Always and Forever

Father Derek LaBranch, Chaplain with CHRISTUS VNA Hospice, San Antonio, recently assisted a patient and his significant other check-off an important life event on their ‘bucket list’.  As Father Derek completed a pastoral care home visit, he was informed by the patient that after 20 years in a common-law marriage, he had legalized his marriage with the love of his life, by the Justice of the Peace. As the patient shared his love story with Father Derek, the patient opened up his heart even more to express how he wished that they could have been able to do more to celebrate their marriage, such as a religious ceremony.  Spontaneously, Father Derek immediately jumped into action; he went to his vehicle and returned into patient’s home with his wedding vows. Father Derek conducted a religious ceremony, and blessed the couple’s rings and their marriage, while they remained in their pajamas. Father Derek made a life-changing moment happen, and their wedding ceremony is something life both shall cherish and remember all the remaining days of their life.