I will be 62 later this year, and The Good Captain, my husband of 30 years, will soon be 58. On May 5, 2010, we were officially married in the Catholic Church. Needless to say, a number of people have asked us why we were doing this.
I was divorced but a born-again, re-committed Protestant Christian when Michael and I met in October 1979, and we “tied the knot” August 1980 in a Protestant wedding performed by Dr. Graham Smith in Alexandria VA. However, when Michael came into the Catholic Church this past Easter 2010 ( I had joined the year before), Father Carroll said it was time to “get married in The Church.” My annulment, which had taken a year, was granted the week before Michael was confirmed; thus, I had my First Communion the same night as he did. By getting married in the Church, our marriage became a Sacrament which will draw us more fully into Christ’s grace and strength. It is for that reason we chose to get married in The Catholic Church. We have lived as husband and wife since his confirmation with the exception of husband and wife relations. We have waited until we were married in the Catholic Church just as we waited for our first marriage. We have waited because to NOT wait would have been a sin, and at this age, my only desire is to please God first; for in that pleasing, I know that only good will occur. So we were married in the morning mass. The choice of Wednesday, May 5th, was made by Michael because Fr. Carroll told him that that was when there were the smallest number people.
Before the ceremony, I laid out a few items on the table to take with me. There was something old–an antique locket I wore for my first marriage and the pearl earrings I wore when I married Michael. There was something new–a silver bracelet he had just given me. There was something borrowed–a white rosary from my youngest daughter. There was something blue–my blue garter from my marriage to Michael in 1980. Finally, there was a penny for your shoe–a 1980 penny for when we were first married and a shiny 2009 penny for when I came into the Catholic Church. In addition, we also brought our Guest book dating back to 1980 for all to sign. Yet the little miracle I want to finish this story with is of my simple wedding bouquet. While sitting in Catholics Come Home the night before, I heard an older lady share that she felt that she couldn’t go to Confession (which was the topic) since her first marriage wasn’t annulled.
Afterwards I approached her and told her how I too longed to join the Roman Catholic Church, but believed because I had been married before, it wouldn’t happen. Fr. Carroll, however, encouraged me; and the rest is history or HIS STORY. I shared that the next day I would be married to my husband whom had likewise converted to Catholicism. She paused and said, “Do you have any flowers for your ceremony?” “No,” I answered. “Well,” she said, “Wait here.” Reaching for her cane, she and walked outside Conger Hall and shortly came in carrying a fragrant bouquet of The Lilly of The Valley in a small glass jar. “I was going to leave these in the church by the Confessional, but I want you to have them for your wedding tomorrow.”
I’m reminded of what Sister Faustina Kowalska said in her (Diary, 1208), “May You be blessed, O God, for everything You send me. Nothing under the sun happens without Your will.”