50 years later, pairs say: I still do - 9/02
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Wed Sep 25 16:18:28 EDT 2002
subject: 50 years later, pairs say: I still do - 9/02
from: Smart Marriages®
I know many of you know Andrew Lyke - he had that huge, beautiful exhibit at
the conference down at the end of the hall - looked like a mirage! And, as
you'll read below, he does everything in a big, beautiful way. 640 couples!!
Hope some of you will follow his lead and recreate this in your
congregation. This piece should also inspire you to stay married so you can
someday have a moment like this. What a celebration. - diane
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Just want to pass on some good news. We just had our annual Golden Wedding
Anniversary Mass for the Archdiocese of Chicago this past Sunday, September
22nd. This year 640 couples who married in 1952 came to Holy Name Cathedral
to renew their covenant of love and celebrate 50 years of marriage. 42
volunteers and staff forewent Chicago Bears football to assist these pillars
of society who have kept their promises made 50 years ago.
This is the largest event from the Family Ministries Office and an
opportunity to promote marriage. We got good media coverage, which has been
lacking sometimes in previous years. WGN, the local affiliates for CBS and
NBC, and the local papers covered this event.
The cathedral was filled to capacity with jubilarians. Family members viewed
the mass via closed-circuit video in the school auditorium. That space also
was filled to capacity.
Francis Cardinal George, our archbishop and staunch supporter of this event,
greeted the jubilarian couples in the Cathedral courtyard after the mass.
The Family Ministries Office provide refreshments and snack for the
Below is the text from the Chicago Tribune article by Michael Martinez:
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50 years later, pairs say: I still do
640 couples renew their vows at mass in Holy Name Cathedral
By Michael Martinez
Tribune staff reporter
Published September 23, 2002
Their kisses had the joyful resonance of tinkling champagne glasses, and 640
couples who endured life's trials and triumphs the last 50 years together
were reduced to tears again Sunday with the simplest of pledges.
"And I will love you all the days of my life," husband said to wife, and
wife to husband, holding hands, face-to-face.
In a crowded Holy Name Cathedral, the assembly of silver-haired spouses
renewed their vows in audible counterpoint, the lower-octave voices of the
men going first, followed by the soaring higher registers of their partners.
All couples were marking their 50th wedding anniversary, having married back
when Dwight Eisenhower was first elected president and the "Happy Days" era
was unfolding for real.
"We were renewing our vows, and she started to cry," said Michael Dluhy, 77.
"I said, `What did I do wrong now?'"
It wasn't his fault, said Lorraine Dluhy, 72, who met her husband at a South
Side church dance in 1949.
"I couldn't help it," she said.
The annual golden wedding anniversary mass for the Catholic Archdiocese of
Chicago drew an overflow crowd that spilled into the church's sacristy.
Relatives had to be relocated to an auditorium in the parish center, where
they watched the 2:30 p.m. service on closed-circuit television.
Inevitably, the notion of being married for 50 years inspired humor--even
from Bishop Raymond Goedert, who gave the homily and noted that he was
celebrating his 50th year as a priest.
"You people have no idea how wonderful you look," Goedert said. "When I was
coming up the aisle, the thing I noticed most was that the men really look
old. I don't know what you wives do to them--but you [all] look great."
Goedert said the sight of the couples celebrating their golden anniversaries
reaffirmed his faith and work.
"You have no idea how much you help us priests ... to live out our sacrament
of holy orders," Goedert told them. "It's your example that urges me on."
Each partner has come to know the "faults and shadows" of the other after a
half-century of conjugal love, he said.
"But that's part of being human," Goedert said.
After the mass, the couples and their families enjoyed cookies and coffee.
Some joined a long line to meet and have photographs taken with Cardinal
Francis George in the cathedral's courtyard.
About 30 years ago, Hugo and Elvira Panarese of Park Ridge came to the
cathedral to mark the 50th wedding anniversary of her parents, they said.
The archdiocese had just begun recognizing the marital milestone for
parishioners, they said.
"So here we are, back again for our own 50th wedding anniversary," said Hugo
"I'd thought I'd never make it," Elvira Panarese, 76, quipped.
Hugo Panarese, who met his wife on a blind date at a West Side church's
youth party, said the vows were powerful the second time.
"I cried," he said. "I don't know why. When you get older, you start seeing
your emotions much faster."
Possibly the only man dressed in a tuxedo, Wladek Swider, 79, met his wife,
Jadzia, 74, at a picnic in Pilsen Park in 1951 during a Polish social group
They've never had an argument, they said.
"She talks, I listen," Swider joked. "Whatever she says, I do. That's why we
don't have an argument."
While describing how they shared good times and how compromise and humor
soothed the bad ones, couples often mentioned how the success of having
lived together so long now raises concerns about their spouse's health in
the twilight years.
No problem has been insurmountable for them so far--except those where
nature makes its own demands, they said.
"We had a scare a couple of years ago when he had a triple bypass," Julia
Grabowski, 74, said of her spouse, Walter, 77. "But he's fine now."
"Except I can't chase the girls," Walter teased his wife. "I run out of
Copyright © 2002, Chicago Tribune
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