An eventful year
A LAW EACH DAY (KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) - Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2019 - 12:00am

The year 1969 is one of the most memorable years in our country and all over the world, So many unforgettable events took place during that year. Being 747 jumbo jet made its debut. One of man’s crowning achievements that year was the landing at the Moon of American Astronaut Neil Armstrong who uttered the immortal words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

In our country, the Cultural Center of the Philippines was inaugurated. Ms. Philippines Gloria Diaz was crowned Miss Universe, And for most Filipino Family, that year 1969 was quite significant because the Marriage Encounter (ME) was introduced in the Philippines by the Christian Family Movement (CFM), The first M.E. was held at the Loyola Retreat House, Angono, Rizal, on October 3 to 5, 1969, with then CFM National President Couple, Asuncion “Sony” Sison and her late husband, Luisito “Sito” Sison, as the Team Couple and Fr. Ruben Transeco S.J. as Team Priest.

During the summer of 1969, Sito and Sony were delegates to the convention of the International Confederation of the Christian Family Movement (ICCFM) at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, U.S.A. A week after said convention, there was an M.E. Weekend there and Sito and Sony Sison had the opportunity to attend. Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. also joined another M.E. weekend in Michigan, U.S.A. Hence, with Fr. Tanseco, S.J as the Team Priest and Sito-Sony Sison as the Team Couple, the first M.E. in the Philippines was conducted with the participation of 11 couples and 4 priests. Today, after 50 years in the Philippines, the Marriage Encounter Weekends are continuously being held under the auspices of the Christian Family Movement of the Philippines (CFM Philippines), as one of its family life apostolates.

From the time the M.E. was introduced in the Philippines by CFM in 1969, there have been many married couples, families, priests and religious who have benefitted from the program. Marriages have been revitalized. The interpersonal growth and renewed couple-love of husbands and wives toward each other have led many to strive and become “Couple-for-Others”. 

The story of the Marriage Encounter began in 1952 when a young priest in Spain, Fr. Gabriel Calvo, began developing a series of conferences for married couples, whose focus was on the development of an open and honest relationship within marriage and learning to live out a sacramental relationship in the service of others. In 1962, Fr. Calvo presented the conferences as a weekend retreat to couples in Barcelona. The experience was very successful and rapidly spread throughout Spain, Latin America, USA and many other countries. The expansion continues today, and the M.E. Weekend is now offered in numerous languages and dialects around the world.

Since its introduction here,several series of M.E. were also adopted and conducted by other communities, religious organizations and sectors. The live-in and live-out Marriage Encounters in English and Pilipino have been held in Metro Manila, Bataan, Baguio, Cagayan, Olongapo, Laguna, Rizal, Pampanga, Zambales, Quezon, Batangas, Camarines Norte, Marinduque, Masbate, Bulacan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Legaspi, Isabela, Tagaytay, Nueva Ecija, Mindoro, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Dumaguete, Roxas, Capiz, Aklan, Tacloban, Bohol, Samar, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, Surigao Del Sur, Iligan, Agusan, Zamboanga, Cotabato, etc.

As part of the 50th year celebration of the Marriage Encounter in the Philippines, the current CFM National M.E. Team happily organized an Anniversary M.E. Weekend in Nazareth Home last October 11 to 13, 2019 with Msgr. Manuel G. Gabriel as the Spiritual Director.

As the M.E Couple look ahead and move forward to better help other couples, priests and religious cope with the more complex challenges and greater pressures of the next half century, it is timely proper and fitting to thank all the men and women who lovingly shared their time, talent, treasures and life stories in contributing to the countless amazing stories of the M.E. participants’ transformations throughout the last 50 years, more especially Sito and Sony Sison and Fr. Ruben Transeco, for their invaluable and heroic contribution. The one small step that they took in introducing the Marriage Encounter to our country 50 years ago have nourished and saved thousands and thousands of individuals, marriages and families. Indeed, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

*      *      *


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with