Linda and Vite Vitale of Albion. Submitted photo

Some met at dances or through blind dates. Others were high school sweethearts or met in college. For many, the attraction was instant. For others, it took time to blossom.

Whatever the circumstances, for the couples who gathered June 25 for the Silver & Gold Anniversary Mass, the result has been a decade or two or five or more of fulfilling wedded life, according to a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Robert Deeley at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Windham.

“We just loved each other, and we still do,” said Sandra Bois of Windham, who has been married to her husband David for 60 years.

“I never thought it was not going to be good. It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be good,” said David.

During the Mass, the couples joined hands and, facing each other, received a blessing from the bishop, who asked God to: “Renew their marriage covenant, increase your love in them, strengthen their bond of peace, and grant them your blessing, so that, surrounded by their children, family, and friends, and by their community of faith, they may always rejoice in the gift of your grace.”

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Dick and Brenda Drapeau of Windham, formerly of Winthrop. Submitted photo

The opportunity to receive that blessing was one of the reasons that Dick and Brenda Drapeau of Windham, who have been married 62 years, wanted to be present at the Mass.

“I thought it was a beautiful way to celebrate our marriage,” said Dick. “You don’t always have the opportunity to have the bishop to bless you.”

To view a video featuring some of the couples who participated in the Silver & Gold Mass, visit portlanddiocese.org.

Marie and Robert Caron II of Naples. Submitted photo