Couples renew their marriage vows at Sunday Mass

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:47

    WARWICK-It was an important occasion for everyone who participated but perhaps especially so for Rocco and Judy Battista. Sixteen married couples from the Parish Teams of Our Lady at the Church of St. Stephen the First Martyr renewed their marriage vows on Sunday, April 17. Rev. Michael McLoughlin, pastor of St. Stephen's, who celebrated the 12:15 p.m. Mass, also invited all other couples present at the Mass to join in the ceremony. More than 50 additional couples accepted the invitation. "Most people know that my husband, Rocco, and I were separated for about three years," said Judy Battista. "I wanted the world to know that people can reunite. It's a testimonial to the Teams of Our Lady." Although the Battistas had been separated until a year ago, they were members of the Teams of Our Lady before that and rejoined the organization when they ended their separation. Founded in France, the Teams of Our Lady is an international movement of married couples whose goal is to grow and strengthen their marriage and spiritual life. Members are asked to follow a program of prayer and study, communicate with each other and, in general, practice their faith as a daily way of life. At the parish level, teams consist of small groups of couples and a spiritual counselor. Immediately following the Mass, Maria Stika and Judy Battista, who organized the event, invited everyone to a "pot luck" style reception and celebration in St. Stephen's school gym. Joe Sardo and his Christian music band, The Living Will, provided the entertainment. Sardo and his wife Linda are also members of the Teams of Our Lady.