Marriage is divinely ordained, Bishop tells couples at annual Mass

Mary and George Allin, members of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Wichita, celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary this year and at Wedding Anniversary Sunday held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita. (Advance photo)

By Christopher M. Riggs
Marriage is divinely ordained and is inscribed in the very nature of human beings, Bishop Michael O. Jackels said Sunday, Oct. 4, at the annual Wedding Anniversary Mass. “It is the backbone of society.”
Bishop Jackels said he didn’t understand why contemporary society has a number of opinions about marriage “when it was pretty simple and straightforward language…in the teaching of Jesus.”
Marriage is between one man and one woman, living together as if there were no others, Bishop Jackels said to 115 couples at the Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita. “Kind of like Adam and Eve living together in the garden, there were no others. There was no one to turn Adam’s head.”
Husbands and wives live together in a relationship, in a community of love and life, he said.
“Sometimes at a gathering like this, I’m wondering what I’m doing in the pulpit. You know better than I do that nothing that calls for fidelity is easy,” he said. “It takes divine assistance. It takes the help of others. But it also takes personal effort – the effort to love.”
Marriage takes effort to love, Bishop Jackels repeated, adding that marriage is a sacrament – an intimate relationship between the couples and Jesus Christ on the cross.
Judith Leonard, director of the Family Life and Natural Family Planning Office, said 115 couples from 40 parishes were among the 400 people who attended the annual event. They ranged from couples married a few years to Genevieve and George Steiner, members of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Wichita, who were celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary.
Donna and Jack Wortman, who drove to the Mass from Hutchinson, thanked those involved with the event for “adding to the joy of our 50 years of wedded life.”
“The diocesan Wedding Anniversary Mass was everything such a celebration should be – spiritual, beautiful, and most meaningful,” the Wortmans said.
Mildred and Walter Seiler of Colwich urged the diocese to continue the event. “It was just wonderful, so great!”

Mary and George Allin, members of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Wichita, hold each other’s hands at Wedding Anniversary Sunday held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita. (Advance photo)