Wilfred and Kay Holder were married 55 years ago in England and made their original WWME weekend in Belize City, Belize in 1972, after Wilfred was transferred to that Caribbean country.
The most powerful thing they learned on their original weekend was “That we are a sacramental couple and that we can renew our Church and change the world with our couple [sic] love”.
They truly believe God touched them on their original weekend. “He not only touched us but embraced us. Our marriage has not been the same since our WWME weekend! Yes, we are not the same—we see ourselves as a missionary couple and God has a plan for us.”
Wilfred and Kay have had many WWME adventures since their original weekend. Among those adventures were, “Moving residence from Belize to Trinidad and Tobago and meeting with late Archbishop Anthony Pantin on June 28, 1978 and sharing our dream of getting ME started in the Archdiocese. We got his full support to do so. In November of 1978, with the help and support of the lovers from Canada, the first weekend was given.”
As they reflected on the history of WWME they believe that “Love has no boundaries. We have seen the transformation of thousands of our Catholic marriages through the weekend. It has no boundaries regarding people, whether they are white or non-white or other faith or nationalities.
“Here is an experience in New York where we did our Deeper Weekend. After the weekend, we were invited to a share group by our hosting couple. As we were saying our goodbyes one of couples held on to us and he cried his heart out with these words. ‘I love you. I never, ever thought I would say these words to a black couple much less hug them. I am a prison warden. I work in a prison where I deal with black criminals and I only see the worst of them, but you today have changed that. Thank you. I love you guys’.”
The message Wilfred & Kay wish to pass onto others about the WWME experience is “God does not make junk. Each one of us is made with his own image and likeness. Believe in yourself- there is beauty in you.”
The three words that sum up their thoughts about WWME are “God loves you.”
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter is celebrating its golden anniversary in 2018 with the tagline, ‘Remembering and celebrating the couples and priests who are our witness to believing in our dream’. Two T&T couples, the Holders and the Joabs, were recognised for their contribution to the Movement. Here are their stories.