BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge led 45 couples in celebrating marital milestones at the Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral on September 26.
Among the reduced-numbers crowd, owing to coronavirus restrictions, was Raymond and Sheila Thurlow whose wedding anniversary is this week on October 9.
Mr and Mrs Thurlow married at St Finbarr’s Church, Ashgrove, and have three children.
Mr and Mrs Thurlow said it was an inspirational and uplifting ceremony.
“I really enjoyed it, particularly this year, when Mass has been rather hard to come by,” Mrs Thurlow said.
“It was a pity though that we couldn’t have been supported by family with the COVID-19 having taken the ability to have family and friends join us.”
But even so, Mr Thurlow said it was fantastic to get the chance to celebrate 50 years.
The couple had a bit of wisdom to share too.
Mrs Thurlow said being kind to each other and having a laugh from time to time were the keys to a long marriage.
Mr Thurlow said respect was so important too.
“Our love still remains to this day, more so than probably the day we got married,” he said.
“Everyone has their tiffs, but you work through those and not turn around like other people today and say, ‘Well I can’t stand this anymore, let’s split’, and off they go – we married for life.”
Faith had been a great support, Mrs Thurlow said.
“We rely upon our involvement in our Catholic life,” she said.
“We have three children and they all attended Catholic schools from primary right through to secondary, and we have six grandchildren and we’re very happy.”
Mr Thurlow said he was glad he could be present and he might turn up again next year and make the most of it.
While only 45 couples were able to make the Mass in person, many more watched from home on the Brisbane archdiocese livestream.
Rita and Terry Tolhurst, who featured in The Catholic Leader on September 20, celebrated their golden anniversary on August 17 and had watched the livestream Mass.
“Even though we were unable to be there, Archbishop Mark made us feel included in the celebration,” the couple said in a message.
“We hope to attend in person next year.”
In his homily, Archbishop Coleridge likened the couples’ long marriages to a home built out of stone.
“A home which is in fact a temple of love,” he said.
“That’s why today, … we say thanks to God because it’s not only you who have built the temple of love, brothers and sisters, – you have – but working with you in all kinds of ways, seen and unseen, through the years there has been the God who is the great builder of love.”