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placeholder February 5, 2018   •   VOL. 56, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
Weddings and Anniversaries

Rev. Larry Young officiated at the Dec. 30 ceremony in which six couples convalidated their marriages.
FIL-AM STAR/COURTESY PHOTO

Couples achieve goal of being married in the church

Glistening eyes were glued at the doors of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Rodeo, as loved ones and parishioners watched not one but six couples march down the aisle toward the hanging cross of Christ, back-dropped by striking colors of a stained glass icon of the Holy Spirit, depicted by an immaculate dove bearing laurel leaves.

Both mortal and Christian love were in the air at noontime Dec. 30 for a dozen lovebirds who wanted their years of putative marital relations convalidated before the Almighty Lord as Father Larry Young officiated over their matrimony sacrament.

 
Related Story
Support for marriages

Convalidation
Convalidation offers the opportunity for couples who
are civilly married to have their marriage blessed in the
Catholic Church.

At St. Patrick Parish in Rodeo,
six couples completed the convalidation process with a
Dec. 30 Mass at which Rev.
Larry Young presided.

In Alameda, St. Joseph Basilica Parish is planning the fourth year of its marriage convalidation program. Preparation day is March 3, with the group Mass scheduled for July 28.

The marriage preparation program for the Office of Marriage and Family Life of the Diocese of Oakland provides three sessions for marriage preparation for couples seeking convalidation. Those dates are Feb. 10-11; June 2-3; and Sept. 29-30.

All sessions will be held in Concord. Registration is required. Dial 510-893-4711 and ask for the Convalidation Program.
 
With the couples knelt before the hardwood altar, close friends and loved ones reminisced about their beautiful romance, that culminated in uttering "I do's" before their Creator.

Retiree Ricky and seamstress Alma Delgado were predestined for each other by God to their final church vows. They were introduced to each other in 1995 by a mutual friend and dated as they felt assuring love with melodramatic twists and turns. Ricardo fell ill with a brain aneurysm and survived, but had to endure a separation from Alma when she worked in the Middle East in 2003. A year later, Ricardo migrated to the USA and the lovebirds parted ways sans even a painful goodbye. The interregnum was broken by Alma when she traced Ricardo to his Cavite residence. This ignited renewed correspondence with Ricardo, who remained a bachelor that culminated in a decision for a simple civil wedding in July 2010.

The love story of Danny and Genevieve Ramirez, both nurses, is like a movie plot. The duo were both working in 2010 at a rehabilitation and nursing care center in Marin. Their romance developed out of a common fascination with the outdoors: hiking, skiing, snowboarding, biking and weekend camping as they took brawny challenges in the mountains of Canada, Tahoe, Marin headlands, Lake Chabot's winding hills or camping out and savoring the twinkling stars above the sky of Yosemite.

This shared fondness for adventure galvanized a shared admiration for each other's strength and spirit. In 2014, Danny surprised Genevieve, who thought she was simply watching video outtakes of their Hayward through Hercules run. To her great surprise when she answered the doorbell, there was Danny on his knees, popping out the most important question while offering her a wedding ring. She jubilantly accepted. That same year, they united in a civil wedding. Later they were blessed with Danielle Genna, who too is growing up fast as an outdoor girl, having skied Tahoe's snowy terrain, swam the bluish South China Sea in Coron, Palawan, and fed gallivanting koi fishes in the Philippines. Not far afterward our son Drew Gavin, who will soon be crawling and subsequently climbing mountains and hills with his outdoor family.

It was not love at first sight when Chris and Charito Dobson first met at their workplace in 2000. However, they always felt something simmering deep within. Friendship blossomed into romance and transcended into civil marriage in 2006. "We have always wanted to be married in the Church. This wedding is the fulfillment of our dreams," the couple said.

Jun and Dianne Asuncion's fateful meeting in a relative's home in Las Pinas was inconsequential. Jun was reeling from caring for his cancer-stricken wife whom he lost years later. From a casual name acquaintance it became a special meeting that would seal their togetherness. On July 22, 2011, they married in Makati with two beautiful children gracing the union. Jun and Dianne look forward to the blessings of sacramental marriage in the Church as they pray for strengthened relations in training their children to become Godly human beings and to fulfill the Lord's plan for their family life.

Love bloomed in Kuala Lumpur in 1996 for neighbors Eduard and Hilda Salvador, who first met at a birthday party of an officemate. The pair's wedding was not all planned but arose from predicament. Ed suffered a mild stroke while in Malaysia that necessitated his return to Manila. In late January 1998 Hilda visited him in Manila, going straight to his house, and stayed there for Ed's comfort. Hilda's conservative mother prescribed marriage for them. Ed and Hilda were married in San Jose, Batangas, on Feb. 4, 1998, with a handful of nearest of kin witnessing the civil wedding.

The introduction of retiree Paquito and accountant Annie Cabural prospered into an exchange of sweet thoughts via text and calls in March 2007. Annie was 40; Paquito was a widower with three grown children. Their romance evolved into civil marriage in September 2007. After four months of honeymooning in the Philippines, Paquito started the petition process for the legal migration of Annie that was finally realized in March 2009. In 2012, they attended the Christian Life Program of Couples for Christ, where they realized that, as true Christian, it was paramount to fulfill the sacraments even if they were legally married before a government official.

"It was good that Father Larry Young helped us make everything possible to make a dream come true," says Paquito.

Common denominators spurred these dozen soulmates to seek the sanctity of the Sacrament of Marriage to perfect their relationship and union. Foremost were their Catholicism and being mostly Couples for Christ. The efforts of Hercules Chapter Leaders Andy and Gloria Martin, and supported by members, became motivating factors in spiritually sealing their marriages.

A wedding is not complete without the concomitant rituals, feasting and party, all delivered through the collective efforts of Couples for Christ Hercules Chapter amid the joyful commencement of life of blessedness of six new couples who became truly Christian families. It's never too late in the face of the Lord.

(Reprinted with permission of the Fil-Am Star, San Francisco.)


Support for marriages

In the beginning

Some parishes have their own marriage preparation programs. The diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life offers weekend marriage preparation classes, both commuter and resident. Cost: $300 per couple; $375 for the resident weekend. Information and registration: Online at www.eastbaycatholic.com or call Laura Windham at 510-267-8395.

Dates:
Feb. 24-25, Walnut Creek
March 10-11, Berkeley
April 28-29, Walnut Creek
May 19-20, Pittsburg
June 9-10.Walnut Creek
July 21-22, Livermore
Aug. 17-19, To be determined
Sept. 8-9, Pittsburg
Oct. 27-28, Walnut Creek
Nov. 3-4, Pittsburg
Dec. 1-2, Walnut Creek


Along the road: Support on the journey

Couples for Christ
Couples for Christ is a Catholic organization intended for the renewal and strengthening of Christian family life, www.couplesforchristusa.org. There are active chapters at All Saints Parish, Hayward; Holy Spirit Parish, Fremont; and St. Anthony Parish, Oakley.

Covenant of Love
Date Night is an element of Covenant of Love from the Alexander House. It is a parish-based monthly gathering of couples to assist them in becoming the "true" domestic church, by providing practical tools to live out God's plan for marriage. Contact: www.covenantoflove.org. Participating parishes include: St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Concord; St. Joseph Basilica Parish, Alameda; and St. Michael Parish, Livermore.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter
This Catholic program has been developed to strengthen the couples' relationship through a weekend retreat format. http://oaklandwwme.org. Contact Mike and Rhoda Pereira by email executivecouple@oaklandwwme.org or by phone, 925-292-9585. Registration and information: http://oaklandwwme.org/. A retreat is scheduled May 18-20.


In troubled times: Help to heal marriages

Retrouvaille
Weekend format run by couples who have successfully overcome tremendous challenges to their own marriages. Many couples in this weekend are at the point of divorce — this will help them with tools to deal with their difficulties and rebuild damaged trust. Contact: 510-709-6063 or 6009@retrouvaille.org. A local session is scheduled Feb. 23-25.
Additional resources: http://bit.ly/2DSsPdJp

 
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