By Tony C. Diaz
U Matuna Si Yu’os
When Stephen and Lisa Stettenbenz accepted an invitation to attend a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend on Guam in 2009, they weren’t sure what to expect. They just packed their bags and went through the motions of attending, not really excited or expecting much.
Four years later, the Stettenbenzs have retained the faith, inspiration and energy that the three-day marriage retreat infused in them back then … so much so that they are not merely regular members but have become Guam’s main Area Leaders for the faith-based marriage-enrichment program.
Charlie and Esther Keone of Santa Barbara parish were the ones who invited Stephen and Lisa in 2009. The Keones have been involved in WWME and other Catholic marriage and music ministries for decades. They were Guam’s WWME leaders at the time.
“We’d like to thank Charlie and Esther Keone,” Lisa Stettenbenz said. “They were actually the ones who gave us the gift of this weekend four years ago. It is with their blessing of that gift that we are here today.”
“Here today,” means sitting inside the Catholic Educational Radio-KOLG 90.9 FM studio promoting the upcoming Marriage Encounter weekend (they were guests last Tuesday, Oct. 15 on the Good News Guam Show). “Here today,” means living a richer, fuller, marriage and family life more balanced in Christ. “Here today,” means at a point in their lives where helping couples grow stronger in their blessed unions has become a ministry for them.
“Tenfold, we’ve been blessed with this ministry,” Stephen said. “It’s a ministry that Lisa and I have chosen to fulfill and to share and we’ll continue to do so because the reactions that we get from couples that are on the weekend is priceless.”
So Steve and Lisa are passing the gift to other married couples. They extend a heart- felt invitation to all married couples to join them in the next Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend Oct. 25-27 at the Marriott Resort and Spa.
The WWME weekend is an enrichment retreat for married couples. The Stettenbenzs say the weekend will be revitalizing.