Couples renew their marriage vows during the celebration on May 1.

More than a hundred couples together with several priests celebrated marriage and the priesthood at the Church of the Transfiguration on May 1.

Themed “Love Matters”, it was the third year that the celebration was jointly organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for the Family (ACF) and Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) Singapore.

A hundred and thirty-one couples and 11 priests, together with their families and friends, attended the event, which also marked WWME’s 39th anniversary.

The celebration saw family counselling psychologist Adrian Lim speaking on the topic, “Men Arise! Reclaiming and celebrating God’s plan for Fathers (and Mothers)”.

He noted that God’s masterplan is for humanity to eventually return to Him in heaven.

Marriage and family are God’s masterpiece, consisting of man as husband and woman as wife, who bear and raise children to be His people, he shared. The family is designed and created by God himself to fulfil his masterplan, said Mr Lim, who used references from the Old and New Testaments in his talk.

George and Sarah Tan celebrated 51 years of marriage

Mr Lim also noted the importance of men rising up to fulfil their destiny in God’s masterplan – as protector, provider and spiritual leader in their roles as husband, father and brother.

He shared about the presence of men’s movements in the Catholic Church here, such as the Sons of St Joseph at the Church of the Holy Spirit, as well as other men’s groups at the Churches of St Mary of the Angels and Divine Mercy.

A Mass commemorating WWME Singapore’s 39th anniversary followed, celebrated by Vicar General Msgr Ambrose Vaz and fellow priests.

“It is because we believe in God that we believe in love and we believe in the Sacrament of Marriage,” said Msgr Vaz in his homily.

Mr Adrian Lim: Marriage and family are God’s masterpiece.

The anniversary Mass saw the couples present renewing their marriage vows. There was also a special celebration for 71 couples celebrating their fifth to 50th wedding anniversaries this year, in multiples of five years, as well as those who have been married for longer. Seven priests also celebrated similar milestones in their priestly life.

The event saw the launch of a Singapore-edition book commemorating the growth of the global Marriage Encounter movement over the past 50 years.

The book has a chapter on WWME Singapore, and also messages from Pope Francis and Archbishop William Goh.
Edmund and Christina Bong, coordinating couple of WWME Singapore, said that “We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe” is the theme of WWME’s 50th anniversary.

“We, in Singapore wanted also to remember and give thanks to the many couples and priests who have been instrumental in helping Marriage Encounter locally grow for the past 39 years,” they said in a statement.

“The coming together of married couples and priests to celebrate their milestone marriage and sacerdotal anniversaries at this very special Eucharistic celebration is really the highlight. Their presence is a witnessing of them living fully and joyously the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the Sacrament of Matrimony.”

Eleven priests took part in the event.