In today’s quick-paced world that often focuses on the extraordinary or what’s gone wrong, folks who go about their lives just doing what they promised to do — for decades — hardly make headlines.
But dioceses across the country take exception to this rule in special Masses each year honoring couples who have been married for 25 or 50 years or more.
Recently at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, 829 couples attended a special Mass commemorating 25-73 years of marriage.
One couple, Pat and Bob Deffinbaugh from southern Maryland, didn’t boast about any magic secrets to their 50-year commitment. Instead, they told the Catholic Standard they believed God had been with them in good times and in bad.
And they had been with each other through these times too.
As Bob pointed out: “My wife stood by me through thick and thin.”
Coincidentally, another couple — Geraldine and James Taormina from Denville, N.J., — celebrating 50 years of marriage at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Paterson, N.J., also mentioned the “through thick and thin” notion. The couple saw it this way: Their vow was made before God and thus should be kept in all circumstances.
These couples have obviously walked the walk well beyond the aisle and likely have some wisdom to share with other couples.
The Chicago Archdiocese is convinced of this. Each year they collect advice from couples married 50 years and put it into a book called “True Soul Mates: Couples Married 50 Years Give Their Advice for Successful Marriage.”