Sunday, 15 August 2010 11:26

Diocese to host celebration for long-married couples

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The Office for Marriage and Family Life is hosting its annual diocesan celebration for couples married 50 years or more on Sunday, Sept. 26. The celebration will take place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, beginning with a musical program at 1 p.m., followed by 2 p.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and a reception held in the new Cathedral atrium.

Patrick O’Toole, director of the Office for Marriage and Family Life, says that his office has already sent out invitations to more than 700 couples who have attended the celebration in the past. Couples who were married in 1960 and will celebrate their golden anniversary sometime this year have been invited through an ad that has been running in Catholic Times and announcements that have been posted in parish bulletins.

So far, the longest-married couple who has committed to coming to the celebration has been married 72 years, O’Toole says. Many couples wish to share their celebration and bring family members with them to the Mass, he adds.

“In other years we’ve had close to 500 people here at Cathedral, but I suspect that this might be the largest celebration we’ve ever had,” O’Toole says. “This year couples will have the opportunity to meet our new bishop and also to see the newly-restored cathedral.”

Couples who plan on attending the celebration should respond by sending in a response to the ad that has been running in Catholic Times (see this issue or  Aug. 29 issue) or call Patrick O’Toole at (217) 321-1121 or e-mail by Sept. 18. Long married couples who are not able to attend the Mass can still request that a special certificate of recognition be mailed to them.