Rebecca Burke paid tribute to her Irish ancestors when she got married to Nicholas Geotis at the Maine Irish Heritage Center, formerly St. Dominic's Church, in Portland, Maine on Saturday, July 22.
Rebecca's great-grandparents Nora and James McDonough, both natives of Co Galway, married at St. Dominic's Church on June 22, 1922, just over a century ago.
Their daughter Mary, Rebecca's grandmother, later married there in 1948.
On Saturday, Mary's wedding dress was on display at her granddaughter's wedding, News Center Maine reported.
St. Dominic's Church, which was built by Irish immigrants in 1892, was deconsecrated in 1997 and is now the home of the Maine Irish Heritage Center (MIHC), continuing its long-held tradition of being a hub for the local Irish community.
“We were very moved to watch Rebecca walk down the very aisle where her grandmother and great-grandmother had walked and stand to be married on the very spot where they stood,” Mary Burke, Rebecca's mother and a member of the Board of Directors at the MIHC, told IrishCentral on Thursday.
Mary said her grandmother Nora Lee was born in Spiddal, Co Galway, and her grandfather James McDonough was born in a village just outside Spiddal.
Despite being born so close to each other in Ireland, Nora and James didn't meet until after they arrived in Maine - Nora in 1917 and James in 1906.
“They live in the West End of Portland and St. Dominic's was the center of their lives,” Burke told IrishCentral.
Nora, who worked as a domestic, and James, who worked as a freight handler on the railroad, had five children, including one who was sadly lost in WWII. The couple went on to have 32 grandchildren.
Many of James and Nora’s grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren were in attendance at Rebecca’s wedding ceremony, Mary said.
MIHC volunteer Ann O'Hagan told News Center Maine: "Baptisms here, weddings here. ... [The fact that] we can still use this building for that purpose today, it's really exciting."
Even better, the building is set to be continue being used for those special purposes - earlier this year, the MIHC announced that it was receiving $3 million in federal funding for renovations.
You can watch News Center Maine's report on the touching Irish American wedding here: