FR. GABRIEL CALVO
The Author of Marriage Encounter, Marriage Retorno and the FIRES programs, Fr. Gabriel Calvo was born in Barcelona, Spain, on 21 February 1927. After accomplishing his studies in Salamanca, he was ordained a Catholic priest in 1952. He joined the community of the Diocesan Labourer Priests of Spain.
Fr. Calvo served in marriage and family ministry from his ordination. As a result of nine years of sharing and prayers with the first couples, he created the Encuentro Conyugal program, which he first presented for young married couples in Barcelona in 1961. He was appointed National Chaplain of the Christian Family Movement in 1968, then he served as spiritual director of the Pontifical Spanish College in Rome for two years (1972-1974).
Fr. Calvo moved to the United States in 1974. He worked in the pastoral care of families in several countries, wrote books on family topics, and created his further Encounter programs under the acronym FIRES.
In 2014, he moved to Madrid, where he lived until his death on 29th January 2021.
FR. DONNON MURRAY OFM
The most dedicated and fruitful promoter of the original Marriage Encounter and the FIRES programs, Fr. Donnon Murray, OFM, was born in Olyphant, Pennsylvania on 9th March 1931, and died in Tokyo on 29th May 2020.
He was received into the Franciscan Order in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1956. In his first assignment, he taught for a year at the minor seminary of Holy Name Province in Callicoon, N.Y. Then in 1958 he volunteered to serve in the Province’s new mission field in Japan.
Between 1961 and 1987 he served at parishes in Kiryu, Isesaki, Ota and Maebashi. From 1974, he was involved with presenting the Original Marriage Encounter by Fr. Gabriel Calvo. From 1988, he was assigned to the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo, while also traveling worldwide as a team priest for the Original Marriage Encounter and the FIRES Encounters for youth, couples, families, individuals and priests.
As a result of his involvement in presenting encounters, Fr. Donnon witnessed hundreds of saved marriages and thousands of those willing to convert to Catholicism. “There is nothing that brings people closer to God faster than these experiences” – he said.
Video: interview with Fr. Donnon Murray
Fr. Donnon Murray talks about his six decades as a priest in Tokyo and reflects on the importance of marriage and family.
Testimonies on Graces from FIRES
sent by many people in various countries of the world, who have experienced FIRES Encounter programs. A book compiled by Fr. Donnon Murray OFM. For free PDF, contact our FIRES team
News of the world’s first Eucharistic Encounter presented by Fr. Donnon Murray OFM in Hungary in 2008. Fr. Donnon Murray OFM introduced all the original Encounter programs by Fr. Calvo in Hungary from 1999 to 2008.