WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) is now taking registrations for its first-ever Catholic Marriage Enrichment Retreat. The retreat, for active duty couples who have been married at least two years, will be held Feb. 16-18, 2018, at the Bon Secours Retreat House in Marriottsville, Md., a 300-acre pastoral setting with abundant spaces for reflection, both indoors and outdoors.
The AMS Office of Evangelization is sponsoring the retreat at the direction of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services. Archbishop Broglio noted, “Marriage is indeed a union most sacred and serious. It is a wonderful gift to the Church and to society. Like all precious gifts it must be cared for, supported, and sustained.”
Dr. Mark Moitoza, AMS Vice-Chancellor for Evangelization, said the retreat is meant to give military couples “an opportunity to step away from their busy lives, where they’re constantly moving forward, to have an opportunity to reflect on the gift of love in their life, and the gift of Christ in their marriage.” He added, “it’s a way to look at marriage as a process, look at intimacy, look at compatibility, communication, and commitment. Those are the areas of focus, where couples will have an opportunity over the weekend to dialogue with one another.”
Dr. Moitoza said the format of the retreat will depart from that of conventional marriage enrichment retreats by dispensing with keynote speakers. “We’re flipping the model a little bit,” he said, “by using a refocused model which comes out of the Archdiocese of Omaha. And this is really looking at an inventory process where each spouse goes through a list of questions, and they’ll tick off whether they agree or disagree or are uncertain about a statement, and then we come back together and dialogue, and they take two things that they agree on and celebrate those, and then two things that they disagree on, and talk about ‘why is that?,’ and then what are some areas where they could grow.”
Dr. Moitoza said the objective is not only to give the couples an insightful weekend, but also “some tools beyond the Marriage Enrichment Retreat itself” to use in developing their prayer life and a deeper understanding of how their marriage is “a gift of Christ, and a way to reveal Christ in the world.”
The cost of the retreat is being borne mostly by donors, but participating couples are being asked to pay a registration fee of $50 each. Accommodations include private room with full-sized bed, full private bathroom, and wifi access. Meals, including Friday dinner through Sunday lunch, will be provided. Couples are responsible for transportation to and from the retreat center. They are invited to consider carpooling with other Catholic couples from their installations.
The retreat will commence on Friday, February 16, with check-in at 5:00 p.m. (EST) with dinner to follow at 6:00 p.m. (EST). On Sunday, Feb. 18, Archbishop Broglio will celebrate Mass at 11:00 a.m. (EST) followed by lunch before departure.
Space is limited, so couples are encouraged to register right away to secure a space. To register, visit http://www.milarch.org/ams-marriage-enrichment-retreat/.
Any questions about the AMS Marriage Enrichment Retreat may be directed to Dr. Mark Moitoza, Vice-Chancellor for Evangelization, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-719-3648.