Marriage Enrichment & Renewal


The Catholic Church cares about marriage. The Second Vatican Council said, “The intimate partnership of married life and love has been established by the Creator and qualified by His laws, and is rooted in the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal consent.  For, God Himself is the author of matrimony, endowed as it is with various benefits and purposes.  Authentic married love is caught up into divine love and is governed and enriched by Christ’s redeeming power and the saving activity of the Church” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 48).

The Catholic Church cares about your marriage. Every marriage witnesses to God’s faithful, fruitful, and lasting love for His people. Marriage confers a myriad of benefits on a husband and wife, and on any children that they are blessed with.

Like all vocations, those called to marriage benefit from ongoing education and formation.  The Diocese of Orange offers many resources for married couples to help strengthen the spouses’ love for each other.  Please look through the following resources to see what is available to help enrich and strengthen your marriage. You can also sign up for our Diocese of Orange Marriage Formation Newsletter delivered quarterly to your email!

Upcoming Events for Marriage Enrichment & Renewal

United Family Promotional Flyer (spanish)
United Family Promotional Flyer (english)

Our annual diocesan celebration of World Marriage Day and National Marriage week will be on Friday, February 9, 2024!

For this year’s celebration, couples are invited to Mass with a special blessing by Bishop Timothy Freyer at 6 pm in the Arboretum. Bring the whole family!

  • Date Night kits will be provided for couples to take with them to continue their evening date offsite after Mass. 
  • Childcare will be available at the cathedral campus after Mass so couples can enjoy a date night out on their own. 
  • Nearby restaurants are listed for your dinner date after Mass. Make your own reservations in advance.

Your RSVP would be appreciated by February 5 so we can prepare for your date night kit and/or childcare needs!

Ongoing Marriage Enrichment Opportunities for Couples


Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a weekend for married Christian couples who value their relationship and desire a richer, fuller life together. Couples from all over the world have experienced the beauty and the gift of the weekend. The emphasis of Worldwide Marriage Encounter is on communication between husband and wife, who spend a weekend together away from the distractions and the tensions of everyday life, to concentrate on each other. They want to share that experience with you, because they found something worth passing on.  To register for a weekend retreat, click here:  Weekend Application Form

Below are the weekend dates for the experiences in 2024. They will all be in-person, non-residential style on Saturday and Sunday at San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church in Anaheim Hills* or the Heart of Jesus Retreat Center in Santa Ana**. Registration cost is $125.00 per couple.  

  • February 24-25*
  • April 27-28*
  • July 20-21**
  • September 28-29**
  • November 9-10**

Questions? Need more info? FAQs for married couples

Apply by phone: 714-873-5136
WWME® Info: 714-873-5136 or by email


El fin de semana del Encuentro Matrimonial es una experiencia positiva y personal para parejas, sacerdotes y religiosos/as. Es una buena oportunidad para examinar profundamente su relación entre ambos, con Dios y con la Iglesia. Este Encuentro está diseñado para extender y revitalizar la alegría de vivir el Plan de Dios en una rel- ación sacramental. Para más información, llame a Angel & Martha Mendoza al 714-925- 2316, [email protected]


A lifeline for marriages™  A program to help couples heal and renew their Marriages.

  • Do you feel lost, alone or bored in your marriage?
  • Are you frustrated, hurt or angry with your spouse?
  • Are you constantly fighting? Or, do you simply shut down?
  • Have you thought about separation or divorce?
  • Does talking about it only make it worse?

The word Retrouvaille™ (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) is a French word meaning rediscovery. The program offers tools needed to rediscover a loving marriage relationship. Thousands of couples headed for cold, unloving relationships or divorce have successfully overcome their marriage problems by attending the program.  Couples will have the opportunity to rediscover each other and examine their lives in a new and positive way.  Retrouvaille provides marriage help!

Retrouvaille is a weekend experience, with six follow-up sessions designed to provide hope, support and communication tools for married couples. For further information please call (714) 306-6469 or register at

For more information or questions about upcoming dates in Orange County and surrounding areas, visit their website.

La palabra Retrouvaille™ (que se pronun- cia re-tro-vi con una i larga) es una palabra francesa que significa redescubrimiento. El programa ofrece las herramientas necesarias para descubrir una relación de pareja amorosa. Miles de parejas se dirigió a frío, falta de amor o las relaciones de divorcio han logrado superar sus problemas matrimoniales por participar en el programa. Proporciona las herramientas para ayudar a poner fin a su matrimonio de nuevo. El énfasis principal del programa es la comunicación en el matrimonio entre marido y mujer. Le dará la oportunidad de redescubrir uno al otro y examinar sus vidas juntos de una manera nueva y positiva. Para más información o preguntas acerca de las próximas fechas en el Condado de Orange, visite su página web en


This 3-part mini-retreat series, developed and presented by Dr. John Yzaguirre & Claire Frazier-Yzaguirre, M.F.T., M.Div., teaches couples how to have lasting and happy marital unity. Ideal for seriously dating, engaged and married couples of all ages, this series, offered in English and Spanish, provides an exciting and effective marriage formation track for couples, which equips them with the essential skills to deepen their empathy, cope with their busy lives, and strengthen and restore their relationships.  Excellent for kicking off or growing your church marriage fellowship, these retreats can be offered in 3-hr ‘mini-retreat’ format or full-day format. The Thriving Marriages books and CD’s are key companion resources to the mini-retreats to keep couples growing and as resources for couples sharing groups and other couple’s events.  Thriving Marriages mini-retreats will help your couples:

  • Session 1: How to enjoy a thriving marriage through a Christian vision of unity and the essential dynamics of empathy, autonomy and mutuality.
  • Session 2: How to develop a resilient marriage by eliminating resentment, fear, helplessness and by becoming agents of joy.
  • Session 3: How to become compassionate lovers by learning the healing and restorative power of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Based on Jesus’ prayer ‘that all may be one’, this marriage formation track gives couples a fresh vision & a practical plan to live a life of unity in their marriages and families.  It equips them with the key skills to sustain and strengthen their relationship through the ups and downs of their marital journey. Ideal for offering through your RE & AFF programming for families.  Please visit Thriving Families to book this series in English and/or Spanish and to see additional seminars offered on parenting, stress management, spirituality, and women’s retreats.



Que es el MFCC-USA? Es un Movimiento Catolico laico del Pueblo de Dios que agrupa familias catolicas, con la asistencia de Sacerdotes, Diaconos y Religiosas.

Objetivos: Hacer que las familias hispanas de USA sean: Formadoras de personas, Educadoras en la fe, Promotoras del desarrollo integral de la comunidad y de la lglesia Domestica.

Medios: Opera a escala conyugal, familiar y comunitaria, promoviendo los valores familiares propios de la cultura Hispana. validos en el momento actual al cual se enriquece al integrarse con otras tradiciones familiares en los Estados Unidos de Norteamerica.

* Mejora el dialogo con tu pareja y tus hijos.

* Fomenta valores humanos y cristianos con tu Familia

* Mejora tu vida personal

Para mas informacion, communicate con:

Dionicio ♥ Petra Gonzalez: [email protected]; 714-864-2665 (Petra) o 714-499-7624 (Dionicio)

Marriage Enrichment Inventories – some “self-help” tools for couples

The REFOCCUS Marriage Enrichment Inventory by FOCCUS Inc. is a series of five questionnaires that a married couple can use and score by themselves, as part of a weekend retreat, or in five weekly evenings in which the general topical areas are discussed with other couples. REFOCCUS is ideal for married couples who wish to spend time and energy on their relationship but desire a little direction and skill building assistance in doing so. The inventory can be taken and scored online then reviewed together or in a group of couples. As growth and change are ongoing throughout life, REFOCCUS is designed to be used by a couple multiple times throughout their marriage. Each time a couple uses REFOCCUS, their responses are a snap shot of that point in time and reveal the areas that can be celebrated and that may need further discussion at a given time.

The Better Together Marriage Enrichment Inventory by Dynamic Catholic is designed to help you identify areas for improvement in your marriage. Whether you take it once a year, every six months, or after every major milestone you experience as a couple, you’ll engage in new, fruitful conversations while paving a path of progress you can look back on and celebrate!

Online Resources for Couples

All marriages go through periods of stress and disillusionment, especially when we are in isolation.
Every husband and wife needs to be proactive in keeping their marriage healthy by addressing the hurts they have accumulated and resolving any resentment.

SmartLoving BreakThrough Online will teach you how conflict arises in intimate relationships and show you how to take simple steps to heal any wounds, dissolve resentment and restore hope.

Private | Confidential | Effective

Helping couples to:
Understand the real issues at play in their marriage
Identify their conflict triggers
Learn strategies to de-escalate an argument
Find constructive ways to re-establish connection
More information and registration at

For a 50% discount, use coupon code: OrangeUSA

The St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation for Freedom, Family, and Faith offers priestly consultation appointments by phone. Sometimes you just need a wise and holy priest to listen and maybe offer some words of understanding and encouragement. Fill out their intake form to set up a phone consultation with a Mercedarian friar.


An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, you will find many resources, materials and links to help you to better understand the stages of marriage; each stage with its unique learning opportunities and blessings, along with challenges and obstacles.


The Love Means More initiative is an ongoing campaign, based around a new website that takes a deep dive into the meanings of love. It is a versatile resource for Catholic catechists, as well as “seekers” from any religious background, but also welcomes those who profess no religious background at all. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth is spearheading the initiative.

Love Means More renews the effort begun by Marriage: Unique for a Reason to promote and defend what Christ has revealed about marriage and family, but also addresses a broader range of topics in the area of human sexuality, organized around the central question, “What is love?” This approach enables learners to see how some difficult discussions can actually be the result of hidden assumptions about more basic questions, such as:

Is love only how someone makes you feel?
Does love mean ‘to will the good’ of the other?
Is unity necessarily the goal of all love?

The Love Means More initiative is the result of wide consultation with bishops, pastors, educators, medical and mental health professionals, and lay Catholic leaders involved with family life ministry. The initiative has also heard, and seeks to address, questions and concerns received from people who are uncomfortable with some Church teachings. These include those who uphold the possibility of divorce and remarriage, LGBT-identifying individuals, and those who defend pornography. As content continues to be added post-launch, this initiative will be a valuable resource for engaging in cultural conversation about love.

The website for Love Means More may be accessed at:

The mission of the Institute for Marital Healing is to strengthen Catholic marriages and families by educating spouses, marital therapists and clergy about common causes of conflicts in marital self-giving and effective approaches to alleviating such conflicts. Through a combination of online resources, educational programs and publications, the Institute employs a time-tested approach to marital therapy that recognizes the importance of both science and faith in the process of marital healing.  We provide an empirically proven approach for resolving marital anger, the most common conflict which leads couples to seek marriage counseling. We demonstrate sensitivity to the Catholic faith of couples and show how their faith can assist them in the strengthening of their marriages. For more information, call (610) 397-0950 or (610) 397-0960 or visit their website.

Getting married and staying married can be quite a challenge!  Together for Life Online was developed as a community of engaged couples, married couples, and ministers to help build strong, life-long marriages with God.  At Together for Life Online, you will find:

  • Ideas and tips for planning a Catholic wedding
  • Marriage advice from the TFL community
  • The opportunity to connect and share ideas about building strong marriages
  • Quality resources to help strengthen your marriage

You can also sign up to receive their free monthly newsletter which contains marriage advice, enrichment ideas, and tips and advice from people living their vocation in new and creative ways.


Living Catholic Marriage

At St. Edward the Confessor Church in Dana Point, CA, a marriage enrichment experience called Living Catholic Marriage is available.  This ministry is for married couples to grow closer in their marriage through improved communication, strengthened faith, and support in community with other married couples.  Focus is on communicating with love and knowing God’s grace in meeting the challenges of everyday family life.  Couples find that they are not alone and can find more joy and fulfillment in their marriage.  Husbands and wives of all ages and years married who want to grow in their love for each other are welcome.  Couples meet monthly.  Materials are provided for continuing discussion at home and future use.  For more information contact Bob and Mary Dausch at 949-481-1102 or by email at [email protected].  To view a descriptive pamphlet, click here.

Marriage Case Support

At St. Thomas More Church in Irvine, CA, provides resources to assist those whose marriage:  1) is in serious trouble (recommended counselors & weekend couple retreats); 2) has resulted in separation or divorce (pertinent seminars, recommended personal counselors, assistance with the Church process that enables marriage in the Church after such an event).  Contact ministry leader, Mike Michalek at 949-551-2304 or via email: [email protected]

♥ National Marriage Week 2021 Resources

We hope you enjoyed our 5 ideas for how you can observe National Marriage Week (Feb. 7-14) and had the opportunity to enrich your marriage. Of course, you are not limited to that one week to strengthen your relationship with your spouse! Feel free to use any of the tips and prayers we shared at any time.