Information for Priests and Religious
You don't have to be encountered to let
Marriage Encounter enrich your vocation.
As a priest, you may well have promoted Worldwide Marriage Encounter among your parishioners, students, friends, family. You may have participated in Marriage Encounter weekends as part of the ministry team. You're no doubt aware of the overwhelming popularity of the Marriage Encounter movement, its effectiveness in bringing couples together and often transforming or even saving marriages.
But - Marriage Encounter for Priests?
Yes. The Marriage Encounter weekends are designed in such a way that both priests and religious can participate fully. The principles of love, commitment, and effective communication translate quite easily to the relationship between a priest and his parish or any group to whom he ministers.
Priests who have made an Encounter weekend
call the experience "life-enhancing."
Worldwide Marriage Encounter invites you, the diocesan or religious-order priest, to consider the following questions and answers, perhaps to write or call for further information, and plan to join us for a renewing Encounter weekend soon.
What is Marriage Encounter?
Marriage Encounter is a weekend away from the responsibilities and practicalities of one's daily life, in order to expand and deepen that life. An Encounter weekend is not a retreat, a marriage clinic, or a sensitivity group. Its aim is to help participants develop very special communication skills. Feelings and thoughts flow more freely, resulting in greater love, renewed (and continuing) dedication, and more joy in living out one's chosen way of life.
Why is it called 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.
What happens at a Marriage Encounter Weekend?
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.
But isn't dialogue an important part of
an Encounter weekend?
Dialogue between the marriage partners enables them to examine and "test out" the new principles of loving communication they are learning in the course of the weekend. It is a simple matter for a priest or religious who is making the weekend to arrange informal, comfortable dialogues with another priest or religious. We encourage you to make the Encounter weekend with a priest or religious community friend. If this is not practical, however, you may find it helpful to dialogue with another priest or religious who is making the weekend, or with the priest or religious on the ministry team.
Please be more specific: How will a Marriage
Encounter Weekend enhance and enrich my life as a priest or religious?
The Encounter weekend teaches a communication technique that allows each person to explore their relationship to the "significant other(s)" in their lives. For spouses, that means each other. For you as a priest or religious, it means everyone you have dedicated your life to serving. This new way of communication is both specific and adaptable. You will be able to use it in virtually every relationship and situation.
What does the weekend cost?
Contributions made on or in the connection with the Marriage Encounter weekend are made anonymously and you may contribute whatever you can. You will be given a blank envelope for this purpose.
I'm needed in my parish on the weekends.
Can Marriage Encounter help me get a replacement so I'll be free
to attend a weekend?
We are in the process of building a network of priests, by area, who are willing to fill in for others who wish to make a weekend. If you need such assistance, please let the applying couple know. And plan to spend some time apart with us soon, to expand and deepen your priestly communication.
If you're ready, click here to apply!