Marriage Enrichment

Upcoming Marriage Enrichment Events

Check back here frequently for the latest updates on marriage enrichment activities available in the diocese!

Domestic Church Evangelization Retreat
The Domestic Church movement is a lay led ministry for sacramentally married couples that enhances marriage and family life by opening the treasures of the Church’s teachings on love and life.

The first step is to attend the evangelization retreat that begins on a Thursday evening at 7PM and ends at noon the following Sunday. During the retreat, couples will begin a spiritual journey together. The goal of the retreat is to strengthen the couple’s spousal union and lead them to experience complete harmony and joy in their marriage through  simple formation and meaningful dialogue.

April 26-29, 2017
St. Anthony’s Spirituality Retreat Center –  Marathon, WI
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Self-Directed Enrichment

Marriage Retreat with Pope Francis

This is a seven day, self-directed retreat. Each day, begin with a simple prayer that is followed by reading the quote from Pope Francis and the text that breaks open the theme. Move into the reflection, stopping to dialogue about what you are thinking. Talk about the actions that are suggested. Finally close in prayer.

Click here to download the retreat (PDF)

Marriage – Love and Life in the Divine Plan Retreat

This is a seven day, self-directed retreat. Each day, begin with a simple prayer that is followed by reading the text that breaks open the theme. Move into the reflection, stopping to dialogue about what you are thinking. Talk about the actions that are suggested. Finally close in prayer.

Click here to download the retreat (PDF)

Programs for Parishes, Small Groups or Home

The Beatitudes

Author/Publisher: John & Terry Bosio

Purchase Price: $75 Parish Packet includes DVD with 6 sessions, program coordinator’s guide, printable handouts and a copy of Blessed is Marriage book.

Description: The program is very versatile. It can be used as a six session parish “Date Night” program, or as a tool for small group discussion, or as a couples’ retreat using the videos as presentations for each session. The Beatitudes program is based on the book: Blessed is Marriage: A Guide to the Beatitudes for Catholic Couples, by John Bosio (Twenty-Third Publications, 2012)

Time Frame: 6 sessions, 12 minute videos (optional opening prayer, social, discussion formats)
Admin/Organization: Program Coordinator’s booklet

Environment: Date nights, group settings, retreat

Recommendations: For group settings, recommend Blessed is Marriage book for individual couples. Order for $14.95 at website.

Presenters: 1 program coordinator needed to open prayer and guide discussion

Copy available through Marriage & Family Life: Yes

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Beloved

Author/Publisher: Lighthouse Catholic Media/Augustine Institute

Purchase Price: Leader’s Guide with discs: $215
Couple’s Guide booklet: $25

Description: In 12 sessions, Beloved explores the true meaning of marriage. Here you’ll discover the deepest spiritual, emotional, and practical realities of what your marriage can and should be. Through an exploration of Scripture, Tradition, and Church teaching, God’s plan for your marriage will come alive. You’ll see firsthand the wonder, mystery, and joy behind that first “I do”—whether you said it last year or many years ago.

Time Frame: 12 sessions – each 60-90 min. in length (includes prayer, video, discussion)

Admin/Organization: The Leader’s Guide explains how to lead the group through each session

Environment: Group, One on One, Retreat, Home study

Recommendations: Child care recommended if the program is used in group setting.

Presenters: Trained following Leader’s Guide

Copy available through Marriage & Family Life: Yes

Additional Comments: Discs capable of being used for Marriage Preparation if necessary. Parish should seek approval from Office for Marriage and Family Life before using for Marriage Preparation. Couple’s booklet needed for each couple.

Click here to learn more

The Choice Wine

Author/Publisher: Paradisus Dei

Purchase Price: Free to parishes for startup. Parishes offset or cover the cost of meals or refreshments by seeking suggested donations from participating couples.

Description: The Choice Wine is a pathway to authentic marital happiness. Couples will learn how to virtually divorce-proof their marriages, experience the superabundant love and mercy of God, and realize a foretaste of Paradise in their marriages and families.

Time Frame: 9 Sessions, once per week
1.5-2hrs including refreshments, prayer, video, discussion, closing

Admin/Organization: Parish Implementation Kit includes Core Team Role Descriptions, the Core Team Manual, Training DVD, The Choice Wine session DVDs, Small Group Facilitator Guides for each session, and Master of Ceremony Guides for each session

Environment: Community weekly sessions, small groups in the home setting or weekend retreat as well as individual couples experiencing the program at home

Recommendations: Because this program is very flexible, think about best application before ordering materials. Child care is recommended if the program is used in group setting.

Presenters: Video based, Core team materials and instructions

Copy available through Marriage & Family Life: Preview only

Additional Comments: Very similar to the popular men’s ministry program That Man is You. You can request materials at website. A book that accompanies the program is available for parishes to purchase in bulk at substantial discounts. Parishes offset or cover the cost of meals or refreshments by seeking suggested donations from participating couples.

Click here to learn more

Fireproof My Marriage

Author/Publisher: Provident Films

Description: Kirk Cameron stars as Caleb Holt, a heroic fire captain who values dedication and service to others above all else. But the most important partnership in his life, his marriage, is about to go up in smoke. This gripping story follows one man’s desire to transform his life and marriage through the healing power of faith and fully embrace the fireman’s code: Never Leave Your Partner Behind.

Time Frame: 110 minute movie, six 90 minute sessions

Admin/Organization: Small group, with video clips to accentuate points from the film. Catholic study guides available through the Office for Marriage and Family Life.

Environment: In-home or small group

Presenters: 1 facilitator for the evening

Copy available through Marriage & Family Life: Yes

Other resources available at: www.fireproofresources.com

Click here to learn more

The 5 Love Languages

Author/Publisher: LifeWay

Purchase Price: DVD available in office, extra workbooks cost $17.75 on Amazon

Description: People express and receive love in different ways. If you express love in a way your spouse doesn’t understand, they won’t realize you’ve expressed your love at all. The problem – you’re speaking two different languages. This presentation helps you learn to speak and understand the unique languages of love and effectively communicate with your spouse.

Time Frame: Seven, 60-90 minutes/presentation

Admin/Organization: Small group, at most six couples

Environment: Small group, one to one, home study

Presenters: Leader guide on DVD with Leader Helps, Handouts

Copy available through Marriage & Family Life: Yes

Additional Comments: Book by same title can be purchased. ($8.59 on Amazon)

Click here to learn more

7 Steps to Becoming Financially Free

Author/Publisher: Phil Lenahan/Our Sunday Visitor

Purchase Price: $20 book, $100 Leader kit

Description: 7 Steps to Becoming Financially Free is the popular program that provides the direction, strategies, and practical guidance every Catholic needs to manage their God-given resources well. This one-of-a-kind program provides a step-by-step approach to guide you from concept to reality. Here is how to take the gifts God has given you – your skills, your education, your training, your income – and use them as He intended. Here is how to not just get out of debt and begin saving, but to wisely and deliberately set priorities and achieve financial goals that reflect what you believe as a Catholic.

Time Frame: Six, 90 minutes sessions

Admin/Organization: Individual or small group study

Environment: In home or parish hall, book or online

Presenters: Group Leader

Copy available through Marriage & Family Life: Yes

Additional Comments: Also available in Spanish

Click here to learn more

10 Great Dates to Energize your Marriage

Author/Publisher: Zondervan

Purchase Price: $39.99 for DVD with 10 video sessions and copy of accompanying book

Description: Combining fun dates and marriage education skills, this video curriculum gives couples time-out to build their marriage and enrich their relationship.

Time Frame: 10, 30 minute sessions with 12 minute video

Admin/Organization: Leaders guide included with DVD

Environment: Group setting or individual couples

Presenters: A leader to coordinate opening prayer, video and discussion

Copy available through Marriage & Family Life: Yes

Additional Comments: 1 book per couple ($12.99)

Click here to learn more

Marriage in Christ

Presentation Cost: Cost to train a couple to present $125 + shipping

Description: Over time couples can fall into a rut. We take our spouse for granted and we forget how much we love each other. The 5 week Marriage in Christ Seminary will give practical suggestions to renew our love and put it into action. The seminar offers a foundation to build a strong marriage where you can learn practical skills to build a marriage that stands the test of time.

Time Frame: Once per week in group setting for 2 hours and 20 minutes per day as a couple for 35 days

Admin/Organization: Manual provided including step by step prayer, conversation and suggestions.

Environment: Parish meeting room

Presenters: As trained/provided by the seminar

Click here to learn more

Men are Like Waffles-Women are like Spaghetti

Author/Publisher: Bill & Pam Farrell
Presentation Cost: $100/hour + mileage for presenting couple

Description: We want marriages that are happy and harmonious. That is why so many of our decisions are affected by how our spouse will respond. This presentation focuses on how to understand the differences between men and women – and delighting in those differences.

Time Frame: 60 min/presentation

Admin/Organization: The parish would be responsible for setting up the event (date, location, hospitality, etc.)

Environment: Parish meeting room to accommodate group. Can also be done at a local restaurant.

Presenters: Diocesan training presenters. Please contact familylife@diolc.org for additional information and a list of the presenters.

Additional Comments: Book available

Click here for the book

email familylife@diolc.org for the program

Pick 6-Great Date Series

Author/Publisher: John Bosio

Cost: Parish packet costs $75.

Description: This ready to use program comes with a coordinator’s guide, videos, and handouts (in PDF format ready to print). The six 20 minute videos inspire spouses to become aware of the gift that they are to each other as husband and wife.

Time Frame: 6 date night, 20 minute presentations are available.

Admin/Organization: Leader guide with prayers, readings, and story preceding date for couples.

Environment: Parish Hall or other suitable meeting space

Recommendations: Consider providing childcare for couples while they are on their date.

Presenters: 1 presentation leader

Click here to learn more

International or National Marriage Movements

Domestic Church

Cost: Couple will cover the cost of attending the initial evangelization retreat (Average cost = $325)

Description: Domestic Church provides long term support and formation for sacramentally married couples who want to grow in holiness together as a couple. What began in Poland over forty years ago with the guidance and support of St. John Paul II is now available to English speaking couples here in the U.S. Although we know that true holiness is supposedly possible within the midst of the daily demands of marriage and parenthood, it can be very difficult to know how to access it and take advantage of the fact that marriage is a Sacrament. Domestic Church gives couples and families real, concrete help for tapping into what God has in store for couples in the blessed vocation of marriage. For a sneak peak, check out www.domesticchurchfamilies.com.

Time Frame: The normal way a couple starts is by attending an Evangelization Retreat. That’s the first step. It’s a four day retreat (from Thursday to Sunday afternoon), and presently, the retreats are held at St. Anthony’s Spirituality Retreat Center in Marathon. After that couples meet in their circle once a month. The rest of the work is done in the home between the spouses and the family. The couple progresses in their conjugal spirituality by practicing the seven commitments they make. The meetings give the couples accountability and support for this.

Admin/Organization: This is a lay led movement which means the couples take on the administration and organization, not the parish. Circles are to include a priest/deacon.

Environment: Retreat Center and within the home.

Additional Comments: This is a new movement for the Diocese. For more information, please contact the Office for Marriage and Family Life or email aheinzen@diolc.org.

Click here to learn more

National Marriage Encounter

Cost: The couple covers the cost of the encounter weekend that varies by location. (Average cost $150-$300)

Description: A National Marriage Encounter (NME) weekend is a process that married couples experience in the course of two or three days. This weekend gives spouses an opportunity to grow in their marriage through open and honest communication, face-to-face sharing, and heart to heart encounter in a comfortable, relaxed setting. NME invites and encourages married couples of all ages and faith expressions to share in this experience and to become an integral part of this journey.
Through the Marriage Encounter Weekend process couples are given time to reflect on their attitudes toward each other and their families … their joys and their frustrations … their disappointments and hurts … their hopes and their dreams. The techniques shared on the ME weekend are non-threatening. The weekend experience is unique for each couple, and the communication experienced between each individual couple is personal and private.

Time Frame: The weekend begins on a Saturday morning and ends on a Sunday evening.

Admin/Organization: This is a lay led movement which means that the couples take on the administration and organization.

Environment: Outside of the Parish.

Additional Comments: This movement focuses on the importance of communication within marriage. Techniques are focused on helping the couples improve their ability to understand each other – especially each other’s feelings. Local contacts for NME are Ken and Sue Ripp. They can be contacted at: rippsk@charter.net

Click here to learn more

Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Cost: The couple covers the cost of the encounter weekend that varies by location. (Average cost $150-$300)

Description: The mission of Worldwide Marriage Encounter is to proclaim the value of Marriage and Holy Orders in the Church and in the world. To that end, couples attend a 3 day weekend retreat where they listen to a series of presentations that help them examine their behaviors and attitudes, their relationship with each other and God. Communication tools are taught on the weekend helping couples connect in healthy, constructive ways on areas that can deepen their intimacy and connectedness.

Time Frame: The retreat begins Friday evening and concludes late Sunday afternoon. After the weekend encounter, the couples are encouraged to attend monthly group meetings.

Admin/Organization: This is a lay led movement which means the couples take on the administration and organization.

Environment: Outside of the Parish

Additional Comments: WWME does encourage clergy and religious to attend the weekends because doing so strengthens their communication skills, and deepens their understanding of marriage and family life issues within their parish. Local contacts for WWME are Janet and Jack Francois. Contact them at: jljwwme08@gmail.com

Click here to learn more

Marriage Inventory Resource

REFOCCUS

Author/Publisher: FOCCUS, Inc.

 

Purchase Price: $25/couple

Description: The REFOCCUS© Marriage Enrichment Inventory is a growth and enrichment tool, which can be taken by a married couple at any stage of their marital relationship. Couples independently indicate their agreement or disagreement with statements presented in six different sections of the REFOCCUS© Inventory, which can be taken over the course of days or weeks to allow the couple time for in-depth discussion and consideration. The inventory is not intended for use by individuals in seriously troubled marriages.

Time Frame: As needed by the wants of the couple

Admin/Organization: Unlike the FOCCUS pre-marriage inventory, can be taken with or without a facilitator.

Environment: In-home

Additional Comments: For more information, contact your parish FOCCUS/Marriage Facilitator or email familylife@diolc.org

Click here to learn more