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Strengthening the Marriage Bond through Service to Others

Posted : Jan-29-2024

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Al and Rita Doloroso have been married for 48 years. They are the founding members of the Movement for Marriage Enrichment (MME) under the Filipino Chaplaincy since 1992.

1. What is the MME, and what is your role as a couple within the MME?

The MME is a non-profit lay movement of married Filipino Catholic couples who have committed in self-renewal to enrich marriage and family relationships, recognized by the Archdiocese of Toronto as a pontifical organization. Its mission is to foster enrichment of the Sacrament of Marriage through a series of three-day weekend retreats and two-phase follow-up programs.

Our role as Advisor is to ensure that all MME activities observe its Manual and guidelines developed for its spiritual, social and marriage-related activities with the guidance of its Spiritual Director and Assistant Spiritual Director. Additionally, as members of the MME Secretariat, we are involved in the planning and enabling of its activities, including the spiritual formation and development of its members through retreats, recollections and fundraising drives (note that MME has no membership fees and solely relies on donations). We also participate in the three-day weekend retreats as facilitators and/or part of the retreat team as lay couple-sharer. The MME Weekend, usually conducted at least once a year, is categorized as a Class of the registered couple-candidates and is "free of charge." To date, there have been 39 Classes on record.

Serving MME for about 31 years now, we believe God has been guiding this Movement, as manifested by the growing enthusiasm and dedication of the Secretariat members and inspiring feedback from the number of couples acknowledging the substantial positive changes in their relationship. Though I am 81 years old now, I always feel happy and energetic to be able to serve in small ways towards helping others enrich their marriages. We feel even our own marriage is stronger than before.

2. How does your involvement in this lay movement enrich your marriage?  

While not geared to solving problematic relationships, our Apostolate is geared to introduce ways and tools in enriching healthy marriages with the help of our Spiritual Director. We have accommodated young and old married couples alike and the results are gratefully very encouraging.

Our involvement with MME enriches our own marriage though the various talks presented during the MME Weekends and the support group discussion within the Class Reunions. We learned that in most marriages, in spite of problems and challenges, dialogue between couples and ensuing forgiveness are vital to a lasting relationship. We have been through many challenges and problems as well, but communication, whether verbal or written, proved to be very helpful. Most importantly, we were able to seek forgiveness and forgive, which at times may be difficult, but is in line with the Lord's Will.

3. Can you share with readers how participating in parish and archdiocesan activities and events impacts your marriage?

When we were married in 1975, we thought that going to Sunday Masses was enough for us and our three children to fulfill our Catholic obligations, but since getting involved with MME, we realized that we have other duties as Christians and as members of the Church. Hence, we decided to get involved, such as forming two parish choirs which have served Masses since 1988.

As Eucharistic Ministers in the Archdiocesan Filipino Catholic Mission based at Our Lady of the Assumption parish, we as a couple found that aside from serving the community, it deepens our faith and understanding of our marriage as a foundation that should foster and live the Gospel in everyday life. Certainly, serving as a couple is rewarding and enriching spiritually.

Inspired by MME, I know that several couples do participate in their own parishes either as altar servers, Eucharistic Ministers (even visiting sick and elderly to give communion) and members of their parish choir.

For more information about the MME, please contact our Overall Coordinator Philip and Maritess Beloso at

Al and Rita Doloroso