Faith is the Cornerstone for this Couple Married Three-quarters of a Century.
Margaret Mary Hennessey was just 17 years old when she walked over and asked 22-year-old Frank P. Gill to dance at a Saturday night social in the hall of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, in Meriden, Connecticut.
This Nov. 25, the Gills will have been married 74 years and they recently celebrated their enduring relationship at the annual Archdiocese of Denver Anniversary Mass.
The couple’s faith has been a cornerstone of their life together raising seven children in a west Denver neighborhood and attending Holy Name Church since before it was named Holy Name.
Both were raised Catholic, Frank in Arvada and Margaret in Meriden, CT. Their parents imparted the importance of attending Mass every Sunday. Margaret walked to Mass with her mother and two sisters even during the cold northeast winters. Frank’s mother wrapped him and his siblings’ feet in warm towels while they rode in an open-sided Ford Model T soft top with no heater.
Despite the rough conditions, they were taught to dress up for Mass, even if you have to put your suit on after you put chains on the tires to get through the snow and ice, Frank said.
Frank remembers his mother teaching the kids to kneel around the kitchen table to do their daily prayers and making sure they knew every word of the “Hail Mary” and “Our Father” by heart.
The Gills passed along their faith to their four boys and three girls.
“I have good memories of us always going to midnight Mass at Holy Name,” said youngest daughter Teresa Irick. “We all followed the faith, even if we drifted a little, we all had that foundation. I really attribute that to mom and dad’s loyalty to the faith and going to Mass.”
A newlywed couple recently asked the experienced couple with more than seven decades of marriage, “what’s the secret?”
“One thing is important, never retire at night angry at each other,” she said quoting Ephesians 4:26. “Always come to an agreement — never go to bed mad or angry. And wake up in the morning the same way.”
The annual Anniversary Mass is provided by the Office of Evangelization and Family Life Ministries which is supported by the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal. To support ministries like this, and more than 40 others, visit archden.org/GiveCatholic.
Photos: Anniversary Couple Frank P. (97) and Margaret M. Gill (92) were married Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 1948, in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Wichita, Kan. The ceremony was followed by a beautiful turkey dinner.
“We all followed the faith, even if we drifted a little, we all had that foundation.”Teresa IrickDaughter