Celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony as a couple with a jubilee wedding anniversary — 25, 40, 50 or 51+ years from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 27, at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, 6351 N. 27th Ave. Phoenix, with Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted.
Couples of all ages welcome! Jubilee couples will receive a special blessing, a photo opportunity with Bishop Olmsted, as well as frameable acknowledgement of their special anniversary.
Luncheon and Keynote by Steve and Becky Greene, local radio personalities, speaking on “The Surprising Joys Surrounding Marriage.”
Registration required for full event: $45 per couple for luncheon; $30 per single person. Families welcome to attend and celebrate. Info: (602) 354-2355. Mail-in registration form available or register online at ourcovenantoflovephx.org.
10 tips for a great marriage
The Catholic Sun asked local couples their best advice for having a great marriage. What’s your secret?
“In marriage, love is unconditional — It is not 50/50 — it’s a 100 percent commitment that cannot be measured. Whenever you begin to measure, marriage, in the day to day, becomes a burden.”
— Peter and Cynthia Lemieux, married 42 years
“Always find time to pray together and put God first in everything you say and do.”
— Deacon Gene and Judi Messer, married 42 years
“Remember to laugh, especially at yourself. Putting your spouse’s needs before yours in the small things will help you to do it in the big things too.”
— Steve and Cindy Bird, married 5 years
“Always act from tenderness. Kind words can turn hot tempers into warm embraces.”
— Ken and Rebecca Roberts, married 5 years
“Center your marriage on Jesus; all love comes from Him, and He may ask you to help carry His sufferings for the redemption of others.”
— Jenelle and Mark Van Brunt, married 43 years
“Stick it out, especially during the most difficult storms, even when ‘you’re done.’ The storms will nourish, mature, and transform your love, instilling trust in your spouse and your children, who need to know that we can and desire to be faithful, even when our humanity gets in the way.”
— Steve and Bridgette Cosentino, married 27 years
“Always assume the best in your spouse’s intentions, especially if you don’t totally understand them.”
— Cindy and Mike Leonard, married 36 years
“Husbands, love your wives even when you don’t feel respected. Wives, respect your husbands even when you don’t feel loved.” (See Ephesians 5.)
— Mike and Sharon Phelan, married 18 years
“Date regularly: Mark it in the calendar and earmark it in the budget. Your spouse is still worth courting and splurging on.”
— Mark and Mary Moore, married 14 years
“If we expect God to forgive us, He expects us to forgive each other. Do not go to bed angry.”
— Deacon Narciso and Donna Macia, married 30 years
[/quote_box_right][dropcap]T[/dropcap]he day a man and woman stand before God and promise to love each other “until death do us part” may seem like the pinnacle of a love story.
As the years go by, however, happily married couples find they love each other even more deeply than they did the day they marched down the aisle. So what’s their secret?
Radio personalities Steve and Becky Greene, who have enjoyed the blossoming of their love through four children and 12 years of marriage, say following the Church’s teaching on the sacrament of matrimony turns out to be the best advice of all.
Welcoming children is one way the Greenes say they grew in their love for each other.
“When I met her, I fell in love with this attractive young lady who was intelligent and funny and we could have a good conversations,” Steve said. “Then as a mom, I fall in love with her in this whole new way.”
At the time, these discoveries seem like something novel, the Greenes said. Except that then it dawns on couples that in her wisdom, the Church has always had the same teachings about marriage: that it is to remain open to life, that the promises made on one’s wedding day are meant to last a lifetime.
“People are always asking for marriage advice,” Becky said. “The Church has the best advice for us if we are just willing to trust and obey.”
“The teachings of the Church and practicing your faith then become this safe haven for the marriage,” Steve said. “We don’t have to reinvent the wheel and fly solo and figure it all out on our own.”
These are just some of the nuggets couples will learn if they attend a special Mass Sept. 27 followed by a luncheon, at which the Greenes will share their secrets to a lifetime of wedded bliss.
One theme the couple plans to explore points out that today’s me-centered culture is the exact opposite of the vocation of marriage.
“There’s this great ironic contradiction that you’re supposed to pursue things for the self, especially when it comes to marriage,” Becky said. “It’s very much about, ‘Does this person meet my needs and do they make me happy?”
Properly lived, the vocation of marriage is all about serving the other and putting your spouse’s desires ahead of your own. It’s often a surprise, the Greenes say, when couples live their vows in a generous way.
“You find that not only is it good and healthy for you to put the other ahead of your own desires, but that you actually find great joy in that,” Becky said.
This dying to self, the Greenes said, is not an easy proposition, but in the end, bears much fruit.
“We probably think we’re holier when we enter into marriage, but as you get further along, you realize how much work you have to do,” Becky joked.
Mike Phelan, director of the office of Marriage and Respect Life for the Diocese of Phoenix, hopes that many couples will attend the Sept. 27 event at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral.
“When you see a couple that’s been married 65 or 70 years walking down the aisle, it’s a very inspiring moment,” Phelan said. “Anybody that loves marriage will thoroughly enjoy this day.”