Bakerville United Methodist Church, New Hartford, Connecticut.
Forty-four years ago, on December 11, my wife JoAnn and I were married in the little church pictured here. We'd known one another all our lives. Our grandparents had been friends. When we were married, JoAnn was eighteen and I was twenty, and we had no idea of the adventure God had in store for us. We've been blessed with five wonderful children, all happily married, and our grandchildren are our joy. We began as Methodists, became Episcopalians, and then found our true spiritual home in the Catholic Church. We've lived in some remarkable places and have been called by God to do some unexpected things.
As the wife of a priest, there are not many who could have walked in trusting faith as she has, giving her quiet support to what God has asked us to do, sacrificing without complaint, providing stability in every new and uncharted situation to which God has called us.
Forty-four year ago we began a wonderful and unexpected adventure... and still it continues.
Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life. We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his Name. By the power of your Holy Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing upon this man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.