SCRANTON – When Cindy Korus looked into her husband John’s eyes while renewing her wedding vows, tears of joy started to form after being together 50 years.

“I had tears in my eyes, saying what the wife is supposed to say, that ‘I take you, John, to be my husband,’ because it has been a long time,” the Larksville woman explained. “You think 50 years is never going to come but it doesn’t take long to get here.”

John and Cindy Korus, parishioners of All Saints Parish in Plymouth, were one of 148 couples that participated in the Diocese of Scranton’s annual Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Peter on June 4, 2023.

The Mass recognizes married couples who are celebrating their 25th and 50th anniversaries this year. In all, the couples participating in the Mass have been married a total of 6,528 years combine.

“It reminds you of the first day we got married,” John Korus said, describing the emotions he felt during the renewal commitment ceremony.

The couple married at Saint Stephen of Hungary Church in Plymouth in 1973, shortly after the Agnes flood one year earlier. The impact of the devastation was still very clear and evident as Msgr. Vincent Grimalia celebrated their wedding Mass.

“Saint Stephen’s was our church. They were still renovating after the flood. There were no pews. It was all folding chairs. There was no carpet back in yet. Everything was simply ‘cleaned up’ and that was it,” Cindy explained.

As the couple reflected on their life together, they say faith has played a central role.

“We have two beautiful children and three beautiful grandchildren. We are very thankful. The Lord has been very, very good to us,” Cindy said.

The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, served as principal celebrant and homilist for the Wedding Anniversary Mass. During his homily, the bishop reflected on how every marriage is filled with moments of joy, struggle, challenge and disappointment.

“Your marriage has endured because you have come to see it as part of something much bigger than yourselves. You have come to see your marriage as something of a mystery, the mystery of God’s love woven into creation, embraced in your lives, and lived through God’s grace, in your relationship with each other,” Bishop Bambera said.

“The bishop’s homily was beautiful,” Paula Matthews of Swoyersville said.

Paula and her husband, Frank, who are parishioners of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

“God has always been an important part of our lives,” Frank added.

When asked what the secret is for a long and happy marriage, many of the couples participating in the Wedding Anniversary Mass had similar answers.

“I think communication is key. You just have to talk things out; you have to talk things over. We raised four children. It wasn’t always easy but it was always joyful,” Jean Pilch said.

Jean and her husband, Lou, who live in Moosic and are parishioners of Divine Mercy Parish, emphasized working together as a team.

“Don’t give up. You have to fight and persevere. Just because something goes wrong, you can’t just throw it away. Our children sometimes wonder how we lasted this long. You just have to keep persevering,” Lou added.

Donald and Janice Fedorchak of Carbondale, who are parishioners of Saint Rose of Lima Parish, shared those same sentiments.

‘Don’t go to bed angry at one another. Always make up before you go to bed and stay in love with one another,” Janice said.

“Give and take,” Donald added, when talking about the secret of their success. “Sometimes you’ve got to give and sometimes you take!”