Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Archbishop Celebrates Marriage Encounter Family Mass

Published November 27, 2008

The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Atlanta area community gathered Oct. 24 for its 25th annual Family Camp Out and Fun Fest weekend at Red Top Mountain. During this special event, couples and their families come together for fellowship, fun and to celebrate the gift God has given them in one another, their family and their faith.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been active in the Atlanta area since 1973, providing a weekend experience and support for married couples, priests and religious. Those who attend learn a unique method of communication called Dialogue, which improves their communication and the intimacy in their relationship. They also bring home from that experience five tools, which they can use to continue to enhance their marriage. The experience also gives them a better understanding of the fullness of their sacrament.

The Family Fun Fest began in October 1983 when the Marriage Encounter executive team of Jim and Mary Ellen Macke and Msgr. Henry Gracz, along with other couples and priests who had made a Marriage Encounter weekend, wanted to bring families together at a Georgia state park. The first campout at Red Top Mountain was so successful that it was put on the Marriage Encounter calendar every October.

The highlight of the weekend this year was the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, said Jack and Angel LaBate.

“Archbishop Gregory arrived and greeted us with a warm hug and a beautiful bright smile that lit up the room. Joy and excitement filled the air as people took their seats for Mass. … During the homily, as the archbishop spoke, he drew us in. The message was simple and down-to-earth, yet thought provoking, which gave us valuable insights into our marriage. As families came up together to receive holy Communion there were joyful tears in many eyes as we were all touched by the love that we felt as the archbishop placed the body of Christ into our hands. As we sang our closing song and looked around the room at so many beautiful, faith-filled families we were deeply moved. We thank the Lord for the opportunity to be part of such a loving community and for the gift of having the archbishop celebrate this special Mass.”

All married couples, priests and religious are invited to experience a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend and all that it has to offer. The next three Weekends will be held Jan. 23-25, Feb. 20-22 and March 20-22. For more information call 1-866-ATL-WWME or visit