Golden anniversary couples to celebrate at cathedral Sept. 21

Nearly 80 couples who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their marriage in 2008 will be the guests of honor at a Mass and reception planned for Sunday, Sept. 21.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, will celebrate the 3:30 p.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria and then join the couples and their guests for light hors d’oeuvres at a reception at the nearby Holiday Inn City Centre. Not only will the couples have an opportunity to have their photograph taken with the bishop but they will also receive a commemorative certificate signed by him.

The Mass and reception are sponsored by the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family, which sent out 235 invitations to couples throughout central Illinois based on information submitted by their parishes. Director Tim Roder said couples celebrating their golden anniversary who have not received an invitation from Bishop Jenky may still join the festivities by contacting the Office of Marriage and Family at (309) 671-1550.

“The main point of this celebration is to honor those who have entered the narrow gate,” said Roder, quoting from the Gospel of Matthew.

“I like to think of these couples as those who have entered the narrow gate. They have chosen the gate or the road that leads to life,” he told The Catholic Post. “None of them will say this is easy — it requires great effort, virtue and work.”

Roder said many of the couples who come to the cathedral each year have lived through great struggles and trials in their years together, but are still some of the happiest people he has ever seen.

“They still hold hands. They renew vows,” he said. “They are not only a great witness to me but as Bishop Jenky has said, they are an example to the diocese and the world.”

That makes this annual Mass a celebration for everyone, Roder explained.

“This is a year of jubilee for these couples and their families,” he said. “It’s our duty to honor these men and these women.”

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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