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Calling the faithful to go, grow and glow

Oct. 13, 2013

The National Convention of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), a three-day workshop (October 14 – 16, 2013) is being held on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of WME, when participants will take a look at contemporary marriage issues and how to deal with them.   The completion of four decades of togetherness and of spreading love and faith commenced with the celebration of the Eucharist at St. Pius X College, Goregaon on October 13, 2013.  His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias was the Main Celebrant and Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara (Nagpur), Bishop Agnelo Gracias (Mumbai), and Bishop John Rodrigues (Mumbai) concelebrated.

 A short introduction recalled the inception of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter: the result of the combined efforts of Patricia and Richard Alexandro along with Fr. Peter De Souza of Bangalore in the year 1973. Praise and thanksgiving were offered for benefits received and blessings sought for fulfilment of the theme - to go, grow and glow.

The Inaugural Eucharist commenced with the procession of the Asian Ecclesial Team (AET), Indian Ecclesial Team (NET) and the (UCT) followed by 20 priests, 3 Bishops and Cardinal Oswald Gracias.  The Cardinal expressed thanks to God for all that He has done and for His gift of Family, Eucharist, Church and the Marriage Encounter Programme. The first reading was done as a couple by Windsor and Maureen. The husband/wife team of Sheshrao and Harriett Timothy did the second reading in Hindi. Bishop Agnelo Gracias proclaimed the Gospel message according to St. Luke.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, in his homily, acknowledged the couples present and thanked God once again for all that He has done for the UniversalChurch, especially through the Marriage Encounter programme. His Eminence reflected on the Gospel passage and once again reminded the congregation of the necessity of being grateful. Married couples are strengthened in their relationship through gratitude. The Cardinal used the first reading from the Book of Kings to illustrate the importance of faith in our spiritual lives as well as in marriage, and the second reading from the book of Timothy to reinforce the idea of loving each other without expectations just like Jesus’ unconditional love for the whole of mankind. The Cardinal concluded his homily with the ultimate model of love - Jesus Christ who gave of himself completely. The Cardinal asked the married couples to live this model in their personal lives so that selfishness never mars their relationship. Faith, the Cardinal emphasized, is important in every relationship.

The Cardinal prayed for all the priests and religious everywhere around the world and for Pope Francis. Reflecting on the importance of a good family life, he recalled Pope Francis’ recent announcement of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to discuss the topic, “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” in October 2014. 

The thanksgiving prayer and lighting of the candle symbolising the Declaration of the Convention followed.  

The Eucharistic celebration was followed by a cultural programme full of verve and vivacity. The pioneers of ME India were the Chief Guests : Dick and Patricia Alexandro (USA) and Fr Peter De Sousa (India). The Guests of Honour were the Asian Coordinating Team, Daniel and Shelley Ee (Singapore) and Fr Boy (Philippines). The first day of the Convention concluded with the dinner organised by the Mumbai unit of the WWME. 

Source: Catholic Communication Centre

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