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His Lordship Bishop Zolile Mpambani of Kokstad, who is also the Chairperson for Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s Department for Formation and Ministry of the Laity, together with SACBC Marriage Encounter (ME) national team: Fr Zakhele Ziqub, Mr Nathi Ngcobo and Mrs Thabile Ngcobo, conducted a workshop for new Marriage Encounter couples from different dioceses.

The workshop was held on the 7-9 June 2019 at Trefontane Retreat House in Mariannhill diocese.

Three couples were from the Archdiocese of Durban, one from Kokstad Diocese and the other couple was from Aliwal North Diocese.

According to Mrs Thabile Ngcobo 10 couples were expected to attend the workshop but only five couples made it.

“The main purpose of the workshop was to train the new couples into furthering the ministry of Marriage Encounter in their own dioceses. The workshop was also meant for continuous deepening for their love experience before they could go out to empower other marriages”, said Mrs Ngcobo.

Talking about the experience of the weekend Mrs Ngcobo said the weekend was very necessary. It was a powerful orientation and preparation for the couples to take the ministry of Marriage Encounter forward. After 50 years of Marriage Encounter in South Africa there is a need to consolidate it in all the dioceses and give support to the marriages.

During the last day of the workshop, Bishop Zolile Mpambani celebrated the Solemnity of Pentecost together with the group. During his homily he urged the couples to be always united as partners in everything they do because each individual has a role to play in their relationship. He also urged them to be a true sign of love and unity to other couples they are going to help.

Relating to the Pentecost readings of the day, whereby disciples of Jesus Christ were from different places and languages under the same roof but able to understand the language of each other because of the power of the Holy Spirit, Bishop Mpambani said there are many languages in South Africa. They are all important. He encouraged the couples to learn the languages of others so as to make the ministry of Marriage Encounter easy. 

Bishop Mpambani concluded his homily by emphasizing to the group that the first language of Marriage Encounter is the one of ‘love’. The language of love first manifests in the daily life of the couples before it is shared with others. He encouraged them to share different activities to grow the spirit of love and unity, so that they can go out to share the same experience of love with others.

For more information regarding the workshop kindly contact Mrs Thabile Ngcobo: Cell: 081 721 2013, E-mail: ngcobotb@telkom.co.za