Pope blesses Rotherham couple on their golden wedding anniversary

Bill and Ann Hurley holding their Papal Blessing.
Bill and Ann Hurley holding their Papal Blessing.
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Bill and Ann Hurley, of St Mary’s Catholic Church in Rotherham, were surprised to be presented with a Papal Blessing at an evening mass held to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

The blessing from Pope Francis, presented by their parish priest Monsignor Des Sexton, had been organised by the priest along with their daughter, Clare Morrison. Their children also led the music for the service. The mass was held at their church in Rotherham, the same church in which the couple were married 50 years ago.

Mr Hurley said: “We were highly delighted to receive this blessing. It helped to place our fifty years of marriage in the context of the wider church. We were both blessed to be brought up in Catholic environments and were both involved as teachers at the Pope Puis X Catholic School where we met. We now have five children and three grandchildren.”

The couple, who give monthly donations to Catholic Aid Charity CAFOD, heard about the charity’s World Gifts Scheme and asked their guests to make contributions towards this instead of giving personal gifts. Thanks to their generosity, they were able to purchase a water supply for an entire community.

Mr Hurley added: “We have been blessed in so many ways ourselves; we decided to ask our guests to make contributions to this project instead of personal gifts. Not only did we reach the £750 target but well surpassed it. Through the generosity of our family and friends the sum of £1,000 was raised. Many people made direct donations to CAFOD over and above this amount.”

Right now, 650 million people are living without access to clean water. 2.5 billion people lack something as basic as a toilet and sewage system to flush away their waste. It is also estimated that women and girls spend 125 million hours a day collecting water, which means time away from work, school or playing with friends.

Money raised from the couple’s anniversary celebrations will enable the taps to be turned on across the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. It will also fund hygiene programmes, education in sanitation and the building of latrines.

To buy a CAFOD gift please {http://www.worldgifts.cafod.org.uk/Click here|Click here}