Published April 5, 2018
ATLANTA—Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) couples from the Atlanta area gathered Feb. 17 for the annual World Marriage Day Ball at the Atlanta Marriott in Peachtree Corners. The World Marriage Day Ball was established in 1986 to honor couples who have been married a long time and serve as great examples of love to their families and communities.
The annual World Marriage Day Ball in Atlanta came about as a result of the World Marriage Day observance. The idea of celebrating marriage on or near Valentine’s Day had its beginnings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1981. Couples and priests from the WWME community wanted to shine a light on the importance of marriage in the church and in the world. They encouraged their bishop and civic leaders to proclaim St. Valentine’s Day as “We Believe in Marriage Day.”
The idea quickly spread across the United States, and in 1983 the name was changed to “World Marriage Day.”
At the ball this year, WWME honored 2018’s longest married couple in the Atlanta Archdiocese—Robert and Catherine Pollard, of Roswell, who are celebrating 72 years of marriage. The Pollards were nominated by their daughter, Anne Johnson, and her husband, Christopher. The Pollards are the parents of five children—Kim Pollard Diaz, Tom Pollard, Pat Pollard, Susan Pollard and Anne Pollard Johnson. The Pollards, who have four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, are members of St. Peter Chanel Church in Roswell. They rejoiced in the attention they were given, and all there applauded as the Pollards went out on the floor to dance.
In a note sent to WWME leaders Roger and Annie Borrello and World Marriage Day Ball coordinators Eric and Denise Hoell and their committee, Johnson expressed gratitude for the honor to her parents.
“Thank you so much for all the thought, time and care that was put into the Valentine’s Ball and all of the special touches for my Mom and Dad. They (and we) were blown away by all the love and gifts for them. It was a magical evening for Mom and Dad,” wrote Johnson.
“Chris and I have found at any WWME event we have gone to we both always come away uplifted, inspired and renewed by all the wonderful couples involved in this movement. Our prayer is for many more couples to discover this treasure here in the Atlanta area.”
WWME has offered weekend experiences for 50 years, focusing on effective communication, giving couples the tools they need to keep their relationship the special gift intended by God. WWME celebrates its 50th anniversary in Chicago in June.
WWME has a presence in more than 90 countries, which makes it the largest marriage support movement in the world. In North America, WWME programs are presented in English, Spanish, French and Korean.
Scheduled Marriage Encounter weekends in Atlanta for 2018 are April 20-22, June 15-17, Aug. 10-12, Sept. 28-30 and Nov. 16-18. More information on WWME weekends can be found at GATN-wwme.org or by calling 678-242-WWM