Black Catholics Celebrate Marriage
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Mon Aug 28 21:01:42 EDT 2000
subject: Black Catholics Celebrate Marriage
from: Smart Marriages
By Andrew & Terri Lyke
August 25, 2000
On August 19 the Archdiocese of Chicago celebrated the first Archdiocesan
Black Catholic Celebration of Marriage. Participating were married couples
whose cultural roots are in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and
in the African Diaspora. This included interracial, inter-church and
interfaith couples. A collaboration of the Family Ministries Office,
VI and St. Ailbe Parish, this first-time event had a very successful
Vernie and Johnnie Mae French, married April 13, 1941, enjoyed the honors
having the longest marriage among the estimated 75 attending marriages-59
years. Their advice to couples marrying today was, "Trust in God. Have
Christopher and Patricia Adegbemi, a Nigerian couple, were very excited
the event because it was another opportunity to stand with the people who
stood with them at their August 15, 1998 wedding. They invited members of
their wedding party to the mass. Days before the event, Patricia stated,
will be a wonderful way to celebrate our second wedding anniversary."
Bishop Joseph Perry, masterfully presided over the liturgy with pastoral
sensitivity and skill. His homily opened the word of God and articulated a
theology of marriage that surely enriched all who attended.
However, most impressive was Bishop Perry's hospitable pace as he counted
through the years and invited every couple to stand. The pride was
the support was felt as the couples, from 59 years married to 4 weeks,
received and applauded by the congregation.
Such celebrations must happen again and again in our communities of faith.
While this celebration was good for a particular community of believers,
something that we the Church must do for all.
Jesus said in Chapter 5 of Matthew's Gospel, "No one after lighting a lamp
puts it under the bushel basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light
in the house." Each marriage at our celebration bears light. The
itself was our way of putting that light on a lampstand.
The pervading cynicism about marriage that is particularly malignant in
communities was challenged and put on notice that day. Christian marriage
center stage; the light of Christ was illuminated in each couple. Every
was fed spiritual food; and each marriage present was made at least a bit
Jesus challenges us to " . . . let your light shine before others, so that
they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
(Matthew 5:16) Today there are at least 75 Black Catholic marriages more
encouraged to meet that challenge. Following the simple advice of Vernie
Johnnie Mae French to trust in God and have faith, those marriages are
light to the world.
"Family Reflections" is a newspaper column that presents a continuing
of family life. Andrew and Terri report, from their experiences as married
partners, parents, and members of extended families, their observations of
God's presence in family life. As active members in the Catholic community
they share their perspectives on the Church in society. Through the prism
their African American heritage, they share their unique spirituality.
This FREE online newsletter shares information on marriage, divorce and
skills-based educational approaches. Opinions expressed are not
necessarily shared by members of the Coalition.
Copyright © 2000 CMFCE. All rights reserved.
To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE to the list, mail majordomo at lists.his.com
Leave the subject line empty. In the body of the
message type: subscribe smartmarriages or unsubscribe smartmarriages
(do this on the first line, do not skip a space at the top)
- to CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS, unsubscribe your old address and subscribe your
- this is a moderated list. When you send a reply message it is read by
Diane Sollee, director, only.
Newsletter archive - all past posts to the newsletter:
The 4th Annual Smart Marriages conference was held
June 27 - July 4, 2000 in DENVER. Tapes of all workshops & keynotes are
available (90 min audiotapes $10, videos $25) at 800-241-7785 or
tapes at playbacknow.com
The 5th annual conference dates & location will be announced
on the newsletter as soon as they are available.
List your program in the Directory of Courses at
Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, LLC (CMFCE)
Diane Sollee, Director
5310 Belt Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20015-1961
More information about the SmartMarriages