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Queen, Pope and Bishop mark Norfolk couple’s 60th

A Norfolk couple have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a blessing from Pope Francis, a service of blessing from Bishop Alan Hopes at St John's Cathedral in Norwich and a card from The Queen.

Michael and Bridget O'Sullivan, both born in Southern Ireland, were married at St Dominic's Priory in London on March 2, 1957; they have four married daughters and six grandchildren.

They now live in Watton in Mid Norfolk where they regularly attend Mass at the Methodist Church, as well as monthly trips to the Cathedral in Norwich, where one granddaughter was married in 2013.

Having already received a written Papal Blessing and a congratulatory card from the Queen, the couple were delighted to be invited by Fr Seelan to meet Bishop Alan at St John's Cathedral on Sunday March 5.

After a large celebration family meal at Spooner Row near Wymondham, Michael and Bridget went to the cathedral where they met Fr Seelan, who took them to the Walsingham Chapel, where the Bishop thought it would be nice to meet.

Michael and Bridget, said: "Bishop Alan said he would like to give us a blessing, which we were delighted about, as we thought he would only have time to say hello.

"He first congratulated us and asked us about ourselves. We had brought the Papal Blessing to show him, along with the official congratulations card from the Queen, which my daughter had arranged and we told him that a blessing from him was the icing on the cake. We had fun chatting together.

"Then the Bishop conducted a little service just for us, in which he blessed our happy marriage, our lives together and our family. It was a beautiful moment, very sincerely given by the Bishop and it made us feel very special. Although he was conducting a large service very soon afterwards, we felt we had all the time in the world and thought it was just lovely."

The couple are planning a further celebration in the summer when the family will meet in London to have Mass said at St Dominic's Priory, where they were actually married.

Michael and Bridget said: "We have had a very happy life together so far and are looking forward to our 70th wedding anniversary."

Pictured above are Michael and Bridget O'Sullivan with Bishop Alan at St John’s Cathedral. Picture byTom Uragallo.