Ludlow parishioners hold special Mass, dinner to celebrate Catholic marriage
Story and photos by Julie Beaulieu
LUDLOW -- Parishioners in Ludlow held a special celebration of the sacrament of marriage on Saturday, Feb. 2.
The celebration of marriage consisted of a well attended 4 o’clock Mass, followed by dinner and dancing in the St. John the Baptist Parish Hall.
World Marriage Day has existed since 1983, and is officially celebrated on the second Sunday in February each year. This year it is Feb. 10. In 1993, Pope John Paul II imparted his Apostolic Blessing on World Marriage Day.
During the Mass at St. Elizabeth's, couples are asked to face each other and recite a prayer, followed by a special marriage blessing. Msgr. Homer Gosselin, St. Elizabeth's pastor, presided over the Mass and later attended the dinner celebration.
“We know that our family life is really the basis of society, so it’s important that husbands and wives be joined in Christ, and that Christ be a part of the union as they raise their families,” Msgr. Gosselin said.
Parishioners Richard and DuAnne Pasquini helped coordinate the event, “Celebrate Marriage III.”
“I think there are a number of couples here, at St. Elizabeth, that cherish the sacrament of matrimony, and we’ve come together to form a marriage ministry ... to kind of promote marriage,” said Richard Pasquini.
The program, open to all Catholics in the Diocese of Springfield, is called, “Date Nights for Catholic Couples,” with the motto, “Caring for our sacrament of marriage means making time for each other and having fun together.”
The program is a series of six Saturday evenings from 7 to 9:15 p.m., held in the pastoral center, and which runs from November through the end of April. The remaining dates are still open and available for registration.
Gary and Gloria Bourbeau also helped coordinate the third annual “Celebrate Marriage” night.
“We’re celebrating World Marriage Day and this is our third year," Gloria Bourbeau said. "We just had an idea that it would be great to celebrate the sacrament of marriage, so, we start off with a Mass each year. We come here and have good eats, and we dance and have fun and have a great time.”
After dinner, the couples enjoyed a comedy act, follow by music and dancing. Only one couple attending had been married less than five years, and the couple married the longest, the Arcobellos, exchanged their vows 66 years ago.
For more information on Date Nights for Catholic Couples, call 413-610-0509 or email [email protected].