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19th All American Council

Having recently returned from the 19th All-American Council (July 23-27, 2018) in St. Louis, MO, I submit this Pastoral Reflection to our Holy Trinity community.

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The Holy Trinity community honored Barbara and Jim Lacey on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary, which they celebrated on August 17. The following Sunday was a festive day at Trinity, as both remembered how they met and their subsequent courtship and marriage.

For some time it was a subway romance, since Barbara lived in the Bronx and Jim in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Barbara and Jim have remained close to their New York roots, even though their professional careers were spent as educators in Connecticut. Both are retired university professors, Barbara from the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT, and Jim from Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, CT, where he spent many years as the Director of the Honors Program.

An accomplished story teller, with a still discernible New York accent and a great wit, Jim recalled how he met the former Barbara Ellson at a roadhouse while they were camp counselors in upstate New York in 1953. She was all of 15.They dated for five years, and following Barbara’s graduation from Smith College, they were married in 1958. To see Jim and Barbara enjoy conversation and each other's company after these many years, is indeed a pleasure.

"I think our marriage was successful for a number of reasons," Barbara offered. "Jim was from a socioeconomic background similar to mine. He had strong academic interests and successes. He would eventually complete a Master's degree and doctorate program, and went on to teaching positions in colleges and universities for 45 years."

Barbara, meanwhile, became the Chair of the History Department at Saint Joseph's, where she taught for nearly 25 years and wrote scholarly books and articles. Their academic achievements and motivation enhanced their mutual respect and love.

"Jim and I were both interested in the life of the mind, and we took turns helping each other achieve academic success," Barbara recalled. "Yet, we are also very different people, with a different take on almost any subject. This makes for interesting conversation, and we are never bored with each other, though we have been married for 60 years."

A festive Coffee Hour in their honor took place at Trinity on August 26, and the couple were presented with chrysanthemums as a remembrance of the occasion. They were grateful for our parish's simple acknowledgement of their anniversary.

"Barbara and Jim are wonderful examples of self-sacrificial love," Father Marc Vranes pointed out. "There is little ego involved in their lives, just the desire to build up one another, with devotion and great respect. On a personal level, I remain grateful for their encouragement in helping me to achieve a certain level of academic achievement. They are always at the ready to offer an encouraging word, and provide the proper amount of motivation to push forward and continue to learn. The level of love and support they offer one another, and the entire Holy Trinity community, is truly a blessing. We are a much better community because of Barbara and Jim Lacey."

May our good and loving God continue to bless them with health and happiness. Many Years!

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