By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
The spark of true love can be ignited in countless ways. For Deacon Mike and Cathie Seibold, it started by mistake.
The couple met on July 4, 1967 in Burns Park, North Little Rock, when just before a fireworks display, Mike approached Cathie to introduce himself thinking she was another girl. Mike was 16 at the time while Cathie was 14.
“It was an honest mistake that turned out to be not so much of a mistake,” Mike said.
“I was not offended,” added Cathie.
The Seibolds celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 16. They will be among the more than 80 couples recognized for 50 years of marriage during the annual Diocesan Golden Anniversary Mass celebrated by Bishop Edward J. Burns at 10 a.m. Aug. 27 at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Growing up in North Little Rock, the couple dated on and off for several years, then after Mike’s sophomore year at the University of Arkansas, they were married on June 16, 1972. Mike earned a degree in electrical engineering from the university. Afterward, he went to work for TXU and other subsidiaries of TXU, where he would do power engineering for 28 years in communities all over Texas.
During that time, the couple came into the Church, inspired by the Catholic faith of one of Cathie’s friends from high school.
“Before we went out on our Saturday evening dates together, we would go to Mass with her,” Cathie said. “It was just amazing to me how faithful she was and how spiritual.”
Mike said that when the couple moved to Texas, they felt like something was missing in their lives and they wanted to fill that void.
“We decided it was our faith life…we had no faith life at the time,” Mike said.
The couple reached out to Msgr. Gerald Hughes at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Denison, who welcomed the Seibolds into the Church the following December. From that day, their faith journey continued, leading Mike to the diaconate where he was ordained June 2006 and assigned to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, where he has remained.
At one of their many stops in Texas while Mike was working with TXU, Cathie went to work as a youth minister at St. Stephens in Midland. When the family moved back to the Plano area, she retired from youth ministry and took a job at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, where she worked for 19 years as the pastoral assistant and office manager. Mike retired in 2002 and, likewise, went to work for St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church in McKinney, where he would serve as the parish director for 18 years. In 2019, on July 1, the couple decided to retire together.
“When we came into the Church, I think there was a fundamental change in the way we lived our lives,” Mike said. “I’m really convinced it was the Holy Spirit and our faith life that put us together and led us on this journey so that we could serve the Church for so many years.”
As for those couples soon to be married, the Seibolds offered some advice.
“Plan for a lifelong marriage and not just a one-day wedding,” said Cathie, looking to her husband. “He’s my best friend.”
“Lean heavily on the Holy Spirit and embrace whatever comes along – every blessing and every cross,” Mike added.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Diocese of Dallas Golden Anniversary Mass for couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary will be celebrated by Bishop Edward J. Burns at 10 a.m. Aug. 27 at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe.