To Love & To Cherish, Till Death Us Do Part..! Romantic 33 Couples Celebrate 40 Plus Yrs of Wedded Life

To Love & To Cherish, Till Death Us Do Part..! Romantic 33 Couples Celebrate 40 Plus Yrs of Wedded Life

40 plus years of marriage is something to really shout about! ‘To Love & To Cherish, Till Death Us Do Part..! Romantic 33 Couples Celebrated 40 Plus Yrs of Wedded Life, at a celebration held at Milagres Church/Hall on Sunday, 4 November 2018-and this was FIRST of its kind celebration organized by the Family Welfare Centre of Milagres Church in the City.

“I, ____, take you, ____, to be my wife (or husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law, and this is my solemn vow “- a Pledge taken by Catholic Couple in the Church on the Wedding Day .

Mangaluru: “I, ____, take you, ____, to be my wife (or husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law, and this is my solemn vow “- is a Pledge taken by Catholic Couples in the Church on the Wedding Day. The priest will then say aloud “You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings. What God has joined, men must not divide. Amen.” And for the fact, that all these 33 couples who have still remained united with love as Husband and Wife, have followed their pledge very seriously, unlike the the present generation Catholic weddings, (some arranged, many love marriage) which sometimes don’t even last for a year or few months, or could break up after a bad honey moon vacation- simply shows that they ignored their wedding day pledge!

Looking at all these “Young Couples” beaming with pride and joy in the Church and also in the Church Hall, seemed like 40 plus years of married life was somewhat more substantial, a time to recognize what they have been through decades of the peaks and valleys of marriage, child-rearing, relocation – life, but in fact, it’s nice to note that they are still together, despite everything. Now how do you celebrate 40 plus years together without rubbing the fact of their longevity as couples into the faces of those around you who are divorced, who live common-law with a second or third partner, who are widowed, who are dealing with serious illness or who are coming to grips with some other dissimilar place in life? A lot of people fall into one of those categories. But the members of family Welfare Centre, wanted to cheer up these long wedded married couples with a treat to make them cherish forever, even at their ripe “Young” age?

The 33 couples were all dressed to thrill, some were in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, some had grey hair, while some had dyed their hair to look young, some were smiling with false teeth, some hand wrinkled faces while some women had done their extreme facial makeover at the bridal shop, some were seen with walking sticks to hold them firm- no matter what they were all happy and ready to rock-n-roll at the celebration which was specially hosted for their achievement of “Long Wedded Life”. But these days it is equally difficult for those younger, especially in their 30’s, to relate to the rigours of long-term commitment. Most can barely deal with the idea of being 30 in the first place. You can almost hear them ask: How can anyone be that old and that boring? They look at you as a dinosaur from a long-gone era.

Mention 40 years or more of marriage at a social gathering and you get quizzical stares. Those on different paths see you as someone stuck in a rut. Who spends 40 plus years with the same person any more? But no matter these 33 Young and Romantic True Lovers did! The journey of these couples is the kind of love story the world needs to hear. All these 33 couples were beautiful not because they were perfect. They were beautiful because despite their imperfections, they have chosen to love each other each day for the last 40 and even more years. Whatever the particulars of their life, it was their Great love, selflessly given despite sacrifice, had made them look beautiful.

Marriage encompasses a boldness, and this boldness was celebrated on Sunday 4 November, at a Eucharistic Mass at Milagres Church led by Parish Priest Fr Valerian D’souza, along with Fr Edwin Monis- Assistant Parish Priest, Fr William Gonsalves and Fr G W Vas- both resident priests, and then followed by a happy celebration at the Church hall, a bash organized by the members of Family welfare Centre. It is the boldness of “saying to the world that it is possible to live faithfully and to hang in there when adversity rears its challenging head, rather than become cynical and throw in the towel.

In His homily during the Eucharistic Mass Fr Valerian accented the role married couples fulfill by demonstrating – making clear in a visual way that others can see — what God’s love is. He said, “Our church is so bold that we say to the world: Do you want to know what God’s love is like? Then look at the faithful love of husband and wife.” God “chose to show us what love is — first in his Son’s sacrifice for our salvation, but also in you, in your marriage, in the sacrament, the sign that marriage is to the world,” said Fr Valerian. Wives and husbands “may not always think of it this way,” he added, but their love “for each other is like the love God has for us: faithful, ever-present, life-giving.”

However, the 4 November celebration did not just honor the “long time” of these couples’ marriages, rather, “each day of those 40 and more years that made up that long time” were remembered and celebrated. These 40 plus years “have been made up of a hundred, a thousand, even the 10,000 times these 33 couples lived their sacrament each day their words and actions reaffirmed the promises they exchanged on their wedding day. Also celebrated were “the countless times” the spouses sacrificed “individual ‘wants’ to meet the ‘needs’ of [their] families”; and “the tender moments when [they] chose to offer a word of forgiveness to each other, rather than hold a grudge”; and all the challenging times when the couples “chose to walk in the light of faith, rather than languish in the darkness of fear.” All these actions in specific ways are Christlike!

After the Eucharistic Mass, which followed a group photo, then it was time to celebrate at the Hall, where the programme began with a prayer invoking God’s blessings. Speaking on the occasion Fr Valerian D’souza said, “All you couples have come from different professions, and all these years you have served the community with your profession, whichever field you were in. Being amidst you today is a pleasure, because you have all made a difference in the society, and you are all a role model for the young couples today, so that they could also follow in your footsteps and live a happy married life like you all. You have all built a healthy and happy society, and also made your married life successful. You have faced problems, but you over came them, and proved successful to lead a Happy Married Life, and that’s a milestone in your life. May God bless you and make you live longer”.

The welcome address was delivered by Ms Lucy Lobo, while the vote of thanks was proposed by Ms Wilma Andrade, and the dynamic compere Ms Edna Veigas got the party going with her witty punchlines. The entertainment comprised of songs by Cyril and Lizzy D’souza, Jude and Sylvia Fernandes; and a comedy skit by Ms maria Lewis and Eric D’mello. J F D’souza-Attavar and his wife gave testimony of their happy married life. It was indeed a fun and frolic celebration, which brought back some younger fun life among these vintage revelers- and they cherished every bit of it. Long live these 33 married couples who have made it over four decades, no matter what, and may they live together happily for the next ???? years. Congratulations and best wishes from Team Mangalorean/

Team Mangalorean spoke to three of the couples for a small profile and their secret behind their happy married life “

Joseph ‘Joe’ and Beatrice Pereira, married for 59 years:

Both Joe and Beatrice were married on 8 February 1960. Joe worked in Kuwait for nearly 35 years as a engineer at a reputed company, while Beatrice was a housewife- and both came back for good to Mangaluru few years ago. Both are proud parents of three girls, all married- Caryl married to Peter Machado working in Dubai; Marcelle married to Sunil Dias, settled in Canada; and Sheryl married to Ron Mascarenhas, also settled in Canada. When asked what was the secret of their long married life, the answer was “No matter what argument we got into, we still loved each other. Forgive and forget was our motto. We raised our kids with good morals and faith, so that they could also follow in our footsteps. We had good communication between us both, and didn’t keep anything secret. We are happy that we are together so long”.

Dr Harold W Furtado and Dr Hazel Furtado, married for 50 years and 8 months

With their clinic very next to our office, how can we forget this couple. Both were married on 2 April 1968. Dr Harold was a surgeon at Father Muller Hospital-Mangaluru for over 340 years, and now he does consultancy at his wife’s clinic. While Dr Hazel was professor of Gynecology at KMC Hospital- Mangaluru, now manages her clinic specializing in Gynaecology. They have two boys- Sunil Furtado married to Sherine, living in Bangalore; and Arul married to Jonita, also staying in Bangalore- and best part is that all four are doctors practicing in Bengaluru. The secret of their happy married life according to Dr Harold and hazel is “Forgiveness and patience. We communicated well, never fought in front of kids, we were willing to change, took care of our selves, and Treated our marriage as a long-term commitment”

Charles and Una Mascarenhas, married for 55 years:

Charles and Una Mascarenhas were married on 3 February 1963. Charles was a mechanical engineer worked in reputed companies in India, he also had a diploma in Industrial Administration from a University in Paris, France. Una has been a social worker helping those in need for the last 40 years, being a girl born and brought up in Mumbai. 25 years ago they moved back to Mangaluru, and while Charles is enjoying his retired life, Una is still continuing with her social service work. Presently she is the President of Mangalore Ladies Club, Mangaluru, one of the oldest clubs in Mangaluru. They have one son and one daughter- daughter Ayesha is married to timothy Coelho, who is a vice president at a Reliance company, while Ayesha is a lawyer, and a professor in that field. Son, Navin manages a 22-bed hospital near to Pune- and they have grand children- Ms Tara Ann- an Engineer; Rohan Coelho- also an engineer; Rahul Prabhu- entrepreneur and a budding lawyer; and Pooja Prabhu- a doctor.

The secret of their long wedded life is Tolerance and Proper Understanding between each other and the pledge taken on the wedding day in Church

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