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Faith, understanding is the secret to 70 years of marriage, say Maynard parishioners


Catherine and Ben Sofka of Maynard hold their wedding photo in their Maynard home Sept. 27. Pilot photo/Donis Tracy

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MAYNARD -- Though Ben and Catherine Sofka were unable to join other couples celebrating significant anniversaries for the special Mass and renewal of vows at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Sept. 25, the couple still has great reason to celebrate. This year they will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

"He's 100, so walking is not very easy for him, and I'm just 90, but I don't get around as much as before either," Catherine said.

Speaking to The Pilot in their Maynard home Sept. 27, the couple shared the story of their long life together and the secret to a marriage that has lasted longer than many people have been alive.

It all started in 1944. Two sisters, walking home from school in their Holland town were approached by two American soldiers. One of them was Ben Sofka, a B25 Engineer Gunner from Maynard.

"He asked me where we were going, and I told him we were going home. He asked if he could walk me home, and I said no," smiled Catherine Sofka. "He walked me home anyway, which I guess was the beginning of our life together."

Sitting in their Maynard home, the couple reminisced about a life shared -- stories of raising their three children, moving from country to country while Ben was in the Army, anecdotes of their five grandchildren and the wisdom they have garnered from a lifetime together.

And at the center of it all -- their faith.

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