Since the first Encounter weekend was held in Adelaide in 1978, thousands of couples have come together to pray and share their stories of living the sacrament of marriage.
Originating in Spain in the 1950s, Marriage Encounter is considered the first marriage enrichment program offered to married couples in the Church. It was brought to Australia by Fr Joseph McCann OMI who experienced a weekend in the US in late 1973, together with Sydney couple Ron and Mavis Pirola.
The South Australian story began prior to 1978 when four couples who had experienced a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend in Victoria decided that the movement must come to SA.
Pioneers Don and Bev Walker, Anne and Martin Dodson, Terry and Bob Nicholas and Clem and Barbara Colla began to plan how to make this happen and after Archbishop Gleeson gave his blessing, the first WWME weekend took place in Adelaide on February 3-5 1978.
The core of the movement is the married couple but priests and religious also benefit and have been integral to the weekends.
The 40th anniversary celebrations will take place on February 2 from 5pm onwards at Our Lady of the Visitation Church, 441 Victoria Rd, Taperoo. All encountered couples, priests and Religious are invited to an evening of thanksgiving and shared memories including Mass and a shared meal.
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