Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) T&T celebrated their 40th anniversary on November 10 at Green Meadows, Santa Cruz. The theme of the celebration was Learning the Languages of Love.
Over 50 couples and priests came from areas as far as Point Fortin, Blanchisseuse, Arouca, San Fernando, Couva and Diego Martin to name a few and also from Barbados, St Vincent and Guyana.
The presenters were Dr Charlie and Marty Coe from the United States and they are the authors of the book Love is a Decision. They led us through exercises of naming our spouse’s most endearing quality and finding out our Love Language. Following this, we all engaged in lively group discussions on specific questions geared toward finding out from each other what fills our love tank.
We also received congratulations on the occasion from the leaders of the World Council, Canadian, US and North American secretariat of WWME.
The day culminated with Holy Mass with the chief celebrant Archbishop Jason Gordon. Concelebrating with him were Frs Alando Williams, from the Diocese of Kingstown, St Vincent, Ashton Pierre, CSSp and Anton Dick, CSSp. Fr Dick, together with Wilfred and Kay Holder, was part of the original team which started WWME in T&T 40 years ago. Archbishop Gordon was assisted by Deacon Harold Woodroffe.
Reflecting on the readings chosen for the liturgy—1 Corinthians 13 and John 2: 1–12— the Archbishop said that in this letter, St Paul sets a high standard of love, defining that love is always patient and kind; never jealous; boastful or conceited; rude or selfish; not taking offense or being resentful. It takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to forgive, trust, hope and endure.
This is the standard of love which Jesus met and to which our marriages are called to aspire, Archbishop Gordon said. He added that marriage is a school of love—a school in which married persons check into because they don’t know the subject very well but, it is within this school/vocation of marriage that married persons are called to holiness.
The gospel reading was taken from the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana. The wine in the passage refers to the joy, and running out of wine symbolises running out of hope, faith, joy, normal civility, the things worth living. Archbishop Gordon then asked those gathered, “Has the wine ever run out in your relationship or Marriage Encounter?”
Just as Mary pointed out to the servants at the wedding, so is she pointing out to us to do whatever Jesus tells you, the Archbishop said. And just as Jesus, in working this miracle, used water from jars that were for ritual ablution to bring forth new wine, the Archbishop challenged us to bring forth new wine in our marital relationships and WWME. He challenged us to double the attendance at next year’s 41st Marriage Encounter celebration. – Deacon Malcom & Lynn Joab, & Fr Ashton Pierre CSSp.