I have been involved with the Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for approximately 35 years. The Marriage Encounter community has shaped me as a person and has helped to direct my priesthood and the ministry flowing from it. I have learned (and am still learning) many valuable lessons to apply to myself and my relationship with others as a result of my many years of participation.
During a Marriage Encounter Weekend, a team of three couples and a priest, present a series of talks to couples (and sometimes to priests and religious) with the goal of making good marriages better. The Marriage Encounter Weekend is not primarily designed for troubled marriages. It is meant to open up the lines of communication between husband and wife in what is essentially a private experience between the husband and wife.
What it did for me personally was help me understand married couples (and their families) better, help me open up lines of communication, help me better understand my relationship to the Church—the Body of Christ—and also to understand my feelings. Feelings, in particular, are not something most men know how to deal with or choose to deal with at all
Ladies, have you ever felt that your husband sometimes doesn’t seem to understand you? Guys, are your wives sometimes still a mystery to you in many ways? Do you both ever wonder if there is more to life than what you are currently experiencing? Then maybe it’s time to try a Marriage Encounter Weekend. You can be newly-married or married for fifty years. It does not matter. The weekend can help to make any marriage better.
I am scheduled to be the presenting priest for a Marriage Encounter Weekend from Friday evening September 29 to Sunday, October 1. The weekend is being held at the Holiday Inn right here in Cherry Hill. If you are interested and want to join us, the contact couple is Michael and Marge Walsh and they can be reached at 609-741-8012.
As the traditional definition of marriage is challenged, and there are increasing attempts to redefine it, we should refer to the teaching of Jesus in the Sacred Scriptures:
Jesus said . . . “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate. (Mt. 19: 4-6)
Marriage is sacred. It is one of the seven sacraments of our Catholic Church. As something divinely instituted, it needs to be respected and defended. A Marriage Encounter Weekend is designed to help that married relationship grow. I invite our married couples to investigate what this weekend is all about!
Fr. Ed Namiotka