in the Catholic Church in some way, and they call that fact a “blessing.”

The Wernings are among 824 couples that have registered to have their milestone anniversaries recognized by the Archdiocese of Washington this year, totaling 36,963 years of marriage. Over 600 couples are scheduled to attend the Mass with 423 couples married for 50 or more years. Twelve couples have been married for 70 or more years. Parishes from across the archdiocese are represented, including 40 couples from St. Patrick Parish in Rockville, 26 couples from Sacred Heart Parish in Bowie, Md., and 13 couples from St. Peter Parish in Waldorf, Md.

In addition to renewing their vows and receiving a special blessing during Mass, all couples will receive 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.

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