Ministries | Marriage Encounter

Rev. Fr. Lester Nonis
with Marriage Encounter 2010

Marriage Encounter

The Marriage Encounter movement began in 1952 in Barcelona, Spain, as a Catholic marriage renewal program in Spain. It was known as the Encuentro Conjugaland founded by Father Gabriel Calvo, a Diocesean Laborer priest. Fr. Calvo and a group of "encountered" Spanish couples first brought Marriage Encounter to the United States in 1966. The first M.E. Weekend in English was held on the University of Notre Dame campus in summer 1967. A national organization was founded in 1969.
In the early 1970s, Marriage Encounter split into two separate Catholic organizations.

  1. The original group that continued more in the tradition of Father Calvo became National Marriage Encounter, based in Minneapolis.
  2. An alternative group, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, was founded in Long Island, New York, under the direction of Father Charles ("Chuck") Gallagher, a Jesuit priest.

The programs presented by National Marriage Encounter and Worldwide Marriage Encounter are similar, with the latter being more structured, presentation formats more standardized, and greater concern for its mission of renewal of the Roman Catholic Church. Both organizations seek to elicit positive change in marriages, and in turn to help change the world by preparing and motivating couples and priests to be open and outreaching as they continue to strengthen their own relationships.
It is estimated that more than 5 million couples in 97 countries have attended a Marriage Encounter.


At the first weekend Marriage Encounter meeting held from 3 July to 5 July 1987 by our Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Hubert Pieris, and the Marriage Encounter in out parish was formed. 20 families participated and the first meeting was addressed by Mr. Paul Perera and Mrs. Consi Perera. Our Parish Marriage Encounter was conducted under the leadership of Mr. Charles Arangalla and Mr. Elizabeth Arangalla. Later it was taken over by Mr. & Mrs. Vincent and Princy Appuhamy. At present too if is being conducted by them.

Our Activities:

The Weekend Meeting Encounter Which starts in Friday evening concludes on Sunday evening. It is being held at the Periyamulla Perpetual Help Convent. Organising the marriage Encounter Day every year in the parish, and organising of the feast and the holy mass on the day of the Feast of Holy Family. Visiting the couples of the Marriage Encounter on their Wedding Anniversary day, reciting prayers and participating in the celebrations. Visiting the sick persons of the Encounter and reciting prayers.


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