The Retrouvaille Programme
What the programme is not
It is not a retreat, marriage counselling, or a sensitivity group. There are neither group dynamics nor group discussions on the weekend.
It is not a time for hurting; it is a time for healing.
Who is it for?
It is for couples with marital problems including those who are considering marriage separation and those who are already separated or divorced who want help to try again.
Some couples come to Retrouvaille during the initial signs of a marriage problem. Other couples are in a state of despair and hopelessness when they attend the programme. These latter couples often consider the Retrouvaille programme as their final option.
All contacts with Retrouvaille are held in the strictest confidence.
What happens during a Retrouvaille programme?
During the weekend phase, a team of three couples and a priest give a series of presentations. You will be encouraged to put the past behind you and start re-discovering each other.
The team presents a technique of communication and practical tools that enables you to take a good look at most areas of your relationship. They will share how they were able to benefit from these techniques themselves. After each presentation you will have a chance to reflect on it by yourself, then discuss it in complete privacy with your spouse.
The team do not provide marriage advice or counselling.
The weekend is not a 'miracle cure'; therefore, the post-weekend sessions have been designed to continue the marriage renewal begun on the weekend.
The post-weekend phase is as crucial, maybe more critical, to the healing of marriage problems. During the post-weekend sessions, the technique learned on the weekend is further developed and is used to explore additional areas of the marriage relationship.
How is it organised?
The programme is offered on scheduled weekends beginning Friday evening, and closing with Mass late Sunday afternoon.
The 12 post-weekend sessions are presented in 4 days in the 2 months following the weekend.
The Programme's Leaders
A team of three couples and a priest present the Retrouvaille weekend. The presenting couples have grown through serious disillusionment, pain and conflict in their own relationships. These couples offer hope as they share their personal stories of struggle, reconciliation and healing. The team couples share the deep and personal hurts they have experienced.
This helps participants find the courage to express some of their own pain with their spouse in a safe and private place. In sharing their values and insights, team couples offer a message different from society's model of independence and selfishness. Hurting couples are invited to see how listening, communication, conflict management and forgiveness are healthy tools for building a stable relationship.
Do I have to be Catholic?
Retrouvaille is Catholic in origin. Couples of all faiths and those with no faith tradition are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Will someone try to convert me?
The programme is not designed to promote a specific religion. Atheists, agnostics and those of various religions are respected for their beliefs and encouraged to attend for the benefit of their marriage. No attempt is made to convert anyone to a religion. Saving a marriage is our focus. The ultimate goal of Retrouvaille is solely to help save marriages.
What does the programme cost?
Currently in the UK, a donation of £500 per couple would cover the cost of the residential weekend, all materials needed for the weekend and the Venue and materials for the 4 Post days. Donating more than that, makes it possible to give the gift of the programme to couples who are not financially blessed.
N.B. The Retrouvaille focus is that a couple is never denied the chance to heal and renew their marriage because of lack of funds.
When is the next programme?
For details of the next programme in England and Wales, go to the Next Programme page.
Please see our Links page if you're looking for a programme elsewhere in the world.