By Katrina Genereux/Staff Writer, OND
The 22nd annual Marriage Celebration Day was held at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Crookston, on Oct. 1.
Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner concelebrated Mass with Vicar General Msgr. Michael Foltz; Father John Cox, Pastor of St. Ann, Waubun, St. Anne, Naytahwaush and St. Frances Cabrini, Big Elbow Lake; Father Matt Schmitz, Parochial Vicar of Sacred Heart, East Grand Forks, Holy Trinity, Tabor and St. Francis of Assisi, Fisher; and Father Augie Gothman, Parochial Vicar of Cathedral, Crookston and St. Peter, Gentilly.
Lucille and Milo Winter of St. Ann, Waubun, were honored as the senior couple for this year’s celebration. They were each presented with a Bishop’s Medal during the Mass. The Winters will celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary on Nov. 13.
Aaron and Kamille Meyer of Cathedral, Crookston, were honored as this year’s newlywed couple; they were married on Sept. 2.
Honorary couples are nominated by their pastors in the months leading up to the celebration.
The Mass was followed by a dinner and reception held in the dining room. Married couples, widows and widowers are invited to the celebration each year.
“Welcome one and all, thank you for coming. This is our 22nd diocesan marriage celebration day,” Bishop Hoeppner said at the beginning of Mass. “We thank almighty God this special day for the gift of marriage and the great sacrament of Holy Matrimony. We thank God for all the wonderful and faithful people who live the gospel of marriage in our world.”
During his homily, Bishop Hoeppner spoke about the role of the Holy Spirit in the beginning of the Church as told in the Acts of the Apostles, and the role the Spirit continues to play within the domestic church or family.
“Today we give thanks that Jesus has done this for you. He has breathed on you the Holy Spirit,” Bishop Hoeppner said. “The Holy Spirit assumes your love into the love of Christ and enriches it by the power of Christ’s self-giving.”
He posed the question: How are newly married couples today going to have a joyous, wonderful and long married life together?
“Will they rely on the well of Jesus?” Bishop Hoeppner asked. “The water Jesus provides will be enough for everlasting life. The Holy Spirit is the wisdom of God, the power of God, the truly everlasting love and truly everlasting life,” he said.
“The Holy Spirit was an excellent actor in the early Church and can be so in the domestic church,” Bishop Hoeppner continued. “As the Church at the beginning was alive in the wonderful gifts of the Spirit overflowing – gifts so desperately needed and freely given – so too in our day is the domestic church. The Holy Spirit lavishes gifts on married couples and families. Continue to be open to receive them, be eager to use them daily and do so to live the gospel of marriage, God’s good news of marriage, the gospel the world so needs to hear today.”
After Holy Communion, Deacon Mark Krejci, Director of the Office of Marriage, Family and Life, announced the gift each married couple, widow and widower received: a book, “Love in Marriage: Pope Francis on Living and Growing in Love.”
Deacon Krejci described the gift, saying, “It’s a book on love and marriage, the words of Pope Francis reflecting on the ‘Joy of Love’ and also giving you an opportunity to reflect with your spouse on the joy of love reflections as well as opportunities to pray together about the wonderful joy of love.”
Mass concluded with special blessings for each honorary couple, and all married couples, widows and widowers.
A photo album of images from the event can be viewed HERE.