Sunday, August 7, 2016

Tom and Cindy Cotter, 50 Years of 'Mixed Marriage'

Cindy and Tom Cotter celebrate their 50th anniversary at Chatty Monk's Pub in West Reading last month.
Say the words 'mixed marriage' today and it is likely to mean a number of things, a multi-racial marriage, marriage between a Muslim, Jew, Christian or other religion.

But 50 years ago in Pottstown, it meant marriage between two
Christians, albeit from different denominations.

When Cindy and Tom cotter got married on July 23, 1966, it made history, at least locally.

They were the first couple in the Pottstown area, one a Catholic and one an Episcopalian, to have a marriage in a Catholic church as sanctioned by the archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Mrs. Cotter, known at the time of her marriage as Cindy Griffiths, was a member of Christ Episcopal Church and her soon-to-be-husband Tom, a member of the former St. Peter's Catholic Church on South Street.

It was the first marriage in Pottstown allowed under rules, new at the time, that allowed other than all-Catholic weddings in Catholic churches.

The Catholic priest officiating was the Rev. Michael Augustyn and he was joined by the Rev. Wilfred F. Penny of Christ Episcopal.

The announcement and the wedding itself both made headlines in 1966 editions of The Mercury.

The couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Chatty Monk's Pub in West Reading, Pa. where a family party was held.

"I was 20 and Tom was 22 year. 50 years laters of course we are now 70 and 72," Mrs. Cotter wrote in an email to The Mercury.

"Tom works for Bob Fisher Chevrolet in Reading and I work parttime for Seniors Helphing Seniors. We have 3 daughters, Shannon Costa, Danielle Metzger and Taryn DeWald. Eight grandchildren and 1 great grandchild with another expected in January," she wrote.

Congratulations to you both.

Ain't it something how times change?

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