The parish's first wedding was performed in 1909. Family and friends packed the standing-room-only Catholic church to watch the service, held on World Marriage Day, which included couples who were married as recently as 2007, to some who have already marked their golden anniversaries. Robert and Margaret Dessart were the longest-married couple - they were wed on May 6, 1935. "On your wedding day, it was important that you worried about the guest lists, the right dress, and who sat where," said Rev. Msgr. Thomas Colgan. "And you had yourselves and your promises. There was a special plan for you when you started your lives together. I hope it's been a happy one." Three brothers - Damian, Francis, and Hilary Becker - renewed their vows with each of their wives. "We are best friends," said Hilary's wife, Geralyn, when asked what the secret was to their long marriage. "We have a lot of fun, and laugh a lot." Hilary agreed that all that is true, but joked that their secret is that he is usually the first to apologize after an argument. They also agree that their faith plays a large part in the marriage. They will celebrate their 20th anniversary in September. Patricia and Peter Dixon, of East Rockaway, agreed that their faith, too, has gotten them through a lot. "It's also companionship, and admitting when you're wrong that's important," said Peter. "Good communication" is important," said Theresa Romano, who married Bruno, and East Rockaway village trustee, in April of 2001. "and laughter!" the couple said, almost in unison. Paul Sci, who lives at Nathan Hale in Lynbrook with his wife, Cathy, said simply, "We love each other." Marilyn Keon, married to Bob for almost 51 years, said that the secret of a long marriage is "to let him think he's the boss!" Arthur and Mary Raymond, of Malverne, were married in St. Raymond's little wooden church on December 1, 1945 (the new, larger church that stands there now was built in 1955). He was 23 and in the U.S. Air Corp; she was 21 and a secretary for an Air Corp commanding officer in the communications department. They chose to renew their vows on Sunday because, Mary said, there was no reason not to. "It was a beautiful ceremony," she said of the renewal service. "I didn't expect all of that." She said that trust and love are key ingredients to a long, happy marriage. "And a lot of patience," added Arthur. They lived in East Rockaway eight years after they were married, and before moving into a newly-built house in Malverne, where they have lived ever since. The newly remarried and their families were treated to a celebration afterward, complete with wedding cake and a champagne toast. Comments about this story? Mmalloy@ liherald.com or (516) 569-4000 ext. 202.