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!
Building a Eucharistic Marriage is a 7-part online video series that connects 7 areas for therapeutically strengthening your marriage with 7 areas of deepening your relationship with Christ through the Eucharist. There are options for couples who want to purchase an individual copy for home use or for parishes who would like to purchase a license for running the video series at their parish. The Parish License comes with a leaders’ guide, unlimited participant guides, as well as advertising options and participant discounts on their own copy of the program. The program is available in English and with Spanish subtitles.
FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! The Office for Family Life has grant funding to pay for parishes that want to use the “Building A Eucharistic Marriage” enrichment program as part of the Year of the Parish phase of the Eucharistic Revival. If your parish is interested in utilizing this program, please contact Linda Ji, Director of the Office for Family Life, at [email protected]. For preview/sample of the program, visit www.eucharisticmarriage.org/course-description.
Upcoming Events/Series for Marriage Enrichment & Renewal
Retrouvaille of Orange Coast is holding their next weekend experience on January 19-21, 2024, in Santa Ana. Retrouvaille is a lifeline for couples who are or have experienced stress or conflict in their marriage and who are looking for a way back to a loving relationship. It is a Catholic-based program, but is open to married couples of all faiths. Space is limited, so we encourage registering for the weekend as early as possible. For more information and to register on-line, go to www.HelpOurMarriage.org.
World Marriage Day 2024 Mass + Date Night
Save the date for our annual diocesan celebration of World Marriage Day: Friday, February 9, 2024
- Mass at 6 pm in the Arboretum
- More information forthcoming!
Ongoing Marriage Enrichment Opportunities
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 2023. They will all be in-person, non-residential style on Saturday and Sunday at the Heart of Jesus Retreat Center in Santa Ana. Registration cost is $125.00 per couple.
- Feb. 11-12
- May 20-21
- July 15-16
- Sept. 16-17
- Nov. 4-5
Questions? Need more info? FAQs for married couples
Apply by phone: 714-873-5136
WWME® Info: 714-873-5136 or by email
ENCUENTRO MATRIMONIAL EN ESPANOL
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 www.retrouvaille.org
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 www.retrouvaille.org.
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.
MOVIMIENTO FAMILIAR CRISTIANO CATOLICO
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: PetraSan[email protected]; 714-864-2665 (Petra) o 714-499-7624 (Dionicio)
Marriage Enrichment Inventories – some “self-help” tools
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 Course for Those in Stressed Marriages – BreakThrough Online
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 www.SmartLoving.org/BreakThrough
For a 50% discount, use coupon code: OrangeUSA
♥ Pastoral consultation for families and marriages in crisis
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.
An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It offers resources to assist with the education and catechesis of Catholics on why marriage is unique and why it should be promoted and protected as the union of one man and one woman.
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.
PARISH SUPPORT GROUPS IN THE DIOCESE OF ORANGE
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.
- Throughout the month of February, share about your sacramental marriage to family and friends: “Our Story of Love” Initiative o en español Cuéntanos tu Cuento de Amor
- Celebrate National Marriage Week At Home! (PDF Flyer with tips and ideas) o en español Celebra la Semana Nacional del Matrimonio en Casa
- At-Home National Marriage Week Daily Retreat Guide (from the USCCB) o en español Retiro Matrimonial en el Hogar
- Novenas for Married Couples (PDF Flyer with links) o en español Novena Para Parejas Casadas
- World Marriage Sunday/Valentine’s Day 2021 Date Night In Kit o en español Cita Romantica en Casa