Anniversary Mass/7 Habits of Highly Effective Military Families - 9/02
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Mon Sep 30 10:52:42 EDT 2002
subject: Anniversaries/7 Habits of Highly Effective Military Families - 9/02
from: Smart Marriages
> IMPORTANT: Fiscal year?/ Institutes/ Hotel/ Submissions -9/26/02
You sent the above and I see everything but where the conference will be
(city). Must have missed it earlier. Where will you be?
Sorry everybody, it will be in Reno.
We received excellent coverage for our diocsean annual anniversary mass
honoring over two hundred married couples. We had a couple married 71 years
renew their vows! 13 couples with 60 or more years of marriage also
participated. It's a great "good news" story - a good way to start the week.
Dr. Bill Urbine
Director, Office of Family Life Ministries
Catholic Diocese of Allentown, Pa.
And, I love this quote from the article: - diane
> David's mother left him with this piece of
> advice, which he still follows: ''When you say it is cloudy, dark and
> raining in your marriage, tomorrow the sun will shine.''
>From The Morning Call - Allentown, Pennsylvania
Allentown Bishop Cullen honors couples for longevity of love
Diocese's anniversary Mass brings together 200 married pairs.
By Daryl Nerl Of The Morning Call
September 30, 2002
The Empire State Building was less than 2 months old, Al Capone had just
been arrested for breaking prohibition laws and Pearl S. Buck's ''The Good
Earth,'' was the best-selling book in the country.
It was June 20, 1931, the day Herman and Marie Neagley were married at
Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Allentown.
Seventy-one years, three months and 10 days later, the Neagleys are still
married. On Sunday, they were one of about 200 couples honored by the
Catholic Diocese of Allentown for marital endurance in a ceremony at the
Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena.
What is the secret to making a marriage last that long?
''No secret,'' said Herman Neagley. ''We just love each other.''
''Love and trust,'' Marie Neagley said. ''The most important thing is to
trust each other.''
The 23rd annual anniversary Mass for married couples was celebrated by the
Bishop Edward P. Cullen of Allentown, who thanked the couples, most of whom
had been married for at least 25 years, for the example they set.
The U.S. Census reports that the median duration of marriage is about eight
years. That means about half of all marriages last less than that.
Bishop Cullen personally greeted the 18 couples present who had been married
at least 60 years, presenting them all with a signed proclamation. Sunday
afternoon, St. Catharine's contained a combined total of 7,821 years of
But none of the couples present had been together as long as the Neagleys.
They met about three years before they were married at a dance at Millside
Park in the village of Palm. Lawrence Welk-type music played, Herman Neagley
''We help each other,'' Herman Neagley said. ''We have to work together.''
''A little more now than before,'' Marie chimed in. ''Now that I don't see
''We cook together, bake together, clean together,'' she said. ''We do
everything together. When we bake, he measures everything and I mix.''
Asked about the secrets of her 40-year marriage, Patricia Sierzega of
Allentown advised, ''You've got to take the good with the bad.'' She was
introduced to David, then a Navy man on shore leave in her native Boston, by
a mutual friend.
''My father told me he was going to love me and leave me,'' she said. While
her father did not know best, David's mother left him with this piece of
advice, which he still follows: ''When you say it is cloudy, dark and
raining in your marriage, tomorrow the sun will shine.''
David's brother, Ronald Sierzega of Allentown, also was celebrating 40 years
with his wife, Mary. The couple, both originally from DuBois, met on a bus
to Allentown. Ronald, who was also in the Navy, was on his way back to his
ship. Mary was on her way to Sacred Heart Nursing School.
They started writing. Then they started dating. Forty years later, Ronald
Sierzega had one simple piece of advice: ''I do what she tells me.''
THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE MILITARY FAMILIES:
Opinion Piece - Jacey Eckhart
The Virginian-Pilot ©
September 28, 2002
I HAVE DAYS when I think about strangling Richard Gere. Especially when I
consider that scene where he strides into the factory, sweeps Debra Winger
off her feet, and marches out in that shiny white uniform. Hallelujah! Love
Lift Us Up Where We Belong.
It's quite a scene. But it's nothing compared to the real life scene where
the military bride gets swept up by her own man in uniform. Just as she gets
used to thinking she's been rescued, His Gorgeousness slams the factory
door, sets her down on her own two feet and makes her walk the rest of the
It's a shocker, lemme tell ya. No wonder Richard does not sleep well at
But as much of a shock as real military life can be, it doesn't have to be a
disaster. Stephen R. Covey, best-selling author of ``The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People,'' is giving a free seminar Monday at Little Creek Naval
Covey says that with knowledge, skill, persistence and discipline we
military families can change our habits and handle even the toughest
challenges a deployment can dish out. Which means that strangling Richard
Gere is probably out.
No matter how young and impressionable we were when we married into the
military (or how many hours we spent gaga over that guy in uniform), Covey
points out that we made the choice for ourselves. We agreed to marry someone
who wanted to serve his country. We knew from the outset it would mean
separation. It is in putting together a mission statement and deciding how
we are going to handle the separation that we can effect the most change.
``All things are created twice,'' says Covey. ``In the first creation, the
architect has the house built on paper before ground is ever broken.''
We military couples build the first creation when we take the time to look
at our own lives, at what we value, at the way our marriages work. Before
the ship leaves the pier, we need to ask each other how we are going to stay
deeply bonded and yet stand apart during the deployment. How often will we
contact each other? Can we have friends of the opposite sex?
``First, they build it together in their minds and hearts, then they live
it,'' said Covey. ``If it's not perfect, so what? Go back and try again.
Look at the power you have to choose.''
In addition to putting together a mission statement, Covey suggests two
other tools that work for deployed couples. In phone calls, e-mails or
letters, Covey suggests that we reflect back the last thing we just heard
from our partner before we talk about anything else. It shows that you hear
what they are saying, what is important to them.
This isn't some magical girly mumbo jumbo either. Reflecting back can be as
simple as saying, ``It sounds like the baby is waking you up three times a
night.'' Or ``Your boss changed your hours again?!! No wonder she is driving
you crazy.'' Or ``Who knew three kids could all come down with chicken pox
on the same day? Wish I was there to help.''
``The moment a person feels understood they stop fighting,'' says Covey.
``It's like giving a person emotional oxygen. All they want is air.''
Another way Covey suggests that deployed couples can feel close is to share
a project. Share a project? From overseas? By two people working 18 hours a
It can be done. The project doesn't have to be complicated. Deployed couples
can read a book that they are both interested in. A sailor with Internet
access can look up remedies for teething online. The couple can plan a trip
together. Talk about ways to remodel the kitchen. Discuss the cover story on
Sports Illustrated. Sort out how they want to raise their children.
What the project is doesn't matter as long as both people are learning
``To live. To love. To learn. To leave a legacy. These are basic human
needs,'' says Covey. ``Most people just live. They forget to learn.''
One of the benefits of military life is the opportunity to learn from
experts. And on the subject of combining marriage and separation we can
never learn too much. I only hope that Covey's next project will be ``The 7
Habits of Highly Effective Military Families.''
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