About World Wide Marriage Encounter Singapore
The Marriage Enrichment program that has been transforming marriages for over 50 years in 93 countries around the world. The program involves a weekend course that transforms the way spouses communicate to deepen their love for each other.
The story of Worldwide Marriage Encounter began in Spain in 1952 when a young priest, Fr Gabriel Calvo, began developing a series of conferences for married couples. Their focus was on the development of an open and honest relationship within marriage and learning to live out a sacramental relationship in the service of others. In 1962, Fr Calvo presented the conferences as a weekend retreat to 28 couples in his native Barcelona. Marriage Encounter was on its way! In 1966, Fr Calvo and a couple addressed the International Confederation of Christian Family Movement in Caracas. The Weekend spread to Latin America and to Spanish speaking couples in the United States.
Growth in the USA (1967)
A couple and priest presented the weekend to seven couples and a few priests at the Christian Family Movement Convention at United States. By the summer of 1968, 50 couples and 29 priests were presenting weekends in USA. The New York area became the centre of Marriage Encounter under the leadership of Fr Charles Gallagher, SJ and a couple. There was strong emphasis on the development of a Marriage Encounter ‘community” to provide support for living the values learned through the weekend, especially for dialogue. In addition, the renewal of the Sacrament of Matrimony was a strong focus, as a means for renewing the Catholic Church. Thus developed Worldwide Marriage Encounter. As a result, Worldwide and National Marriage Encounter both exist today as two different expressions of the original weekend developed by Fr Gabriel Calvo.
Expansion out from USA
In 1971, American couples and priests travelled to Belgium and later to England and overseas expansion grew rapidly. WWME is now offered in numerous languages and dialects in 83 countries. In addition to the Weekend, other programs have “spun off” of the Marriage Encounter Experience including Engaged Encounter, Evening for the Engaged, Choice, The Beginning Experience (for divorced and widowed) and Retrouvaille.
Expansion into Singapore (1979)
Marriage Encounter Singapore started when Fr Jean-Pierre Benit (a Belgian missionary who had spent many years in Taiwan) and Sr Columba (a nun from The Good Shepherd Fraternity) dreamed of bringing Marriage Encounter to Singapore. They formed a small organising committee with Sr Clare, Jim & Carmen, Stephen & Joan, and Peter & Bernadette, and established contacts with the Encounter communities in Australia, Canada and the United States. The first Weekend was held on 6 – 8 April 1979 at the Ambassador Hotel for 25 couples and two priests. Financial assistance came from the Encounter communities of Canada and Australia. India had been given the responsibility to reach out to Singapore. Their community sent Austin & Celine who together with Peter & Evelyn (an Australian couple working in the embassy in Kuala Lumpur) and Fr Jean-Pierre made up the Weekend presenting team. India, and later the Philippines, continued to send couples to present subsequent Weekends in Singapore until local couples could take over. The next exciting milestone was in March 1980, when Singapore “reached out” to Malaysia. A year after the first Weekend, the Encounter community launched a number of “Open and Apostolic” (O&A) programs like “Evening for the Engaged” and “Evenings for Parents”. In 1981, the Marriage Encounter House in Punggol was opened, thanks to a generous donation from the Scheut Missions. Two more programs were launched – CHOICE Weekend for young single adults and “MATRIMONY – Jesus Invites Us to Love” program for 14 – 16 year olds. In 1982 this gathering momentum launched Engaged Encounter Weekends for couples planning to marry, and the Mandarin-speaking Weekends followed soon after. Solving individual marital problems has never been the goal of Marriage Encounter. Instead, during the Weekend, a husband and wife are given the opportunity to share the emotions that so often are kept buried inside. They are taught how to make such communication a part of everyday life. Marriage Encounter emphasises the beauty of belonging totally to one another.
Marriage Encounter, Singapore Help Expansion into Sri Lanka / China (2003)
In 2003, Marriage Encounter, Singapore and Marriage Encounter, Korea pledged to give financial aid to Marriage Encounter, Sri Lanka so that they can organise stay-in weekends. In 2005, Marriage Encounter, Singapore sent a couple and priest to Shenyang, China. The seed to spread of Marriage Encounter to other parts of China was thus planted.
“Love One Another As I Have Loved You”
To proclaim the value of marriage and Holy Orders in the Church and in the World.
- Responsible Relationship
- Intimate Communication
- Living Sacrament
- Apostleship in the Church
Fr Bruno Saint Girons
Edmund & Christina Bong
Patrick & Linda Nai
Patrick & Monica Tan
Lawrence & Celeste Lai
Vincent & Daphne Sing
Mandarin Coordinating Team
Fr Henry Siew
Roy & Ros Lee
Anthony & Helen Low
David & Clara Soon
Dominic & Fiona Ang
Eric & Cynthia Siah
Joseph & Janice Lim
Love Circle Link
Patrick & Monica Tan
Franklin & Celina Tan
Food & Hosting
Vincent & Ju-Lyn Devadason
Daniel & Julie Ho
Jeffrey & Anne De Silva
Alphonsus & Cyrine
Patrick & Carolina Tan
Willi & Angela Yuen
Who is Marriage Encounter for?
ME is for married couples who want something more in their marriage ~ more fun, spontaneity, excitement, communication, understanding, romance, intimacy, passion, joy…
Couples as young as 2 years married and as old as 50 years married have come for Marriage Encounter… and benefited from it. Many couples come to ME just prior to celebrating their anniversaries.
How does Marriage Encounter enhance a marriage?
It provides an environment for couples
- to focus on one another
- to take a closer look at their marriage
- to explore important areas in their marriage in a spirit of love and understanding
- to gain new insights and confidence to enrich their marriage
- to become re-aquainted with each other and strengthen their love
What happens at Marriage Encounter?
A series of talks are presented by a team of trained couples and a priest
After each talk, couples are given time for private reflection and couple dialogue
Is there privacy?
YES! At the Marriage Encounter Weekend, couples are taught a special techique of loving communication. They put into practice this technique in the privacy of their own room
There are no group discussions.
What else does Marriage Encounter do?
It also provides couples an opportunity to look at their relationship with God and to better appreciate Marriage as a Sacrament of the Church.
How long is the ME Weekend?
It starts at 8 pm on Friday and ends at 6 pm on Sunday.
Where and when?
Marriage Encounter Weekends are held on the 1st Friday of each month at:
The Marriage Encounter House 201-B Seventeenth Avenue ,Punggol Road Singapore 829651 Tel: 6315-1887 ( Weekend Booking Enquiry 9670-5390 )
A S$50 non-refundable registration fee confirms your booking.
The cost of the weekend average $350 per couples and this covers Accomodation , meals and stationeries.
At the end of the Weekend, each couple is given a blank envelope for their Love offering to help defray the cost of the weekend.
I would Like to Attend but cannot afford the cost .
Marriage Encounter welcomes all married couples who have the desire to deepen their relationship.
Financial constrains is never a reason for missing out on the weekend. At the end of the weekend, couples
are given a blank envelope for their Love offering and financially well off couples are encouraged to give more.
The Love offering is personal and anonymous . The Marriage Encounter movement is blessed to have many couples in the past who have given generously to help defray the cost.
Do couples have to be Catholic?
Marriage Encounter welcomes couples of all faiths.
Many Buddhists, Hindus, Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, etc. and free-thinkers come for ME.
Is Marriage Encounter also for priests and religious?
Marriage Encounter is also for priests and religious who want to develop a deeper appreciation of their vocation.