By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
KANSAS CITY — Marriages don’t last these days? The 148 couples who celebrated their golden wedding anniversaries and renewed their vows before Bishop Robert W. Finn would beg to differ.
“This is one of my favorite celebrations,” Bishop Finn told the congregation that filled the front pews of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception June 5 for the annual Mass and Celebration of 50th Wedding Anniversaries.
“We have so many faithful married couples in our diocese, and we are again blessed to have a good showing,” he said.
Bishop Finn also noted that this year’s celebration coincided happily with the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord, reminding his disciples before he joined the heavenly Father that he would be with them “always until the end of time.”
“Your marriages 50 years ago were blessed with the same promise: that you would not be alone in the challenges ahead; that Jesus Christ would be with you,” Bishop Finn said.
“Thanks be to God,” he said. “He has given you life and love for many years. How we need that continuing assurance to help us be joyful no matter what lies ahead.”
Bishop Finn praised the couples for their fidelity to the vocation of married life.
“Strong marriages are a very significant part of the work of the Catholic Church,” he said.
“You make possible by your generous service, your prayer and encouragement tremendous works in the church and the world,” the bishop said.
“We are proud – in a fitting way – that the Catholic Church is second to none in charity and service, in care for those in need, in foreign missions, in Catholic education at all levels,” he said.
“All these good things continue and I thank you for the faith with which you give yourselves in your parishes, in your communities, in our diocese to this mission of Christ’s church,” Bishop Finn said.
Bishop Finn also met each couple and presented a gift from the diocese in honor of their lasting marriages.
The couples were:
Blessed Sacrament, Bethany: Andrew and Karen Babinski.
Co-Cathedral, St. Joseph: Dale and Kathy Kissel, Henry and Patricia Saulan.
Church of the Annunciation, Kearney: Eugene and Helen Patten.
Church of the Holy Martyrs, Kansas City: Vu Thi Sang and Nguyen Van Huong.
Holy Family, Kansas City: John and Catherine Boyle.
Holy Rosary, Clinton: David and Donna Kempker, Larry and Bobbie Steinhauser.
Holy Spirit, Lee’s Summit: Bill and Marilyn Bantrup, John and Marilyn DiMarco, Pat and Gloria Starner.
Holy Trinity, Urich: Louis and Mary Baer.
Immaculate Conception, Montrose: Edward and Helena Strope.
Mary Immaculate, Gallatin: James and Mary Riley
Nativity of Mary, Independence: Charles and Maria Bellman, Kenneth and Dorothy Johnson, Donald and Paula Van Loo, Ralph and Carmen Wolfgeher.
Our Lady of Good Counsel, Kansas City: David and Virginia Forbes.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Joseph: James and Carol Buhman, Carl and Barbara Johnson, Alfred and Patricia Miller.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Harrisonville: Larry and Norma Priddy, Mr. and Mrs. James Thompson, Ray and Connie White.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help – Redemptorist, Kansas City: J.L. and Raquel Martinez, Cruz and Rosie Perez.
Our Lady of the Presentation, Lee’s Summit: Bill and Janice Bass, Charles and Judith Maude, Richard and Jacqueline Sweeney, Walter and Melmarie Whitlow.
Sacred Heart, Hamilton: Daniel and Mary Spidle.
Sacred Heart-Guadalupe, Kansas City: Ricardo and Maria Teresa Sauceda.
St. Andrew the Apostle, Gladstone: Lawrence and Kathleen Fritschen.
St. Ann, Excelsior Springs: Larry and Betty Mitchell.
St. Ann, Plattsburg: Pat and Carol Clingan, Charles and Wanda Lueb.
St. Bartholomew, Windsor: Ronald and Nancy Shulfer.
St. Bernadette, Kansas City: Jack and Marcella Cocherell, Roger and Mary Gaughran, Joseph and Judy Saitta, Frank and Betty Toczek.
St. Bridget, Pleasant Hill: Jerome and Patricia Albarts.
St. Catherine of Siena, Kansas City: Richard and Marion Kirchner, Albert and Mary Russell.
St. Charles Borromeo, Oakview: John Bruce and Marcelia Corbett, Bob and Dianne Matthew, Deacon Frank and Renee Peak, Roger and Margaret Shannon, Ben and Carolyn Volker.
St. Columba, Conception Junction: Lucian and Mary Rose Weiderholt.
St. Cyril, Sugar Creek: Mike and Linda Kobe.
St. Francis Xavier, Kansas City: Bernard and Maria Connor, Eric and Sheila Erickson.
St. Francis Xavier, St. Joseph: Roger and Carol Marriott, Gary and Ernestine McIntosh, Denzil and Virginia Moore, Richard and Dolores Reynozo, Hilton and Janie Tinker.
St. Gabriel, Kansas City: Robert and Kathleen Bax, Donald and Rose Wilson.
St. George, Odessa: Syd and Jeane Massey.
St. Gregory Barbarigo, Maryville: Richard and Shirley Auffert, Gary and Jennifer Baumli, Paul and Sandra Jones, John and Ruth Steins.
St. James, Liberty: Gerald and Barbara Bindel, Robert and Janet Black, George and Betty Dixon, Martin and Judy Farley, Richard and Judy Kirwan, Constantino and Leona Lopez.
St. James, St. Joseph: Eugene and Shirley Miller.
St. John Francis Regis, Kansas City: John Joe and Virginia Reyes, Joseph and Veronica Tasog, Jerry and Sharon Walker.
St. John LaLande, Blue Springs: Bob and Juanita Klenklen, Gerald and Alice Owens, Chet and Judith Pasowicz, Clarence and Karin Wilkes.
St. Joseph, Easton: Mel and Pat Clark, Steve and Patricia Culver.
St. Joseph the Worker, Independence: Mateo and Loreto Manoza, John and Patricia McQuillan, Arturo and Ofelia Zamarripa.
St. Louis, Kansas City: James and Thelma Edwards.
St. Mark the Evangelist, Independence: Lynn and Sarah Cameron, Ross and Josephine Passantino, David and Mary Theresa Sherpy.
St. Mary, Carrollton: Fred and Judy Kipping.
St. Mary, Independence: Charles and Ava Sandage.
St. Mary, St. Joseph: Billy Joe and Lena Gilkey, John and Imogene Richey.
St. Monica, Kansas City: Don and Patricia Williams.
St. Munchin, Cameron: Rod and Carol Gatzmeyer, Donald and Elizabeth Goulding, Francis and Joanne Mehmert, Bennie and Anita Palmentere, Robert and Joyce Ringel, Carl and Marie Saitta, Lee and Kathleen Woodsmall.
St. Patrick, Holden: Aubrey and Donna Van Meter.
St. Patrick, Ford City: Bernard and Caroline Eiberger.
St. Paul the Apostle, Tarkio: Richard and Gertrude Thomson.
St. Peter, Kansas City: Robert and Margaret Behrens, Leo and Juanita Gusman.
St. Robert Bellarmine, Blue Springs: John and Loretta McEntire.
St. Rose of Lima, Savannah: Michael “Ben” and Linda Wilt.
St. Sabina, Belton: Joe and Anna Anderson, Frank and Helen Barberis, Vick and Gail Bland, Ted and Sandra Fiocati, Michael and JoAnn Gerant, Hugh and Donna Owings, Joseph and Donna Stanley.
St. Therese, Parkville: William and Judith Cheney, John and Josephine Distefano, Gary and Norma Keyes, John and Deanna Potts, William and Elaine Sanborn, Michael and Bonnie Sheehan, Richard and Diane Stoudt, Glen and Donna Vining.
St. Thomas More, Kansas City: Hugh and JoAnn Beck, Chatten and Janice Cowherd, Thomas and Sheila Effertz, Paul and Margaret Engel, Earl and Eleonore Hutto, Edward and JoCarol Johnson, Anthony and JoAnn Leardi, Joseph and Loretta Magerl, Robert and Juanita Mallory, Robert and Mary Maskill, Joseph and Mary Elizabeth Moore, William and Nancy Morris, Robert and Mary Ann Nord, Michael and Phyllis O’Connor, Michael and Kathleen Pistone, Ronald and Barbara Tavernaro.
Twelve Apostles, Platte City: Allen and Berniece Laughlin.
Visitation, Kansas City: James and Irene Fitzgerald, Deacon Donald and Margaret Madden, John and LaDonna Marietti, Michael and Jacqueline Mayer, George and Laurie McLiney, James and Patricia Cleary Miller, Michael and Barbara O’Flaherty.