More than 800 couples to be honored for their long marriages at a special Mass, including a couple celebrating 73 years on the date of the Mass

Saying “I Do” All Over Again

May 19, 2012

When Pat Morse took his seat on the first day of English class at his Milwaukee high school in 1933, he had no idea that the new girl who walked in, Margaret, would change his life forever. “I was sitting at my desk and this young chick walks in down the aisle. She turned and smiled at everyone and I said to myself, ‘That’s the girl.’” Margaret became his wife six years later on June 3, 1939 when they were both 22 years old.

The couple will renew their vows on the date of their 73rd wedding anniversary at the annual Jubilarian Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, making them the couple with the longest marriage recognized by the archdiocese this year.

Sunday, June 3, 2012
2:00 p.m. Mass (Renewal of vows follows the homily)
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC

Pat and Margaret began dating shortly after they met in that high school English class. Pat recalled, “Every Friday night when I went to my father for 50 cents to go on a date, he’d say, ‘Don’t you know any Catholic girls?’” He and Margaret say their faith has been a big part of their marriage, he said. The couple, both 95 years old, still live independently and attend Mass at Our Lady Queen of Poland Parish in Silver Spring. They have seven children, 13 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Their oldest child is a religious sister. Pat, a World War II veteran, is a retired attorney, and Margaret retired as an accountant.

The Morse’s are among the 804 couples that have registered to have their milestone anniversaries recognized by the archdiocese this year, totaling 36,070 years of marriage. The marriages range from 25 to 73 years, with 406 couples married for 50 or more years. Eight couples have been married for 70 or more years. Parishes from across the archdiocese are represented, including 36 couples from St. Patrick Parish in Rockville in Montgomery County, as will 24 couples from Holy Family Parish in Mitchellville in Prince George’s County, and 16 from Holy Ghost Parish in Issue in Southern Maryland.

Pat and Margaret Morse will be among the 582 couples who will attend the Mass.

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 600,000 Catholics living in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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