Youngstown Diocese honors long-married couples

25 years of wedded bliss

Staff photo / Bob Coupland ... Mary and Reginald Melia of St. Dominic Parish in Youngstown were honored for 75 years of marriage during a special Mass to honor weddings of people who have been married for milestone years between 25 and 75. The celebration took place Sunday at St. Columba Cathedral.

YOUNGSTOWN — Being married for 75 years is quite a milestone for any couple, but a local husband and wife were recognized for that special achievement, as were four other couples who have been married 70 or more years.

Couples who have been married 25 to 75 years and their family members filled St. Columba Cathedral Sunday afternoon for a special wedding anniversary Mass.

More than 100 couples with 5,554 total years of marriage were recognized, including five who have been married for 70 or more years.

There also were 45 couples married 51-70 years; 43 couples married 50 years; 11 couples who observed 40 years; and seven couples who marked 25 years.

Reginald and Mary Melia, who are members of St. Dominic Church in Youngstown, were the longest married couple with 75 years. The Melias, who are both 95, said their success to 75 years is a lot of patience, support and caring for each other.

The couple, who live in McDonald, married very young and have been attending St. Dominic since 1958.

The Melias have one daughter, Debra McCalpin, a granddaughter, Maria Carkido of McDonald, and two great-grandchildren,

Reginald said they plan to be at their great-granddaughter’s high school graduation this month.

Mary said they receive much love and support from their family.

“It is such a blessing to have them and for them to be able to go many places with us. I am so happy they are a part of my children’s lives” Carkido said.

Jerry and Jean Ruggieri, who are members of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Warren, were the longest married couple in Trumbull County at 70 years.

The two said their success for 70 years is being blessed with good health, as well as their faith.

“We both have God in our lives,” Jean, 92, said.

“We support each other. If our family was not here with us, we would not be here,” Jerry, 95, said.

This is the third time the Ruggieris, of Warren, have been recognized for milestone anniversaries at the Diocese wedding celebration in recent years.

Christine Ruggieri said her parents have always been so supportive and caring for each other.

“My parents laugh all the time and enjoy being with each other and other people. They are fun to be around. They have many friends and continue to make new friends. They stay young and engaged with people. It’s amazing,” she said.

Bishop David Bonnar said there is a story about St. John the Apostle who while traveling from town to town would say to the people in a uniquely short message “Love One Another.” That message was echoed to the married couples who attended the Mass to reflect on God’s beautiful gift of love.

“Love is of God. The greatest friendships in the world are those between a husband and wife. You sacrifice for one another,” Bonnar said.

He said the couples were living witness to the power of holy matrimony.

“Go forth in good times and bad. Answer the call to love one another. May your love for one another never come to an end,” he said.

Bonnar told the couples to “love one another in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health and all the days of your life.”

“Love is growing old together. Love is staying together all these years. Love is working hard every day to get each other to heaven. Stay close to each other and to God,” Bonnar said.

Couples were treated to wedding cake at the parish hall following the ceremony.

Have an interesting story? Email bcoupland @tribtoday.com.


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