27 Jul 2012
Sunday has been proclaimed Marriage and Family Sunday and the 10.30 am Solemn Mass at St Mary's Cathedral marks the first of what will become an important annual event. But it is not only the couples who will gather at the Cathedral to celebrate important milestones and to renew their love and commitment to one another. At parishes across the city, couples of all ages and from all walks of life will also be celebrating Marriage and Family Sunday and renewing their vows.
"The Marriage Mass whether in the Cathedral or at local churches across the city is an opportunity for couples to stop and give thanks to God for the great blessings of the gift of marriage and family which remain the building blocks of society," says Chris Meney, Director of the Archdiocese of Sydney's Life, Marriage and Family Centre.
He points out that marriage and the birth and care of children is fundamental to the world's many diverse cultures.
"When a man and woman publically commit to one another in the shared hope of being blessed with children they provide a wonderful sigh of hope for the future," he says.
"We only asked those couples celebrating special milestones to register but we have 54 couples totalling 1636 years of marriage. Quite an achievement," Chris said.
One of these couples is Bernard and Helen Moses who met one another at a youth function organised by St Patrick's Church, Church Hill in 1962 and married a few months later at the same church on 12 May 1962. Now devoted parents of two and proud grandparents of four, for the past 28 years they have been active volunteers taking communion to the sick at their local nursing home each week.
The pair show no signs of slowing down and insist they have not only had a wonderful 50 years together, but are eager for "at least another 50 more!"
While John and Sylvia Newman haven't yet made the half century, they are well on their way and two weeks ago on 13 July celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary. Now they are looking forward to 2013 and their Golden Wedding anniversary when their large and loving family will join them for a very special celebration.
Married at Holy Cross Church, Woollahra in July 1963, their marriage was celebrated by Bishop James Carroll, auxiliary bishop to the Archdiocese in 1963 and assisted by Father David Cremin who later became Bishop Cremin.
Asked the secret of their long and happy marriage, John's advice is simple and straight to the point. "Just love each other," he says.
The Marriage Mass and renewal of Vows at St Mary's Cathedral will take place at 10.30 am on Sunday, 29 July. Whether newly-weds or long-term married couples, all are welcome.