Some may not like this, but outdoor Catholic weddings are a go in Butte:
On Saturday, Jovlyn “Jovy” Link, 28, and Mike Satterthwaite, 46, made recent history as the first couple to marry in an outdoor Catholic ceremony in Butte. They gathered at Basin Creek Reservoir.
“It’s been a really long time since our parish had an outdoor wedding,” said St. Patrick Church pastoral associate Seaneen Prendergast.
In May, the couple was “ecstatic” to learn Bishop George Leo Thomas gave them permission to wed outdoors in nature instead of inside their church, St. Pat’s. Thomas gave his blessing after they sent him a written request.
In actuality, Saturday’s wedding was one of the first expressions of a new policy Thomas approved in June 2015. Local parishes are in control of final approval depending on local weather, distances and availability.
More recently, St. Pat’s and Immaculate Conception embraced the policy, as well – just in time for warmer weather.
Although the Satterthwaite-Link service didn’t include a Mass, the ceremony is still considered a sacrament.
Rules are strict, as monitored by Prendergast: no alcohol in the area before, during or after the ceremony; and no playing outdoor games, such as Frisbee.
“My job is to make sure that everyone who is there knows it is still a Catholic rite,” Prendergast added.