Recipes for lasting marriages

Dr. Harry and Nelva Paraison, married 35 years – Members of Divine Mercy Parish, Vineland

Q: How did you meet?
A: We met when Nelva was looking for people to participate in a play named “Jesus Christ Superstar.” We were to perform at a theater on a Holy Thursday. I agreed to act as St. Peter and she was Mary Magdalen, the rest is history.

Q: What is the recipe for your lasting marriage?
A: Love, communication, enjoying separate hobbies, but also some together. Doing many joint projects involving family, friends and community.

Q: What advice would you give young couples who plan to marry?
A: There are stages in life, but if you do things together there is a greater chance that your marriage will last longer. Practice your faith. Love each other and don’t offend each other, because things didn’t go right in the day. Workout your troubles right away, so that you have a better tomorrow.

Deacon William and Sandra Johnson, married 50 years -Members of Parish of the Holy Cross, Bridgeton

Q: How did you meet?
A: After being at a crossroad in my life of discerning whether God was calling me to the Priesthood or Marriage vocation, I asked God if He wanted me in the marriage vocation to please send me a woman with certain qualifications. Two weeks later I was introduced by a mutual friend to Sandra. Immediately, I knew she was to be my wife.

Q: What is the recipe for your lasting marriage?
A: Our recipes for a successful lasting marriage are: Keep God first in the lives of each other. Keep God as the center of our marriage. Be willing to please your spouse 110% unselfishly. Do not marry expecting to change the person you marry. Always practice patience and forgiveness. Effective communication and listening skills. Respect each other’s family. Always, always respect each other.

Deacon Joseph A. (Murf) and Linda Murphy – Members of St. Joseph Parish, Sea Isle

Q: What is the recipe for your lasting marriage?
A: Never say I quit, no matter how bad it gets, and it will get bad. Never, ever quit. Eventually “this too will pass,” and God will bring good things out of your bad experiences, even when they are self-inflicted, if you just don’t quit.
Raising a family, especially when you are young, can be very challenging. However, there is nothing more rewarding than sitting across the room from your spouse after 40 years. The kids are grown and gone and you know deep down inside that the person sitting next to you completely loves you as you are without judgment – And you know that you are best friends. You have survived all the troubles and can rejoice at the tremendous blessings that the Good Lord has poured upon your Sacred Marriage.

Q: What advice would you give young couples who plan to marry?
A: No matter what happens, never ever quit. Never! Hard times will pass. Married Life is truly a Blessing from God. The hardest ages for raising children we think is from 17 to 30. Yes it doesn’t end as early as you think! Sorry for that news, but it’s still worth it.

Carlos and Minerva Castro, married 15 years – Members of Holy Family Parish, Sewell

Q: How did you meet?
A: The summer of 1989 was a year full of blessings. I knew of a young lady who lived in the 800 block of Quince Street in Vineland; her name was Minerva. I drove around the block hoping that we would meet someday. One day she was sitting out in the porch of her house; we finally met and conversed for hours.

Q: What is the recipe for your lasting marriage?
A: To us the answer is simple, we are imperfect human beings, who keep inviting a perfect God into our marriage. We also do not forget the little things we did when we first fell in love. We still hold hands, act silly, and enjoy each other’s company.

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