Anniversaries are not simply reminders of a decision once made. Whether it is marriage or ordination or profession of religious vows, anniversaries are reminders of a life lived.
Whether it is five, 10, 25, 50 or more years, the celebration of an anniversary calls to mind growth, successes, failures, laughter, tears, health, sickness, people still around, people who are gone, good times and bad – the whole package that we call life.
I think of a song written by the genius of American musical theater, Stephen Sondheim, for the Broadway show “Follies” entitled “I’m Still Here.” I heard the late raspy voiced chanteuse Elaine Stritch belt it out in a Sondheim concert a few years ago:
Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all
And my dear, I’m still here.
Plush velvet sometimes,
Sometimes just pretzels and beer, but I’m here.
I’ll leave the rest of the not particularly religious lyrics to “YouTube” but the point of them is simply that the longer you live and the more you see, the more grateful you become. And that is – or can be – a religious thought. When anniversaries roll around, we should be thankful to God, above all, that we and they are “still here.”
Every fall, the Diocese of Trenton invites couples married for a quarter or half century to join the Bishop as he extends anniversary blessings.
And at this time of year we commemorate priests, deacons and religious who celebrate milestone anniversaries in their ordained and consecrated lives: they’re “still here” ... and we are happy they are!
Pastors and parish priests, teachers and sisters and brothers who served in Catholic hospitals and other religious works throughout the Diocese … Their anniversaries are not just important to them and their families or friends; their anniversaries recall the impact they have had and the imprint they have left on our lives, “good times and bum times,” leading us to God and bringing God to us. Pretty great stuff. We owe them big time.
And, so, as we look through the names and faces in these pages, let’s smile and say a prayer of thanks. God is good and so are they. Happy anniversary! Thank you, Lord, that they’re “still here” reminding us of you.[[In-content Ad]]