ETERNAL BOND: 300 couples renew wedding vows on 50th anniversary in ‘highly-emotional’ service
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: In a grand celebration of love, nearly 300 couples gathered at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago to mark a milestone in their married lives: 50 years of marriage. The ceremony was part of the church's annual Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass, where hundreds of couples renewed their vows.
All 300 couples were married in 1972, and after fifty years of being together, decided to celebrate the occasion in the company of their families and other happy couples. The mass was conducted by Archbishop Blase J Cupich, who was also the main celebrant and homilist. The event was streamed live on Sunday, September 18 on the church's official Youtube channel.
Sharing a rather relatable analogy from baseball, Cardinal Cupich said, "Two thousand, six hundred and thirty-two. Those are the number of games Carl Ripkin Jr played in a consecutive row. And he was honored for that as a man who always showed up. And it was worth celebrating." Comparing these figures to the longevity of marriage, he remarked that the couples present there had been part of each other's lives for 50 years, which "involves more than 18,000 days," and should therefore be celebrated.
Speaking to WLS-TV, Barbara Didiw recalled, "I came here I was 20 years old. I met this guy and we'd known each other for only two weeks." To this, her husband of 50 years, Walter Didiw had two words to say, "That's it."
The couples, far from their youthful selves when they first got married, were nevertheless happy despite the wrinkles and hardships of old age. "It was very emotional," said Carl Meyer, adding that he had not initially planned on coming to the church, "but when you're in there and you start thinking 50 years gone by and all the experiences together." His wife, Joyce, recalled her parents celebrating their golden anniversary at the same church. "We brought my parents here when they celebrated their 50th. I always remember that and now we're there, which is hard to believe," she said.
Spending five decades with someone is certainly not an easy task and the journey is unique for each couple. But what ensures that their love sustains is the effort and work they put into the relationship. "Never go to bed angry," shared Jim Mclemore, revealing a tip that worked in their favor, while another couple, Anthony and Cynthia Morales, believe that communication is the key to a healthy relationship. "Negative or positive, you have to communicate. You can't read each other's minds. You have to communicate," they said, adding, "It's a journey and you have to fight it, ups and downs, you've just got to fight. That's all."
For Adrienne Micheli, "A sense of humor is very important." Her husband, Dino Micheli, was quick to jump on board, adding his mantra, "I learned one thing: She's always right."
Above all, despite the struggles and the journey that brought them there, what matters is that the partners showed up for each other, and that, according to the Archbishop, "is worth celebrating."