Bishop O'Connell greets couples as they enter St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral for the Anniversary Blessing Mass.
Bishop O'Connell greets couples as they enter St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral for the Anniversary Blessing Mass.

After 70 years together, Joseph and Jean Cosentino of St. Aloysius Parish, Jackson, have a few pointers on what they believe it takes to have a successful marriage.

While Jean credits that she and Joseph were blessed to have a family to care for and are a couple with a strong Catholic faith, Joseph said he believes the “secret to life and marriage is to keep the faith and always love one another.”

The Cosentinos offered their thoughts about marriage following the second Bishop’s Anniversary Blessing Mass held Oct. 10 in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold. The event brought together couples mostly from Monmouth and Ocean Counties who were celebrating one, 25 and 50 or more years of marriage. And because last year’s Anniversary Blessing Masses with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., were canceled because of pandemic restrictions, those couples who observed milestone anniversaries in 2020, were also invited to participate in this year’s Masses. The first Mass for couples from Burlington and Mercer Counties was celebrated Oct. 3 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

“It’s great for all of us to be together,” Bishop O’Connell said at the start of the Oct. 10 Mass. He then encouraged the couples to use the Mass as a time to pray for one another, their spouses and young people who are preparing to enter marriage that they may have the “courage, commitment and fidelity that you have had in your married life.”

“It’s lovely seeing so many happy couples celebrating together in one place,” said Jean Cosentino.

More to come on this story.