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Cardinal Tobin Blesses Hudson County Couples Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage



Estrella and Frederick Gonzales of Jersey City and longtime Kearny educators Linda and Jim Cifelli were among approximately 125 couples celebrating 50 years of marriage at the Archdiocese of Newark’s annual Golden Anniversary Mass on June 2. The event, held at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, was presided over by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark.

The Gonzales and Cifelli couples, along with others from across Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties, participated in the ceremony where Cardinal Tobin blessed their marriages. The Cardinal commended their enduring love and fidelity, calling them inspirations to the Catholic community.

“You jubilarians remind us… of saying ‘yes’ [to Jesus] and finding a way to sustain our love even when the love isn’t always apparent,” Cardinal Tobin said during his homily.

After the Mass, the Cardinal personally congratulated each couple and presented them with gold pins featuring interlocked wedding rings in front of a cross, symbolizing Christ at the center of their marriages. Additionally, each couple received a certificate acknowledging their 50 years of matrimonial faithfulness.

“We’re grateful to the Archdiocese for recognizing this milestone anniversary and for acknowledging the importance of the sacrament of marriage,” said Marie Johnson of Park Ridge, who attended with her husband Thomas. “The secret to a long marriage is love, patience, understanding, and above all, faith in the Lord. That’s what has helped us, and we’re happy to be here to celebrate that.”