Patience, cooperation, faith, honesty keys to staying married
By Steve Euvino
Northwest Indiana Catholic
GARY — Frank and Madeleine Holub of Highland have another photo for what their children call their "marriage wall."
Ever since their 50th wedding anniversary six years ago, the couple has been attending anniversary Masses in the Archdiocese of Chicago and Diocese of Gary. Each time they had their photo taken with either Cardinal Francis George or Bishop Dale J. Melczek, and each photo has been enlarged and has found a spot on the hallway wall at home.
Now married 56 years, the couple from St. James the Less was among 81 couples at the annual Catholic Charities wedding anniversary Mass May 4 at Holy Angels Cathedral.
For Madeleine Holub, keys to staying married that long include communication, honesty, and talking things over. She advises couples, "Love each other. Things are not always going to work out, but if you have a problem, settle it."
"You have to listen," added Joanne Saliga, from St. John the Baptist, Whiting, married 60 years to Vince. "We enjoy doing things – traveling, boating, [water] skiing."
Bishop Melczek welcomed the couples and their families to the Saturday afternoon Mass, noting their marital s are "a sign that speaks of God with a force and an eloquence far greater than any words that I might speak. Your witness is a sign for us and a reminder of God's incredible love."
Of the 81 anniversary couples at the cathedral, 11 are celebrating 25-40 years of matrimony; 26 couples are marking 50 years together; 40 couples have been married 50-plus years; and 25 couples first exchanged rings more than 60 years ago.
Those couples again exchanged rings and a kiss as they renewed their wedding vows before the bishop.
Through the couples' love for each other, Bishop Melczek said, "husband and wife are signs to us of Christ's total self-gift of himself on the cross for each one of us who are members of his living Body. When you got married, you gave each other your whole lives."
Bob and Gina Bird, from St. Mary, Kouts, presented the Offertory gifts. Married 25 years, they cited patience and compromise as keys to their marriage. They advise young couples to be kind to one another.
From St. Mary, Crown Point, Richard and Marilyn Fath have been married 50 years. "Keep religion in your life," Marilyn said. "Talk to each other. Communicate."
Chuck and Emma Bridgewaters, from St. Andrew the Apostle, Merrillville, will mark their 60th anniversary in September. Chuck said it's important not to go to bed angry at each other, while Emma pointed to talking things over.
"We still love each other," Emma said, advising young couples to be patient and kind.
In his homily, Bishop Melczek reminded couples that, despite life's hard times, they always have Jesus as a silent third partner.
"Jesus is present in each of you and in your relationships," the bishop said. "He is present in his Holy Spirit who strengthens you in just the ways you need."
Tami and Mike Brunke, a 25-year anniversary couple from St. John the Evangelist, St. John, cited the importance of a strong faith, having Christ at the center of their family. Tami advised engaged couples, "Make sure that your basic ideas and principles are similar."
Ken and Marge Ondas, a 50-year couple from Our Lady of Grace, Highland, reminded young couples that marriage is not always easy and they need to take things day by day.
Another 50-year couple, Ray and Diana Zajac, from St. John the Evangelist, point to believing in each other as keys to staying married. They admit that's not always easy, especially for young people in today's society.
"You have to work on marriage together," Ray said.
"Marriage is a job," Diana said. "Things are moving too fast and there's too many worldly things out there. You have to think about each other. Think about other people, not yourselves."