Bishop tells couples at annual anniversary Mass marriage is a mission to the world

Ralph and Helenruth Welsby shared an audio aid during a Renewal of Commitment Sunday, Oct. 10, at the Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. The couple has also shared 72 years of married life. They are members of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Schulte. (Advance photo)

Bishop Carl A. Kemme reminded couples at the 50th annual Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Mass that they accepted the call to the vocation of marriage as a mission in the world.

That mission was far greater than they likely understood on their wedding day, he said.

“Your mission is to mirror the love of God in this world and to cooperate with the creative plan of God by the willingness to have children and to raise them in the place of God who gave them to you,” he said in his homily. “Your mission is to assist each other on the journey, not to a safe and materially secure life here, but a journey that will only reach its completion in the Kingdom of Heaven, where treasures await you beyond your comprehension.”

Nearly 100 couples attended

Nearly 100 couples attended the Mass Sunday afternoon, Oct. 10, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

After thanking those involved in organizing the Mass and reception, Bishop Kemme told the couples had been reflecting daily on the events surrounding the return of Fr. Emil Kapaun.

“Unlike the man in today’s Gospel, who thought he kept the commandments, could not do the one last thing necessary in order to have treasure in heaven and in order to have a full and dynamic life as a disciple and follower of Jesus,” the bishop said. “The man went away sad, but perhaps no more sad than Jesus, who had a plan for him if he could have just given away all his possessions, but they meant far too much to him.”

Fr. Kapaun, a Korean war hero, had a similar call when he heard the invitation to leave family, friends, and a safe and secure life in the Diocese of Wichita, Bishop Kemme said.

“His call was to leave all of this behind and to journey to wherever the Lord needed him as a chaplain in the armed forces. He did not hesitate or bargain but went forth. His mission was a difficult one, but one he embraced with all his heart. He gave it all – including his very life. For this we consider him a saint and hope someday the church universal will as well.”

Speaking from his cathedra, Bishop Kemme told the couples they, too, have heard the call to leave mother and father, security, and “the good things that may have been yours had you been called to a single life and to be joined together as husband and wife, as one in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. You have accepted this call and embraced your marriage as a mission in the world.”

After the homily, the couples stood and took part in a Renewal of Commitment and a Blessing of Rings. A reception followed in Good Shepherd Hall.