Hundreds of Couples Married 25 to 70 Years Renew Wedding Vows

June 08, 2008

In 1958, cousins Edie Brockway and Marcia Zakrzewski were bridesmaids at each other’s weddings. They and their husbands have remained close friends, and on June 8 each will renew the vows they made in front of the other 50 years ago.

They were joined by 477 other couples married 25 years or more at a June 8 Mass celebrated by Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, who gave the couples a special blessing.

This year’s celebration of marriages was a family affair for some. Sandra and John Irish, married 25 years, renewed their vows alongside Sandra’s parents, Guy and Susan Amatucci, celebrating 50 years, and her aunt and uncle, Samuel and Margherita Amatucci, celebrating 40 years. The three couples are members of St. Peter Parish in Olney, MD. “They’ve always provided a great example to me,” Sandra said, “so it’s an honor to be celebrating this with them.”

The 479 couples who attended the Mass have been married from 25 to 70 years, with 199 couples married for 50 or more years.

Joseph Sheleheda, 92 and Stella Sheleheda, 90 celebrated the longest marriage – 70 years on June 18. They met at a party when Stella was 16 and raised four children together. They have six grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. The couple, who live in Solomons, Maryland, said respect for one another is the key to a happy marriage. “It always takes two to work things out,” Stella said.

The couples celebrating their anniversaries are from Washington, DC and suburban and southern Maryland Catholic parishes.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
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