Cardinal Justin Rigali celebrated the first of three diocesan Masses and Celebrations of the Sacrament of Marriage on Jan. 26 at St. Mary Church in Oak Ridge.
Some 60 couples renewed their wedding vows before the cardinal in the annual event. The marriage Masses are bilingual, and Cardinal Rigali addressed some of his remarks in Spanish.
In a reception at St. Mary School, those attending could view poster boards made by diocesan school students with advice for the married couples. Cardinal Rigali posed for pictures with many couples at the reception.
Longest-married couples to newlyweds all were recognized at the reception. Robert and Alice Hirché of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Alcoa were the longest married at 60 years. Ron and Shirley Bugos of the host parish, married 55 years, received the honor of cutting the wedding cake. Assisting at the Mass was Deacon Norm Amero of St. Ann Parish in Lancing; he and wife Barbara, at 51 years of marriage, were among the golden-anniversary couples attending.
Married couples were asked to stand up by decades married; a sizable number of 40-50-year couples stood up at St. Mary.
Bishop Richard F. Stika will preside at the two remaining marriage-celebration Masses: Saturday, Feb. 9, at St. Mary Church in Athens and Saturday, March 9, at St. Patrick Church in Morristown.
Both Masses will begin at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a reception. Register in advance to receive a certificate and to be photographed with Bishop Stika. Contact Karen Byrne at 865-584-3307 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register.