Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith based marriage enrichment program in the United States, announced today the national winners of the 2016 Longest Married Couple Project. They are Maury and Helen Goosenberg of Carlsbad, CA. The Goosenbergs have been married 80 years as of Jan. 1, 2016.
Over 250 nominations were received for this year’s project. The winners from individual states will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. This is the sixth year for the nationwide project.
“It is truly a privilege and honor to recognize Maury & Helen Goosenberg for their commitment to marriage,” said Joe & Sue Talarico, the United States Ecclesial Team for WWME. “We are looking forward to personally recognizing them on Valentine’s Day Feb. 14th in their hometown of Carlsbad,” they added. The Talaricos serve with Fr. Tom Ogg, as the U.S. leadership for the marriage enrichment movement. Fr. Ogg will join the Talaricos at the presentation.
The Goosenbergs were married September 1935. They met when they were early teenagers and were neighbors. They eloped to Philadelphia in 1935, because they were scared their families wouldn’t approve. They told their families afterward and had a big celebration on Dec.31, 1935 which they consider their anniversary. They moved from Philadelphia to California to be closer to family.
The California couple achieved the honor of being the Longest Married Couple based on nominations submitted to Worldwide Marriage Encounter beginning in October of last year. The nomination project ended on January 10th of this year.
The Talaricos pointed out that the project is based on nominations received from October 10th the previous year to January 10th of the current year. “We realize there could be couples married longer, but we did not receive their nominations from friends or family during the nominating period or they chose not to be recognized for their marriage achievements,” they said.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter created the project to highlight marriage in America and to show young couples that marriage really can go the distance. “What an inspiration Mr. & Mrs. Goosenberg are to all of us. They made a commitment to each other 80 years ago and they have kept that commitment. They truly are an inspiration and sign of hope to all of us,” the Talaricos said.
The national winners have seven grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Their only child passed away years ago. The presentation of gifts and acknowledgments to the Goosenbergs will be made at noon on Feb. 14th at the La Costa Glen independent living complex in Carlsbad.
State winners from across the country will be presented certificates of achievement and other recognitions by Worldwide Marriage Encounter couples during Valentine’s week as well as the rest of the month.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 47 years and is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and WWME now offers evening and half-day programs that are presented at parishes and other church facilities. The weekend program, traditionally presented as an overnight experience at a hotel or retreat center, can also be presented at facilities where the couples return to their homes in the evenings. WWME has a presence in almost 100 countries, which makes it the largest pro-marriage movement in the world. In North America, the WWME programs are presented in English, Spanish, French, and Korean languages.