Marriage & Family Life » Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Worldwide Marriage Encounter

What is a Worldwide Marriage Encounter? 

The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is a positive and personal experience offering married couples an opportunity to learn a technique of loving communication that they can use for the rest of their lives. It is a chance to look deeply into their relationship with each other and with God. It is a time to share their feelings, hopes and dreams with each other.

The emphasis of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend is on the communication between husbands and wives. The weekend provides a conducive environment for couples to spend time together, away from the distractions and tensions of everyday life, while encouraging them to focus on each other and their relationship.

It is not a retreat, marriage clinic, group sensitivity, or a substitute for counselling. It is a unique approach aimed at revitalizing Marriage. It truly is a marriage enrichment program.This is a time for you and your spouse to be alone together, to rediscover each other and together focus on your relationship for an entire weekend. Every marriage deserves that kind of attention! Simply put - it is one of the best marriage enrichment programs offered to married couples.

What happens on a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend? 

It is like many marriage enrichment programs, however Worldwide Marriage Encounter is unique in that a series of presentations is given by a team of Catholic couples and a priest. Each presentation allows you to look at yourself as an individual, and then to look at your relationship to those with whom you live and work and to whom you minister. Finally, you are led to look at your relationship with God, the Church as a whole, and the world. Married couples view all these relationships in terms of their own vocation, but the principles are freely applicable to the priesthood and religious life as well. The atmosphere is relaxed and non-invasive. Most participants say they are hardly aware of the others in attendance.

I have heard that dialogue is an important part of the Weekend. 

"Dialogue" is the communication technique taught on the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. A priest/religious who is making the Weekend dialogues with the priest on the ministry team, or another priest/religious who is also making the Weekend.

What does the Weekend cost? 

On the weekend, you will be asked to make a donation. This donation will cover the expenses of lodging, food, and materials for the Weekend. Ordinarily a non-refundable application fee of $25-$100 is required to confirm your application, food and lodging. There is limited capacity; so early registration is encouraged. The application fee varies from area based on the local area lodging requirements. 

No priest or couple is ever denied the chance to experience a Weekend because of financial difficulties. This concern should not influence your decision to attend a Marriage Encounter Weekend. Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a tax-exempt organization. Scholarships are available and the application fee can be waived based on financial need. 

Contributions made on or in connection with the Marriage Encounter weekend are made confidentially.

Why is it called Worldwide Marriage Encounter? 

The movement began as a way of improving communication between husbands and wives. But as insights grew, it became apparent that the techniques used in the sessions could benefit anyone whose vocation involves close, caring communication with others. It is considered the first marriage enrichment program and has been updated on a continual basis to reflect the current marriage environment.

Is there a specific religious focus to the Weekend? 

Marriage Encounter does present God as a focus for successful Marriage. There are many faith expressions of Marriage Encounter Weekends - Catholic, as well as several Protestant denominations. While the Weekend may be presented in a given Faith expression, each is open to married couples with other religious beliefs. The opportunities of the Weekend go beyond the boundaries of any one expression.

Who is Worldwide Marriage Encounter for? 

Any married couple who desires a richer, fuller life together. A marriage can never be too good. Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a marriage enrichment program, is designed to deepen and enrich the joys a couple share together, whether they have been married for only a short time, or for many years. Priests and other religious are also welcome and encouraged to attend!

Does the Weekend respect the privacy of each couple? 

YES! Absolutely!  The weekend is oriented strictly to each individual couple. You concentrate on your spouse to such an extent that you are hardly aware of the other couples present. The presentations are given to the group as a whole. After each presentation, the husband and wife have time in the privacy of their room for their own personal discussion. There is no group sharing on the weekend.

How does a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend enhance a marriage? 

The encounter weekend, a marriage enrichment program, teaches a communication technique which permits each couple to explore important areas of their relationship in a spirit of love and understanding. By continuing the newly acquired technique begun on the weekend, husband and wives continually grow closer together to live more joyful and purposeful lives.

What are the start and stop times for the Weekend? 

The Weekend normally starts around 7:30pm on Friday and ends around 5:00pm on Sunday. We provide all meals on Saturday and Sunday, but you will need to eat dinner prior to arriving on Friday.  It includes Celebration of the Eucharist.

How much does it cost? 

The cost of the weekend varies from area to area, but everyone is encouraged to come regardless of their financial situation.

Upcoming weekends:

Next Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend:  February 26-28, 2021 

Watch for announcements in parish bulletins as well as here.
Or phone Steve and Mary Bohnen at 604-876-7298.

For more information contact:  Coordinators: Doug and Candice Chappell, Holy Child Parish, Summerland  Email  778-479-7900

Diocesan Coordinator:  Fr. Neil Lustado:  Email

Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

(Genesis 2.24)

“All that forms the content of the life of married couples must constantly find its full and personal dimension in life together, in behaviour, in feelings! This is all the more so against the background of a civilization which remains under the pressure of a materialistic and utilitarian way of thinking and evaluating.

(John Paul II)