UP Catholic 02 10 2017 E Edition Page 11

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC WEDDINGS & MARRIAGES February 10, 2017 11 BY LAURA BROULLIRE Not all marriages have fairytale endings. Sometimes disagreements, finances and the stresses of daily life cause couples to struggle in their marriages - or consider separation or divorce. That's where Retrouvaille comes in. Retrou- vaille is a Catholic-based organization that has helped tens of thousands of couples around the world reconnect in their relationships and start down the road toward healing and forgiveness. From the French word redis- cover, the Retrouvaille program was established in 1977 to help struggling couples reopen the lines of commu- nication, starting with a weekend retreat and continuing with a series of follow-up sessions. The time before Retrouvaille, our mar- riage could be described as lifeless, hopeless and lonely - neither of us speaking to each other, says Betsy Berdis, who attended Re- trouvaille with her husband, Tom. We never expected the life-giving hope we received - hope for a new future that included both of us. That miracle happened 20 years ago, and we still use the tools we learned in the program today. It's because the program made such an impact on their lives that Tom and Betsy volunteer with the Retrouvaille International organization. While the program is based in the Catholic belief that marriage is a sacrament, couples from all faiths are welcome. And while there is a cost to enroll, no one is turned away for inancial reasons. Programs are held throughout the year at re- treat centers, including the Marygrove Retreat Center in Garden. The next retreat weekend at Marygrove is scheduled for Sept. 29 through October 1, 2017. Additional retreats will be held in Marathon, Wis., (beginning Feb. 10 and Aug. 11) and in Grand Rapids, Mich. (be- ginning Feb. 24, June 9 and Sept. 29). On the retreats, couples are instructed in a method of communication called dialogue, which allows them to reconnect on a deeply personal level. But, just as marriages don't deteriorate overnight, healing and forgiveness cannot be accomplished in three days. That's why the program continues with several post sessions, offered in-person or online. We learned that Montana Retrouvaille - another community with a population spread out over a large geographic area - pres- ents posts remotely, and we decided to follow their lead, says Betsy Gonwa. She and husband, Willie, are the Lakeshore Retrouvaille commu- nity coordinators who oversee the program in Upper Michigan and eastern Wisconsin. After the Garden weekend, for example, the post sessions are held in Green Bay. This might deter Upper Michigan couples from attending, Betsy says. Through an online pro- gram similar to Skype, participating couples are able to view the presentations in real time and participate in the exercises from their home computers; the convenience of this op- portunity has been well received, Betsy says. Perhaps you know a couple who is having a tough time. Maybe they seem to be arguing frequently or having trouble with forgiveness. Or maybe this sounds like your own marriage? Just as Retrouvaille has helped countless other couples, the program can work for you! More information on the retreat weekends (including dates/times and registration info) can be found on the website www.HelpOur- Marriage.com. Couples with specific questions about the Marygrove weekend can call (414) 502-7685 or email lakeshore@retrouvaille.org. 801 West US 2 Norway, MI (906) 563-5100 garden.place @att.net Like us" Intimate & Elegant to Grand & Formal We can help make your Dream Wedding come true. SACRED HEART RELIGIOUS GOODS Suggested reading: Daily Companion for Married Couples Three to Get Married cz Bcq Gvmupo Tiffo Gift ideas: Hpe Cmftt uijt Ipnf Qjduvsf Xfeejoh Dspttft Xfeejoh Sptbsz boe puifs hsfbu hjgut (906) 228-4462 419 W. Washington Marquette (Located across from the Ramada Inn) WIN - WIN - WIN The special sections in The U.P. Catholic Newspaper help connect our readers with + Great articles, + Sound doctrine, + Advertisers who care. If you're a business owner with a tight budget who cares about making a positive difference in your bottom line and the lives of others contact Deacon Steve 1-866-452-5112 upc@new.rr.com Retrouvaille: A marriage lifeline for U.P. couples Prayer for Married Couples O God, who in creating the human race willed that man and wife should be one, keep, we pray, in a bond of inseparable love those who are united in the covenant of Marriage, so that, as you make their love fruitful,they may become, by your grace, witnesses to charity itself. Through Christ our Lord Amen. Courtesy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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