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Celebrating marriage

Local events bring strong marriages to the forefront of the public eye


by Jessica Langdon
jessica.langdon@theleaven.org

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The marriage of Dale and Alice Rockey has held up extremely well over the past 81 years.

And Deacon Tony Zimmerman, lead consultant for the archdiocesan office of marriage and family life, loves to hold up the Rockeys, who are members of St. Paul Parish in Olathe, as examples of how joyful a marriage can be.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter runs a Longest Married Couple Project, and the Rockeys held that claim to fame for Kansas in 2014 with what was then 80 years of marriage.

Now, more than 81 years after their wedding back in 1933, they were chosen as the nationwide award recipient.

Alice isn’t shy about what their secret is: “I always let him have my way,” she confides.

Deacon Zimmerman is thrilled that area media have featured the Rockeys’ story, and that “CBS Sunday Morning” is scheduled to air a segment featuring them on Feb. 15. (Check local listings for ex- act time.)

The whole family is strong in faith and love, and the couple’s five sons and their wives are also wonderful examples to him of marriage and family.

“They show that it can be done, and that it’s joyful,” said Deacon Zimmerman.

Deacon Zimmerman was also thrilled to celebrate many more couples’ marriages on Feb. 8 at the sixth annual World Marriage Day Mass, an event coordinated between the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Couples and their families gathered for the Mass at Curé of Ars in Leawood.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann was the celebrant, and Bishop Robert W. Finn, the homilist.

Concelebrants were Msgr. Charles McGlinn, pastor of Curé of Ars, and Father Ron Will, who coordinates — along with Deacon Tony and Barbara Zimmerman — Marriage Encounter in the Kansas City area.

The congregation was invited to stay for a reception that included wedding cake and punch.

Again, to Deacon Zimmerman, it all boils down to the idea of joy.

“There is nothing better than to come together as a group to see all these other couples striving to be that sign of God’s love,” he said.

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Jessica Langdon

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