Gerard DeLuca turned to his wife Marianne to renew their wedding vows and became tongue-tied at the Golden Jubilee Wedding Mass celebrated by Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral June 5.
“That was a very touching part of the ceremony, holding her hand, looking at her and reconsecrating our vows,” Gerard, a parishioner of St. John the Evangelist in Mahopac, told CNY. “It was very moving. I got tongue-tied. I said it a second time to make sure it all came out right.
“She’s the strength of this family. She’s an amazing woman. She takes care of everyone in this family and never has a word of complaints.”
Gerard, 75, and Marianne, 74, were married at Our Lady of Grace Church in the Bronx on July 16, 1972. They were among the 225 couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary to renew their vows at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. A total of 1,500 people attended the Mass, and 309 couples received a commemorative certificate.
“On the anniversary of that celebration of which you joined your lives in an unbreakable bond through the holy sacrament of matrimony, you now intend to renew before the Lord the promises you made then to one another,” Cardinal Dolan said. “So turn to the Lord in prayer that these vows might be strengthened by divine grace.”
Closing the ceremony, Cardinal Dolan said, “May the Lord keep you safe all the days of your life. May He be your comfort in adversity and your support in prosperity. May He fill your home with his blessings.”
Cardinal Dolan opened his homily by congratulating the jubilarians, welcoming the jubilarians and their families, and speaking of Pentecost.
“This is the day, Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon our Blessed Mother and the apostles as they waited in that Upper Room, and 50 years ago the Holy Spirit came upon you jubilarians with the gift of love and fidelity that marriage needs to make it fruitful as indeed yours has been,” the cardinal said. “As I look around with you, I’m really looking at the light to the world and the salt to the earth, which Jesus encouraged us all to be because of the love and the fidelity that you all have really shown throughout a half century.”
Cardinal Dolan struck a somber note because of the world’s troubles, citing the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, and the violence in New York City and war-torn Ukraine.
“As we think of all that darkness, we’re tempted to say where is God’s love,” he said. “As I look out at you this happy afternoon, I’ll say there is God’s love. You in the love that you have for one another, that is God’s love as well as our own. You see, it’s our Catholic wisdom that if we’re looking for a reflection of God’s love, if we’re searching for a mirror to show us how much God loves us, all we should do is look at a husband and wife in marriage because the husband and wife is an icon, a reflection, a mirror, a sacrament of the love that God has for us.”
The DeLucas, the parents of three and grandparents of eight, attended the Mass with their daughter, Lisa Arcieri, and Marianne’s brother, Frank Volpicelli, and his wife, Angela. The Volpicellis, who live in Greenwich, Conn., were there to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
After Mass, the DeLucas returned home and will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with family next month.
“It was a wonderful ceremony. I'm glad we made the trip down to Manhattan to be a part of it,” Gerard said.
“By the grace of God. He was good to us and I have to put God as the boat that sailed this marriage together. It was meant to be from God in His grace that we have all these years together, and they’ve been happy years.”
Eric and Marietta Javier, parishioners of St. John the Evangelist and Our Lady of Peace in Manhattan, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary April 12 and attended the Mass with their son, Eric; daughter-in-law Kristin; granddaughters Carolina and Annabella; and a friend visiting from Geneva, Switzerland, Margaret Hammarskjold.
Marietta, 78, recited the second reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
“It was so packed. It was a wonderful time,” she said. “It made the couples happy, and it was inspiring. The homily was so inspiring. It was a perfect celebration.”
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