Wedding Anniversary Celebration for 222 Couples



For Immediate Release
October 12, 2018


ARLINGTON, Va. – Two-hundred and twenty-two couples will attend the annual Marriage Jubilee Mass in Arlington, Sunday, October 14, with Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington. The couples attending are celebrating their 25th or 50th wedding anniversaries and were married in either 1968 or 1993.


Here’s the breakdown:

108 couples celebrating their 25th anniversary 2700
114 couples celebrating their 50th anniversary 5700

That’s 8,400 years combined!




When:           Sunday, October 14, at 2:30 p.m.
Where:         Cathedral of Saint Thomas More
                     3901 Cathedral Lane

“I am delighted,” said Sylvia Cota. She and her husband, Jesus, who live in Chantilly, have been married for 50 years and are attending the Mass Sunday. She says it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. “Time has gone by so fast,” she says. Sylvia says she and her husband have experienced several heartbreaks. Soon after they were married, Jesus’ mother died, and he was left with 5 siblings to raise. Jesus’ father was an alcoholic and could not raise the children. The kids ranged in age between 9- and 16-years-old. Sylvia and Jesus, who were 22 and 26, respectively, with a five-month-old daughter, took all 5 children in to live with them. “I had to be a mother very young, but there was no problem,” she said. They all lived together in a two-bedroom apartment and later moved to a house with three bedrooms. “My husband converted a garage into a fourth bedroom,” she said. “God has been with us all the time. He always provides,” she says.  Over the years, Sylvia has had breast cancer, thyroid cancer and several surgeries, but she says, “We kept going.”  When asked what the secret to a successful marriage is, Sylvia says she followed her mother’s advice. “Respect each other. When you argue, do not use foul language and do not say things at the heat of the moment,” she said. Also, Sylvia says wives should always accept an invitation from their husbands to do things. “My mother would say, if your husband invites you to do something, it is because he wants to be with you and share his life with you. Always say ‘yes’,” she says.


In a statement, Bishop Burbidge said, “It is always a great joy for me to celebrate the Mass honoring husbands and wives celebrating 25, 50 and even more years of faithful married love. Their beautiful vocation is a sign of the love that Christ has for his church. I join the children and family members of our jubilarians in expressing sincere congratulations and in thanking them for the gift they are to all of us. It is my hope and prayer that the love they share will grow stronger with the passing of each new day and that Our Lord Jesus will abundantly bless them at this special moment in their lives and always.”






The Diocese of Arlington is home to an estimated population of more than 600,000 Catholics living in 21 counties and seven cities in central and northern Virginia. Parishioners live out their faith at 70 parishes and six missions, and more than 17,500 students attend 45 Catholic pre-schools, elementary and high schools.


Angela Pellerano, Director of Media Relations (703) 841-2517 (o) (571) 215-8731 (c)