Bishop Celebrates Golden Anniversary Mass for Diocesan Couples
By Maria Guzzo
OCTOBER 9, 2022 – GREENSBURG – With Blessed Sacrament Cathedral brimming with 50th wedding anniversary couples and their families, Bishop Larry J. Kulick said it was testimony to their sacrificial love.
“It gives us a renewed hope and zeal that with God all things are possible,” Bishop Kulick said in his homily.
The Diocese of Greensburg extended its congratulations to more than 286 couples from 63 parishes throughout the four-county diocese who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in the past year. While not all the couples attended the Sunday, Oct. 9, Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass, those who did said they enjoyed the event and the chance to gather in their faith.
Sam and Patti Lape of Chalk Hill, who are parishioners at St. Joan of Arc Parish, Farmington, revealed that both their faith and a sense of humor kept them together for 50 years.
“We survived,” Sam Lape quipped.
Patti Lape said they spent years together teaching CCD, youth group and Vacation Bible School at their parish.
“For VBS, there always had to be props and it had to be a production,” Patti Lape said. “(Sam) dressed up every year for the VBS theme.”
With many marriages not surviving as long as theirs, Bishop Kulick praised those in attendance.
“Through the outpouring of God’s grace, your faith has grown,” he said, noting additionally that their longevity has no doubt spurred faith in friends and family members.
Wearing a silver and gold miter for the Mass, Bishop Kulick said he thought it was appropriate because the couples had surpassed their silver wedding anniversary and now their golden anniversary. Bishop Kulick received the miter from a recently departed mentor, Cardinal Jozef Tomko.
Bishop Kulick said Cardinal Tomko would speak of his own parents’ devotion to one another – his father walking in deep snow to and from work to support the family and his mother catering to his every need bundling him up for the weather and then providing him comfort upon his return home.
“Cardinal Tomko’s parents influenced him and showed him the powerful sign of sacrificial love,” he said. “The grace-filled sacrament of matrimony is the image of God’s love for His church. That unconditional, sacrificial, permanent love.”
Paul and Irene Krokus, parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Masontown, agreed that their 50 years together was for better and for worse. Paul Krokus said they’ve endured the loss of two sons and a granddaughter and Irene’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, but through the years they maintained faith in God and each other.
“We listen to each other, we’re friends and we work with each other,” Paul Krokus said. “It wasn’t all roses, but we made it because we wanted to make it.”