Nearly 830 Couples Honored For Their Long Marriages

Saying “I Do” All Over Again

May 31, 2011

The temperatures soared to 67 degrees in the District on that March afternoon in 1942. At St. Augustine on V Street in Northwest Washington, 28 year old Thomas Irving was about to wed the love of his life, 20 year old Doris. He doesn’t remember how old he is. “You do the math,” he says, but he can quickly recall the day he wed Doris. Now 69 years later, they are renewing their vows at the annual Jubilarian Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.

Sunday, June 5, 2011
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

Thomas was working for the government as a bureau engraver when he married Doris. Later that year, he joined the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant and served in World II. He came out as a captain, and returned to the reserves. He eventually retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. In 1970, Thomas Irving retired as the first African American plate printer for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, he recalls proudly. Doris worked for the National Labor Relations Board, “for a long, long time; well before there were computers.”

The lifelong District residents have twin daughters, seven grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. The Irvings were born and raised in the parish of St. Augustine, as were their children, who were baptized, raised and married there, as well. Now 97 year old Thomas and 89 year old Doris attend St. Francis Xavier because it is closer to their Southeast Washington home.

The Irvings are among the 829 couples that have registered for the Jubilarian Mass to recognize their long marriages. The couples have been married for 25 to 73 years, with 387 couples married for 50 or more years The total number of years married is 36,722. Nearly 600 couples from the parishes across the archdiocese will be attending 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.

Brie Hall
Office of Communications
[email protected]