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Stephen and Mary Tan celebrated 45 years of marriage at the 2022 Annual Marriage Day Mass.
Photo: Ron Tan.
More than 150 couples have come forward in celebration of their wedding anniversary at this year’s Annual Archdiocesan Marriage Mass.
At a Mass celebrated by Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, those celebrating their 20, 25, 30, 40 or 50th anniversary came together for a blessing and to receive a certificate.
“One part of my ministry that I have enjoyed so much has been the preparation of couples for marriage,” Bishop Sproxton explained, during his homily for the occasion.
“Meeting the mostly young people and hearing about their lives so far, their dreams and hopes as they look ahead as couples, and of their love for one another is always a joy,” he said.
Bishop Sproxton told those present that the celebration of Marriage Day and the decades of marriage being celebrated for this occassion are marvellous testimony of the powerful presence of the Spirit who they continue to rely upon for guidance, wisdom and strength. Photo: Ron Tan.
Bishop Sproxton continued by talking about the story of an elderly couple he noticed while driving to the office one morning.
“I was driving into the office one morning and was waiting at the traffic lights approaching the Causeway in Victoria Park.
“There was quite a line of cars around me waiting for the lights to change. Then I noticed that the other drivers were all looking over to the left at a couple walking along the pathway towards the bridge.
“They were a very elderly couple, and they were shuffling along rather than striding out. But what had caught our attention was that they were walking hand in hand, making slow but steady progress, as they chatted. It was beautiful. They held one another, supported one another, steadied one another, were there for one another and enjoying each other.
Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton greets attendees at the 2022 Annual Marriage Day Mass, Saturday 20 August, at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
“To me it was significant, that is, it was sign of grace. A sign that the Spirit that had brought them together had remained with them over the course of so many years and supported them, steadied them, enabled them to be there for one another and was still making them glad to be together.
“How many years had it been since they took one another’s hands and created their Sacrament of Marriage? How much had they seen, rejoiced in, suffered together, grown through down those years? How much had they grown humanly, and spiritually; learned and changed to become the best they could be in partnership with a soulmate?
Director of the Centre for Life Marriage and Family, Derek Boylen said the occasion was one of great pride, especially considering the significant trials so many families have faced caused by COVID during the past two years.
Director of the Centre for Life, Marriage and Family, Derek Boylen. Photo: Ron Tan.
“The Annual Archdiocesan Marriage Mass has this year been a real testament to the fact that Jesus Christ has provided the strength and grace for so many couples here today to live the real meaning of marriage. The couples gathered in the Cathedral today represent over 6000 years of married life experience” Mr Boylen said.
“It really is a blessing to see so many people here to be witnesses to their marriage that is evidence of the free, faithful and fruitful love that Jesus Christ has for each of us,” Mr Boylen said.
Concluding his homily, Bishop Sproxton told those present that the celebration of Marriage and the decades of marriage being celebrated for this occasion are marvellous testimony of the powerful presence of the Spirit who they continue to rely upon for guidance, wisdom and strength.
“You are great signs to your families, friends and fellow Christians of the possibility of love and unity,” he said.
George and Louella Tenso, with their children, celebrated 20 years of marriage at the 2022 Annual Marriage Day Mass. Photo: Ron Tan.