True marriage is for life

I enjoyed this story from CNA:

Winners of 2012 Longest Married Couple contest announced

San Bernardino, Calif., Feb 1, 2012 / 03:39 am (CNA).- The faith-based marriage enrichment program Worldwide Marriage Encounter has announced the 2012 state winners of its Longest Married Couple contest: a Nevada couple who married in 1933.

“The number of years many of these couples are married is just awesome,” Scott and Karen Seaborn, the U.S. leadership team for Worldwide Marriage Encounter, said of the contest entrants.

“There are four couples married 78 years, many couples married 70 plus years and quite a few couples with 60 plus years of marriage. What a testament to having a commitment to a long marriage!”

The project received 256 nominations from 47 states.

The longest-married couple to be nominated is Wilbur and Theresa Faiss of Las Vegas, Nevada, who have been married for 78 years. They were married on April 14, 1933.

The Faiss couple will be honored by the Seaborns in a special Feb. 11 ceremony in their hometown.

Couples involved in Worldwide Marriage Encounter will recognize and honor individual state winners across the U.S. over the week of Valentine’s Day.

Last year, the longest-married couple contest honored Marshall and Winnie Kuykendall of Lordsburg, New Mexico, who were married for 82 years after their 1929 wedding. Three other couples who had been married 80 years won their state contests.

Winners of last year’s contest became members of the contest’s alumni group. Couples cannot succeed themselves each year as national or state winners so that other long-married couples can be honored.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter, based in San Bernardino, Calif., has a presence in more than 90 countries and is the world’s largest pro-marriage movement.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Maxiemom says:

    Love to see long marriages. My parents were married 61 years this past October. And I wish them 61 more!

  2. digdigby says:

    I guess longest co-habitation doesn’t count. I was thinking Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Goldie who calls herself a Jewish-Buddhist heads a foundation that teaches ‘Buddhist meditation techniques’ in PUBLIC schools. Kurt, no Hollywood liberal, (and reputed to be a nice guy) is a ‘libertarian’ and I think it should give a Catholic pause to how broadly this term may be interpreted when it comes to natural law.

  3. JaneC says:

    Every year on the Sunday nearest St. Valentine’s Day, our parish honors couples who have been married for 50 years or more with a special blessing at the end of Mass and a reception in the parish hall. We have another group in the parish for the newly-married (3 years or less), and the newly-married couples cook and serve at the reception for the long-married couples. It is a wonderful opportunity to be reminded of the goal, and that it is possible to weather the hard times and be happy together for decades.

  4. irishgirl says:

    Not to rain on anyone’s parade here….and I do congratulate the long-wedded couples….honest, I do….but I’ve sat through enough World Marriage Day Masses, sitting alone in the pew as a single woman (which I still am), and feeling very depressed.
    Single Catholics (especially those past a certain age) are pretty much ignored. Everything is geared to married couples and kids (the ‘group’ or ‘herd’ mentality). If one is a single person in a parish, they are often thought of as a ‘threat’.
    Thank God I attend the TLM exclusively-that way I don’t have to endure the attention paid to married people at the expense of those of us who never got married and have to spend the rest of our lives alone.

  5. Y2Y says:

    I recall that Marriage Encounter was quite a big deal in the Parish where I grew up. It tended to attract the same people who were also involved in charismatic and similar groups. Of the 3 or 4 couples who were most active in promoting the Marriage Encounter weekends, all but 1 subsequently divorced. One friend of mine blamed Marriage Encounter for the breakup of his parents’ marriage and his father’s apostasy.

  6. Centristian says:


    The irony of your remarks is almost sidesplitting, insofar as you are thankful that you attend the TLM so that you haven’t got to worry about enduring a family-oriented environment! LOL!

    Uh…at any rate…don’t feel too disenfranchised. When you go to Mass you get to focus on the liturgy. When couples with children go to Mass they get to focus on:

    1. Finding an entire free pew (having arrived five minutes late).
    2. Repeating admonitions over and over again to their children to turn around and pay attention.
    3. Reaching under their pews to pick up stray toys/books/bottles/teethers/shoes/children.
    4. Wiping runny noses.
    5. Escorting children to the rest room.
    6. Escorting children to the “cry” room.
    7. Spanking badly behaved children and then having to escort them to the “cry” room.
    8. Apologizing to the worshippers sitting in front of them and enduring their annoyed facial expressions.
    9. Running down the aisle to retrieve escapees.
    10. “Mommy, I wanted to put the money in the basket!!!” (back to the “cry” room)
    11. Returning to ushers money that was taken from the basket.
    12. “No!”
    13. “Mommy, how come I don’t get to get one ???” (then from the Communion line back to the “cry”room)
    14. “Go in peace? Is he joking?”

    Are they really in a more enviable position than you and me in the context of a liturgical environment? I don’t happen to think so. And even if sermons might seem from time to time to be more geared in their direction than yours or mine…are they able to pay much attention to them? Do they really see you as a threat or are they perhaps just jealous of you? Grass is always greener…

  7. digdigby says:

    I (a single middle aged man) will try to charitably remember all this next Sunday.

    A toddler began to cry during Fulton Sheen’s homily and he said “Please, don’t take him out he’s not bothering me.” And the mother replied, “Maybe not, Father, but you’re bothering him.” He loved to tell that story.

  8. Sword40 says:

    This discussion brings back lots a memories as we raised 7 kids and rarely missed Mass. To the “single” I can honestly say, be careful what you wish for. My years as a husband and parent have been wonderful. 46 of marriage this April 23. Even with all the heart-ache and troubles it been great and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  9. digdigby says:

    “It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful businessman or farmer, or a successful lawyer, or doctor, or a writer, or a president, or a ranchman … or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.”
    -Teddy Roosevelt

  10. irishgirl says:

    ‘Sidesplitting irony?’ Me? Really? Seriously?
    What I was referring to was the yearly excruciating (to me, at least) imposition of ‘World Marriage Day’ at the NO Mass. At the TLM chapel I attend, this is not even mentioned, much less ‘observed’.
    And yes, there are families with children who attend our Mass; but I sit in the front pew and try to keep my attention focussed on the Mass. I don’t turn around….
    There’s one family who has the largest number of children (six now, the youngest having just been born in early December of last year). When the little guys get antsy (or in the case of the new baby) or start crying, the parents do the right thing and take them out in the vestibule (the chapel is too small to have a crying room). There’s also another family who had a new baby a few weeks prior as well; whenever the little guy starts to cry, I always hear the mother carry him out to the same place (the vestibule) so that the rest of us can hear Mass in [relative] peace, and that the priest doesn’t have any ‘competition’!
    I get along fine with the families who have their kids come to Mass. I even say ‘hi’ to both the parents AND the kids afterwards. I try to be friendly with everyone who comes to Mass at the chapel.
    I’m certainly not ‘jealous’-I just get depressed because everything seems geared towards couples and families. ‘One is the loneliest number’, as the song goes….single people are the ‘great invisible demographic’ as far as the Church is concerned, unless one is an ‘organizational whiz’ and ‘super-talented’ (neither qualities of which I possess). It’s only then that a single person has any attention paid to them. If one is the ‘quiet type’ (as I am), then you’re ‘invisible’, you’re ‘nothing’.
    [I’m not saying this in anger-I want to be friendly with everyone who comments here. But I had to ‘speak my piece’]

  11. Alice says:

    LOL. I didn’t know you were married with children :P Or, are you the male alter ego of the Mother of 5 now adult children who sits behind my family at Mass and encourages us afterwards?

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