S’porean couple Daniel and Shelley Ee, who are among the Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s global leaders, share their experiences giving presentations in Mexico and Europe.
Daniel and Shelley Ee (front row in white tops), together with Fr Nathaniel Gomez (in white beside them), singing at the end of a Mass during the 45th anniversary celebration of WWME England and Wales.
As Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s global leaders, Fr Nathaniel Gomez and ourselves, Daniel and Shelley Ee, initiate formation and leadership development for our movement. Catholic Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) is currently present in 94 countries worldwide.
In our role, besides chairing the world council meetings (attended by the six continent teams) annually, we also visit countries to participate and present at meetings and events at continent and country level.
From Sept 30-Oct 1, we were invited to give two leadership formations to WWME teams including those from Mexico and Latin America at the annual National Reunion of Mexico.
Each formation was different. One focused on developing certain skill sets of leaders while the other was on building flourishing communities – harnessing the strengths, creativity and passion of their communities.
We encouraged the leaders to continue to contribute actively to the Church – in parishes, dioceses and national family life organisations.
In total there were 28 married couples and 26 priests present at the meeting held in Mexico
Some of the feedback that we received from participants was that our formations and conversations gave them renewed hope; others were excited about building a strong future; they also asked for a video message for their respective communities in the different regions and we were very happy to record that for them. They also interviewed us for their local newsletter.
WWME Mexico is focusing their efforts in these areas:
— the spiritual growth of couples by conducting post weekend formation programmes and the Retorno Weekend;
— helping priests to experience the weekend and providing retreats for them particularly in the area of family life;
— taking the ME Weekend to the “peripheries”, both geographical and social. They plan to conduct non-residential weekends which would cost significantly less for the participants.
Daniel and Shelley with Mexico’s national leaders and their priest. The sign on the left says ‘Marriages and priests changing the world’ while the other says ‘Happily married 40 Years’.
England and Wales
We were also invited to be present at the 45th anniversary of WWME England and Wales held in London from Oct 6-8.
We gave an address to more than 200 people (married couples and priests) who had gathered for the convention.
There were also testimonies by various couples interspersed with reflection questions.
An interesting presentation was by three migrant couples who had settled in England over the years; the impact of the ME Weekend on them and how it has helped them to be in community.
We sensed a strong desire to enrol younger couples and priests into the movement. This is very much in line with one of our key messages to all the countries that we have visited – the importance of renewal of the
community and especially of leaders.
Congregations in England and Wales have been enriched with multi-cultural and multi-racial migrant groups in recent years and it was reflected by the presence of intermarriage and migrant couples attending the Weekends and serving in the community.
The European Council of WWME was also held in London from Oct 5-8.
The European team and 13 leadership teams including those from Austria, Croatia, France
and Germany flew in for the meeting.
We presented a leadership formation to these leaders on building flourishing communities.
We were encouraged to see the European Council developing a plan to grow the movement, reaching out to more couples and priests to build solid relationships in a “liquid” world that is characterised by connections rather than relationships, short-termism, immediacy, relativism and self-centredness.
Called “Lighthouse 2033”, the plan aims to energise WWME across Europe towards the year 2033, the 2,000th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Christ.
The WWME Singapore website is wwmesg.org