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Fourth Annual Anniversary Mass Honors 225 Couples

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Two-hundred-twenty-five couples took part in the Fourth Annual Wedding Anniversary Mass celebrated by The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge May 2 at Sacred Heart Church in Pinehurst. Each year, the Mass recognizes those celebrating their 25th, 50th and 50-plus years of marriage.

This year, the total years of marriage by the couples attending the liturgy amounted to more than 8,500, with 166 of the couples married 50 years or more. Of those present, Donald and Margaret Duckworth of Pinehurst are celebrating their 67th anniversary this year.

Reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day when Jesus instructs His disciples to “love one another as I have loved you,” Bishop Burbidge told the couples that they are the visible expression of that love. “You have taught us the true meaning of married love: not a contract but a covenant, a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman.”

He encouraged the couples to ask each other daily, “What have we done for our marriage today?” Bishop Burbidge concluded by noting the example that each couple represents to their families, their Church and to society. The Bishop said, “You have taught us how to love in imitation of Jesus Christ and you have showed us how to be His disciples.

Family and friends gathered with 225 couples celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2010 at the Diocesan Fourth Annual Wedding Anniversary Mass.