At least 850 couples promised a lifelong commitment to their marriages at the Worldwide Marriage Encounter in Ontario, California by signing a five by eight foot banner bearing in large print the words “Forever Yours.”
Participants had met in Ontario to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the grass roots Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement, which has spread to 90 countries.
About 2,000 people participated in the meeting including 850 married couples, 250 children, 70 priests, and several bishops from the San Diego and San Bernardino dioceses.
Tony and Cathy Witczak and Father Emile Frische, the United States leadership team of Worldwide Marriage Encounter, explained the signing, saying “This is a way for us to reinforce the permanence of our marriage vows and the sanctity of the sacrament of matrimony.”
The banner also included a statement supporting the sacrament of Holy Orders, while the signatories also affirmed their belief in traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
The typical Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend begins on a Friday evening and ends on Sunday afternoon. Participating spouses hear presentations by a couple and a priest and later write their thoughts and feelings to share with each other in the privacy of their room.
The weekends are held in various locations like hotels and retreat centers across the United States.