A Singapore couple who have been involved in Marriage Encounter for more than 20 years have been selected to lead the worldwide movement.
Daniel Ee and Shelley Ee, together with Filipino priest, Fr Nathanial B Gomez, were selected to be movement’s new International Ecclesial Team.
The decision was made during Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s (WWME) World Council Meeting in South Africa on Feb 27.
The Ees are believed to be the first Asian couple to take on this role.
They have been involved in the Marriage Encounter programme since 1990, and have led the national ecclesial team in Singapore from 2007-2010.
They, together with Fr Gomez, from the Diocese of Dumaguete, were the Asia ecclesial team from 2011-2013.
The three of them will now chair the movement’s world council comprising members from North America, Latin America, Africa, Pacific, Europe and Asia, for a term of five years. As the official leadership of the council, they will now speak as representatives of the movement to the Universal Church.
In an email interview, Mrs Ee told CatholicNews that when she heard the news, “I was surprised and speechless.”
She recognised that “it is a role which calls for the three of us to listen to God’s voice, discern wisely together with the council members what is His Will for the movement” and have the “courage to address pressing issues like a shortage” priests who could present ME programmes.
Mr Ee also explained that in their new roles, they will work with the Marriage Encounter World Council to:
• Chart the way forward for WWME to be a beacon of hope for lasting and strong marriages.
• Ensure that WWME programmes continue to be refreshed and kept relevant with changing times.
• Look for workable solutions to issues that might constrain efforts to reach out to more couples, priests and Religious, and
• Develop leaders and nurture successive generations of leaders to take the movement forward. n
By Clara Lai