Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre celebrated a special Mass Dec. 18 at the Cathedral of the Assumption in honor of 130 couples in the Archdiocese of Louisville marking 30, 40, 50 and 60-plus years of marriage this year.
The 92 couples who attended the midday liturgy renewed their commitment to one another and received certificates recognizing their anniversaries.
Archbishop Fabre thanked the couples for their “enduring faith” and for putting their “hope and trust in the Lord.”
“Marriage places challenges before you. It’s not easy,” said Archbishop Fabre. “Like St. Joseph, you put your trust in the Lord, and here you are today receiving God’s blessing as you celebrate significant” years of marriage.
Among the couples celebrating anniversaries were Our Lady of Lourdes parishioners William and Carol Ehnes, marking 67 years of marriage.
They were married Nov. 26, 1955, about three years after they met at a college dance. Carol Ehnes was 17 and William Ehnes was 21 when they met.
Carol Ehnes said she “crashed a college dance” while still in high school. He asked for her phone number but she said no. A mutual friend, however, gave him her phone number and he called two weeks later, the couple recalled. She’s glad he was persistent, she said.
“I’ve loved him since. … He’s a super guy,” she said. “He’s so easy to love.”
They never argued, she said, explaining that he would walk away until things were calmer.
Over the years, he said he’s learned there are two words that will ensure a man will have a long and happy marriage: “Yes dear.”
The couple, parents of four children, said they’ve enjoyed many weekend getaways at their condominium on Lake Cumberland, traveled and made great memories along the way, such as the time William Ehnes brought home a lobster from a trip to Maine and they had a lunch of lobster and wine that day. The children told all their neighbors about it, the couple recalled laughing.
They’ve known difficult times as well, such as moving their family to three different states and the death of their daughter. During these times, their faith sustained them, they said.
“Moving was hard on the kids but we always found good neighborhoods, and going to Catholic schools made a difference,” said Carol Ehnes. “It’s a part of me. I can’t imagine not being in the church.”
The couple, originally from St. Louis, have lived in Louisville for more than five decades and have been parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes for just as long.
William Ehnes noted that the Catholic faith “definitely played a role” in their marriage. “It makes life easier. … Without that there would be a hole in our lives,” he said.