St. Benedict Parish in Montebello hosted the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony in a community wedding of 30 couples on Saturday, June 8 at a special Mass celebrated by Father Michael Stechmann, pastor.

When the idea was presented to the parishioners back in September 2018, Fr. Stechmann extended the invitation for those in a civil union to consider receiving the sacrament and be accompanied by the church’s priests and deacons in the process. He also informed the parishioners that there would be no fees involved, that it would be a gift from St. Benedict Church to them.

The 30 couples participated in a retreat experience at the parish as part of the preparation and spiritual formation for the sacrament. During the Mass, some of the couples participated in the presentation of the gifts and a couple presented flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary on behalf of the entire group. 

Among the 30 were couples of all ages and backgrounds, who have gone through many trials, including a young couple whose two-month old daughter is recovering from a heart surgery.