Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 4, 2007
Renewal of vows reignites flame of marital bliss
'We did it because we had such a good life together'
By RAMON GONZALEZ
- WCR photo by Ramon Gonzalez
Fred and Mitiz Crowe renewed their wedding vows to prove they are still devoted to each other.
The couple married on May 11, 1957 at Edmonton's St. Theresa Church, which was then located at the bottom of the Low Level Bridge. Mary Ann was 25 and George was 28. The couple lived in Gunnar until 1959, when George was transferred to the company's aviation department in Edmonton.
Their relationship has produced six children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. "It has been a good marriage," Mary Ann said.
"We have certainly been very happy," added George. Sometimes the finances were short but the tempers never were, the couple noted.
So satisfied are the Imesons with their lasting marriage that they renewed their wedding vows during the Mother's Day Sunday Mass at St. Matthew's Church May 13.
Father Leo Hofmann officiated at the ceremony, which was the Imesons' way to reaffirm before God the promise they had made to each other 50 years ago: to be true to each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health and to love and honour each other for the rest of their lives.
"We did it because we've had such a good life together," George said, noting they also renewed their vows at St. Francis Church on their 25th anniversary.
"We did it because when you make a promise before God you have to keep it," added Mary Ann.
The secret to the Imesons' happiness is not really a secret.
"You have to be compatible and we were always very, very compatible," George said. "We thought the same things and had the same goals. We were friends in love. You have to like somebody before you can love them."
- photo supplied
Henry and Audrey Oss renewed their marriage vows in December before Fr. Tesfu Kelati.
Mary Ann agreed. "I've always liked this guy. If you like a person you can love them very easily and George has always been very easy to love."
But the woman admitted a lasting marriage requires work. "Sometimes you need the gifts of the Holy Spirit (to make it work)," she smiled, naming three of the gifts: "patience, fortitude and understanding." Both agreed their children have contributed to the happiness and growth of their marriage.
Following the vow renewal, the Imesons continued the celebration at St. Maria Goretti Church hall. Some 100 people, including family and friends attended the afternoon gathering where their children gave them a picture of their wedding day signed by most participants.
A vow renewal is a ceremony where a couple publicly re-commits to their relationship by expressing their enduring love for one another. In most cases the priest simply blesses a couple's marriage during a regular Mass. Some parishes have designated days throughout the year for couples marking their 25th or 50th anniversary to have their marriages blessed.
Audrey and Henry Oss, who married Dec. 29, 1946 in Jungarad, India, renewed their vows on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary at St. Anthony's Church on Dec. 23, 2006.
Father Tesfu Kelati, the pastor, officiated at the private service attended by family and friends. The celebration continued afterwards at the Glenora Club, where the couple spoke about their lasting marriage and cut their 60th anniversary cake.
"We did it to show our faith and belief in the sanctity of marriage," said Henry, a retired engineer with Bell Canada. The Osses had also renewed their vows on their 25th, 35th, 40th and 50th wedding anniversaries.
"We truly value our marriage," added Audrey. "We have had our ups and downs but we've been really happy." The couple, which has six grown children and five grandchildren, immigrated to Montreal in 1959 and moved to Edmonton in 1983.
The Church and the good example of their parents shaped the couple's view of marriage. "We derive our strength as a couple from our faith," Henry said. "We pray together, we say the rosary together and we attend church together on a regular basis."
The Osses also pay constant attention to each other as a couple and never make decisions without each other's consent. "We discuss everything together," Henry noted. "We support and help each other in everything," added his wife.
Mitzi and Fred Crowe have also been married for 60 years - since May 14, 1947. To mark their anniversary, Father Roger Keeler of St. Michael/Resurrection Parish - the Crowes' parish for the past 50 years - offered to renew their marriage vows during the 4 p.m. Mass May 26.
"We are doing it just to prove that we are still devoted to each other," said Mitzi, a former chancery office secretary. "Being married is a lot more work than being single but ours has certainly been a good marriage. We are very happy."
Fred's good sense of humour has certainly helped, she laughed.
Fred, a retired car salesman with Healy Motors, said his marriage to Mitzi has met all his expectations for it brought them seven children, six grandchildren, good neighbours and countless friends. "I'm a very lucky person," he said.
Ten years ago, on the occasion of their 50th anniversary, the Crowes got a certificate of recognition from Pope John Paul II, which hangs prominently in their living room. Family from B.C., Calgary, Red Deer and Switzerland were expected to attend the couple's vow renewal and the 60th anniversary dinner afterwards.
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.