On the day before Valentine’s Day Dolores and George Poblete, who will mark 60 years of marriage this year, celebrated their sacramental union with more than 200 other married couples at Toronto’s St. Andrew Kim parish. Photo by Kristen Curtis

Ceremony celebrates 8,000 years of marriage

By  Kristen Curtis, The Catholic Register
  • February 17, 2016

TORONTO - A marriage story that began 60 years ago in the Philippines added another chapter at a packed church in Toronto as George and Dolores Poblete joined 229 other couples in a Valentine’s Day celebration of life-long love.

More than 8,000 combined years of marriage were honoured Feb. 13 at St. Andrew Kim Church during a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Thomas Collins for couples reaching milestone anniversaries of 25, 40, 50 and more than 60 years of marriage.

The Pobletes were front and centre as 2016 will mark not only 60 years of marriage but 50 years since they arrived in Canada.

Married in Manila in 1956, they came to Canada in 1966 and now live in Scarborough, Ont. They have six children and 14 grandchildren.

As they hold hands, they say marriage is about give and take, along with strong communication.

It’s important to “try to do everything you can for your spouse,” said George Poblete.

All the honoured couples received a blessing from the cardinal and enthusiastic applause from friends, family and parishioners.

More than 1,000 people, representing some 80 parishes from across the archdiocese and beyond, filled the pews and balcony.

About a dozen older couples renewed their marriage vows.

In his homily, Collins spoke about the importance of a marriage rooted in faith.

“At the heart of marriage, is quiet patience and faithful loving service that is not celebrated and is unmarked — daily love and fidelity,” he said.

“The spectacular has value, like the beauty of a wedding, but that is just one moment in time. The honeymoon ends quickly. Worship your God, that’s at the heart of things.”

Norman and Linda Lobo travelled to the event from Whitby.

The couple will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on Dec. 26 after meeting and marrying in India before immigrating to Canada and raising a daughter.

During a recent trip to the Holy Land they renewed their wedding vows. They finish each other’s sentences and glow with happiness as they credit God for their successful marriage. Their advice to young couples is to persevere. “Put Christ in the centre of your lives together.”

The event was organized by parishioners from St. Andrew Kim, the Archdiocese of Toronto and Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

Pina and Tony Manocchio, district leaders with Worldwide Marriage Encounter which runs marriage retreats in a variety of cities, called the day “incredible.”

They hope to make it a regular event.

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