God Brings couples together
When nearly 100 Catholic couples observing their 50th wedding anniversary gather in one spot, there are rich golden treasures to be mined in terms of their wisdom and experiences. We wish we could interview all of them and tell their compelling stories of faith, commitment and love.
One question we did ask many of the couples at the reception after Sunday’s diocesan Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral (see story, page 1) was “How did you meet?” Many, we were surprised to learn, met on blind dates or set-ups by friends or family members. Such was the case for Richard and Mary Lou Roethler, now of Metamora. They met on a blind date arranged in Waterloo, Iowa, by Richard’s sister, who worked with Mary Lou. The couples’ seven children are happy for where that led.
And then there is the story of Edmund Wieczorek of LaSalle. He told us how, as a football quarterback in high school, he was “bribed” by an athletic department custodian to ask out his eventual bride, Joanne, then a cheerleader. “He worked on me,” Mr. Wieczorek recalled. And my, how it has worked out 50 years, two children, and six grandchildren later!
The hand of God is seen in every chapter of a marriage story, but perhaps no more mysteriously than at the first chapter. Was it coincidence or divine design that brought Chuck and Mary Jane Hippler of St. Philomena’s Parish in Monticello into the same journalism class at the University of Illinois more than five decades ago?
I met my wife, Cindy, more than 25 years ago while covering a story on the local Catholic singles club for this newspaper. Glad I got that assignment! If you’re married, do you see God’s action in how you met your spouse?
A joke heard after Sunday’s reception was that none of the anniversary couples met via the Internet. Fifty years from now, there will be those stories as well. And a new generation will thank God, and marvel at the wonder of it all. — Thomas J. Dermody, editor-in-chief, The Catholic Post