Participants of Marriage Encounter’s 2017 World Council Meeting in Quito, Ecuador. Singaporean couple Shelley Ee (front row, fourth from left) and her husband Daniel (directly behind her) helped chair the meeting.

The Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) held its 2017 World Council Meeting from Feb 2-8 to discuss further ways to accompany married couples as well as those in irregular unions.

Six WWME ecclesial teams, representing the continents of Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Pacific and Pan Africa, attended the meeting and each team composed of a married couple and priest.

Singaporean couple Daniel and Shelley Ee and Filipino Fr Nathaniel Gomez, who are serving their third year as the International Ecclesial Team (IET), chaired the meeting held in Quito, Ecuador.

During the meeting, themed Love Changes Everything, the delegates committed to extend WWME’s reach within the 94 countries where the movement is present and to new countries.

While they re-affirmed the definition of marriage in fidelity to Church teachings, participants also explored possible pastoral ways to gradually accompany those in irregular unions and also widows and widowers, inspired by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Delegates agreed to step up the use of social media as a platform to foster the relationship of encounter among people and to promote the relevance of WWME. Equally important was the need to find ways to increase the involvement of priests in the movement.

The World Council is the global governing body of WWME and for seven days the ecclesial teams with the IET, the secretariat, translators and support group worked across language barriers to discuss the direction of the movement.

An important and unique value of WWME is priests and couples collaborating to present the Weekend experience and formations.

The delegate couples were hosted by families in the local community during this meeting. In 2018, the WWME World Council meets in Madrid, Spain. 

By Fr Carmelito (Jun) Limbaga
The writer is an ME Asian Team priest from the Philippines.

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