Married couples, priests honoured during their vocation anniversaries

Left: Couples embracing one another after their renewal of marriage vows. Right: Nancy and Thomas Lim celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary.Left: Couples embracing one another after their renewal of marriage vows. Right: Nancy and Thomas Lim celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary.

Seventy married couples and four priests celebrated their milestone anniversaries on May 21.

The event, themed LOVE MATTERS, was for the first time, jointly organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for The Family (ACF) and its Family Partners, in conjunction with Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) Singapore’s anniversary celebrations.

The celebration took place at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament.

Fr Terence Pereira opened the event with a talk titled Lovin’ Notion, Love in Motion. He spoke about the call to serve as an expression of love.

A special anniversary cake was cut during the event on May 21.A special anniversary cake was cut during the event on May 21.
“When you give and do service, work hard at it and do it willingly. Let your couple love be an example and legacy to your children and those around you. Everyone is called to serve. There are those who say: I will serve when I am retired, or at some later time. The advice is do it now, don’t leave your balance for God”, said Fr Terence. 

Following the talk, Msgr Ambrose Vaz celebrated WWME Singapore’s 37th anniversary Mass. He, together with several other priests who concelebrated, were marking their special priestly anniversaries this year: Msgr Vaz (35th anniversary), Fr Henry Siew (25th anniversary), Fr Charles Sim (15th anniversary) and Fr Donatien Davaine (fifth anniversary).

In his homily, Msgr Vaz urged the congregation to be “life-giving” to their spouses, to recognise that united in God’s love they will bear fruit and multiply.

The highlight of the event was the renewal of marriage vows of couples celebrating their fifth to 50th wedding anniversaries this year, in multiples of five years, as well as those who have been married for longer. After Mass, participants gathered for lunch and the cutting of a special
anniversary cake.

There were also opportunities for the participants to interact and explore booths set up by ACF and its Family Partners at the event: Marriage Encounter, Catholic Engaged Encounter, Marriage Preparation Course, CHOICE, Couples for Christ, Couple Empowerment Programme, Natural Family Planning, Marriage Retorno and Family Life Society.

Dr John Hui, ACF chair said: “We are truly delighted to have had the opportunity to celebrate the vocations of marriage and the priesthood, both of which are so important to the life of the Church and society ... We hope that through this celebration, and many more hereafter, we might be able to show our gratitude to the many wonderful priests and married couples in our midst who have been living examples of loving as Christ loves.”

Alphonsus and Cyrine Gregory, coordinating couple of WWME Singapore, said: “Celebrating the Eucharist with all the other Family Partners gave the whole celebration a more ‘family oriented feel.”

Nancy and Thomas Lim, who have been married for 54 years, shared that it was prayer and their trust in God which got them through their ups and downs. They advised married couples and those marrying soon to always have a give-and-take-attitude, and be understanding towards each other.

Priests who attended the event included (from left): Frs Bruno Saint Girons, Henry Siew, Msgr Ambrose Vaz, Donatien Davaine and Charles Sim. Priests who attended the event included (from left): Frs Bruno Saint Girons, Henry Siew, Msgr Ambrose Vaz, Donatien Davaine and Charles Sim.

Couples talk about marriages
Cynthia and Eric, married for 25 years.
Their love grew through simple things like meals and movies. Their advice: Never forget that couples always have the Lord as the third person in their marriage. Persevere with other like-minded couples, knowing that you are not alone on the journey.

Aldrin and Audrey, married for 20 years.
They shared that couples all have to keep the romance alive with little surprises. For them, as they progressed through the years, they learned to love and care for each other more as they discovered new things about each other.

Claire and Andrew, married for 15 years.
Active work has to be done to keep the romance alive, they said. They ensure this happens by keeping their weekly date night, and consciously work at loving each other.

Christian and Ignatia, married for 10 years.
They shared that love is a decision, and requires communication so that each spouse can understand each other better. Your partner is a gift from God, so embrace him or her, they said.

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