Kearny couple celebrating 61 years of marriage blessed by Cardinal Tobin in Newark


A Kearny couple celebrating 61 years of marriage was blessed by Cardinal Joseph Tobin at the Archdiocese of Newark’s annual Golden Anniversary Mass on Sunday.

Norma and Ricardo Fernandez. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Newark.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

More than 100 couples celebrating 50 years of marriage, plus a few marking their 60th, 65th, and 70th years together, were blessed by Tobin in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

The spouses, who traveled from throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties to attend the Mass, held each other’s wedding rings as Cardinal Tobin asked God to sanctify their love, praying that the husbands and wives grow in the sacrament of matrimony’s grace.

The cardinal also commended those present for choosing to commit their lives to another person despite the potential for difficulties in the relationship, calling it a “blessed act of faith.”

“How could you see what lay before you? How could you know then what for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer would really mean?” Tobin said in his homily.

“Your presence here today means that the faith you expressed in each other on your wedding day was also trust in the God who made you, in Jesus who called you, and in the Holy Spirit, who continues to illuminate your path.”

Tobin later expressed a particular fellowship with the couples celebrating their 50th anniversaries, pointing out that it has been 50 years since he professed his own vows as a member of his religious order, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Afterward, he met with each couple to personally congratulate them on their milestone anniversaries.

He also presented them with gold pins depicting interlocked wedding rings in front of a cross: a symbol that Christ is at the center of every strong, Catholic marriage.

The Golden Anniversary Mass was a celebration of the archdiocesan Office for Family Life Ministry, which strengthens families’ faith by hosting programs, providing ministry support training for parishes, and offering other spiritual initiatives.

Its next gathering will be a Mass recognizing couples celebrating their 5th and 25th wedding anniversaries on Sunday, May 7, at 3 p.m. inside the Cathedral Basilica, with Auxiliary Bishop Gregory J. Studerus presiding.

More information on the Office for Family Life Ministry can be found here.

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