I attended the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend (WWME) at the Ranch at Ucross (northeast of Buffalo, WY) on November 3-5. Sixteen couples attended from Wyoming and Montana. The talks were given by three couples and a priest: Tom & Mary Frances Burke (Casper), Paul & Tracy McElvery (Gillette), Phil & Lisa Beamer (Worland) and Father Tom Ogg. The team couples spoke openly about their real-life struggles with communication and demonstrated the skills for authentic dialogue as a path to deeper intimacy. Similarly, the priest on the weekend spoke of his relationship with parishioners by way of having a spousal relationship with them.
The presenters gave excellent talks, which helped the participants grow in genuine communication and intimacy. I was encouraged by the depth of dialogue between the couples and their renewed hope. At the end of the experience, many of the couples spoke of how much they appreciated the opportunity to step away from busy schedules and dedicate time solely to their relationship.
In addition to the talks and fellowship, we celebrated Mass each day, and Fr. Ogg was available for confessions. I attended the weekend because priests and religious are welcome to attend and reflect on their spousal relationship with the people of their parish or community. I was renewed in my own journey, and it was refreshing to see the couples beaming with joy as we departed.
We are blessed to have capable faith-filled leaders of WWME in this diocese. I invite you to consider participating in a Marriage Encounter. The next dates are January 26-28, 2018 in Billings, MT, and March 2-4, 2018 in Riverton, WY. For information, call Paul & Tracy McElvery, 307-689-2820. Other dates and locations can be found on the WWME website: www.wwme.org.