April 19, 2015 – A View from the Rectory Window


Jerry was at a marriage seminar, and the leader of the seminar, a lady, was asking everybody how long they were married. When it was Jerry’s turn, he said that he was married for almost 50 years. “Wow” the leader gushed, “that’s amazing, perhaps you can take a few minutes to share some insights with everybody about how you stay married to the same woman for so long.” “Well,” Jerry said, after thinking for a few moments, “I try to treat her nice, buy her presents, take her on trips…………. and best of all, for our 25th anniversary I took her to the Bahamas.” “Well that’s really beautiful, and a true inspiration for all of us” the lady said. “Maybe you can tell us what you are going to do for your 50th anniversary” she said with a smile. “Well” Jerry said, “I’m thinking of going back to the Bahamas to pick her up.”

The story of Easter is not only what happened to Jesus, but what happened to his disciples and how they became His witnesses to His resurrection. On, Sunday, April 19, three couples: William and Miriam Curtin, 50 years married, Frederick and Rosemary Schalek, 50 years married and Aldo and Sylvia Palombo, 60 years married, will join with Bishop Sullivan or be acknowledged by Bishop Sullivan at Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Parish in Northfield to celebrate their 2015 wedding anniversaries. I thank each of these couples and all of you who have witnessed to the presence of Christ in your marriage.

In the Book of Blessings there is a prayer for those who celebrate a couple’s wedding anniversary:

We have come together to celebrate the anniversary of the marriage of our brother and sister. As we join them in their joy, we join them also in their gratitude. God has set them among us as a sign of his love and through the years they have remained faithful (and have fulfilled their responsibilities as parents). Let us give thanks for all the favors they have received during their married life. May God keep them in their love for each other, so that they may be more and more of one mind and one heart.

This past year, I was privileged to witness the marriage of sixteen couples who have been, by their marriage covenant, set among us as a sign of God’s love. At their weddings, I prayed:

Holy Father, you created mankind in your own image
and made man and woman to be joined as husband and wife
in union of body and heart
and so fulfill their mission in this world.

How often, when we speak the language ‘vocation’ we think of those priests and nuns who live the life of a religious. This weekend I am profoundly grateful to all of you who have so faithfully responded to your vocation to witness to the Lord in your marriage. My prayer for you from the Wedding Rite:

Lord, may they both praise you when they are happy
and turn to you in their sorrows.
May they be glad that you help them in their work
and know that you are with them in their need.
May they pray to you in the community of the Church,
and be your witnesses in the world.
May they reach old age in the company of their friends,
and come at last to the kingdom of heaven.

Father Pete