Memories of serving as a couple helps wife continue service - Catholic Courier
(Photo courtesy Leonor Rivera)

(Photo courtesy Leonor Rivera)

Memories of serving as a couple helps wife continue service

A sacrament is a visible sign of God’s love in the world. Marriage is a sacrament. My late husband and I wanted our marriage to be a beautiful sign.

Ed and I enjoyed being involved in our community. Although we individually served in organizations, we most enjoyed serving and being seen as a couple.

We loved being hospitality coordinators for our sons’ sports teams and in their schools. We worked with other parents planning, setting up, serving food, and having fun with our sons, their friends and their friends’ parents. We even made cleaning up fun. Our drive home was filled with conversation about how to make the next event even better. At home, we playfully laughed as we put away a car full of supplies.

Ed and I especially enjoyed coordinating and hosting regular Worldwide Marriage Encounter gatherings for couples and their families. We hosted family potluck meals, marriage enrichments, family square dancing and renewal of vows with our beloved Bishop Matano.

One memory that I particularly cherish is when our family volunteered at a local hospital. We brought the patients from their rooms to a large conference room to attend Sunday Mass. It took us a while to escort the patients, since most were in beds, wheelchairs and used walkers. We were cheerful, and the patients responded with smiles and gratitude.

After we had them gathered, the priest arrived. Our sons put on altar server robes. Ed and I served side by side as eucharistic ministers of the precious Body and Blood of Christ.

Remembering Ed smiling next to me and our sons standing with the priest brings tears to my eyes. The sacraments of matrimony and holy orders side by side. These memories fuel me as I continue to serve God and his people on my own.


Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a genetic heart defect on Aug. 1, 2020.

The 2023 Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends are Sept. 15-17 and Nov. 10-12. All weekends take place at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua.

To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit

Tags: Catholic Marriage
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