SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.-- Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in the United States, announced today that the winners of the Longest Married Couple Project are Ralph & Dorothy Kohler from Indio, CA. They have been married 85 years as of Sept. 16, 2020.
"What a privilege and honor it is to recognize Ralph & Dorothy Kohler for their commitment to marriage," said Tony & Sue Morris and Fr. Tom Ogg, the United States Ecclesial Team for WWME. "We look forward to virtually recognizing them on Oct 10th in their hometown of Indio," they added.
The Kohlers were married Sept. 16, 1935. They were married in Tekamah, Nebraska. They have three children, seven grandchildren, six great grandchildren and two great great-grandchildren.
The California couple achieved the honor of being the National Longest Married Couple based on the over 150 nominations submitted to Worldwide Marriage Encounter beginning in February of this year.
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. Kohler are to all of us. They made a commitment to each other 85 years ago and they have kept that commitment over these many years. They truly are a sign of hope to us all," the national ecclesial team said.
The state winners of this year's project will be announced on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. Nominations were received from 49 states. The winners for each state will also be virtually honored and presented their certificates and recognitions by Worldwide Marriage Encounter couples, during the month of October.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 52 years. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society.
The marriage encounter experience, traditionally held in a hotel, retreat house, or parish over the weekend, has now expanded to adapt to current needs. Virtual online programs are now live facilitated by couples and priests through video conference on either weekends or week-day evenings.
Our goal is to "go into your home, virtually, to assist couples and priests to not only improve their relationships but to Thrive Together," said Tony & Sue and Fr. Tom.
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.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers married couples the opportunity to spend time together away from the busyness of the world to focus on each other. It offers tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage in today's world. The marriage encounter experience is also available to priests and religious to enhance their sacraments. To learn more about the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends online go to wwme.org.