Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 25, 2008
The hand of God touches sacramental marriage - priest
Fr. Mike Dechant says marriage is a visible sign of God’s love
By RAMON GONZALEZ
“We worked through many obstacles and we never even thought of divorce as a possibility.”
- Ken Manning
Holding Hands and Reaching Out was the theme of the event, which offered four sessions on how to live a better marriage by reaching out. The pastoral office of marriage and family life also sponsored the celebration.
During a Mass following the event, Archbishop Richard Smith acknowledged World Marriage Day and urged the congregation to thank God for giving the sacrament of marriage to the Church and to the world.
“In the sacredness of matrimony we are given a sign of the love of God,” he said, thanking the couples present “for your fidelity to your call from God” and “for giving your children the gift of faith.”
The Mannings, who offered a session called Reaching out in Retirement during World Marriage Day, raised four boys and four girls during their 52-year marriage. And now the members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish are also enjoying 17 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
“It’s been very interesting and very busy raising eight children,” Martha Manning said.
“As a pilot (for the Air Force) Ken was always away.” One time Ken was away in training for six months and Martha stayed behind with the children. “Good thing we lived within walking distance of the church, the school and the YMCA,” she laughed. “And during those years you didn’t have to worry so much about the kids.”
Added Ken: “It’s pretty obvious that our marriage has been a sacrament. We worked through many obstacles and we never even thought of divorce as a possibility.”
Martha thinks people nowadays are too quick to run away from the difficulties of marriage. “I don’t think young people have the same commitment as we did.”
Nowadays the Mannings enjoy their retirement days travelling, spending time with their grandchildren and volunteering in the Church and in the community. Ken is an accomplished woodworker and has carved anything from church furnishings to crucifixes.
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