A Look Back at Past Marriage Retreats

Through the generosity of donors, the AMS has been able to host various marriage enrichment retreats held throughout the year on the East and West Coast of the United States and in Europe. Making use of the inventory tool, REFOCCUS (Relationship Enrichment Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding, and Study) in group and individual sessions, the retreats are designed for military couples to talk about their marriage and consider areas that should be addressed. The time together helps military couples strengthen their Catholic faith and relationship by sharing the joys and struggles of military life and their impact on married life both with each other and with other military couples. “Meeting other Catholic couples and being able to relate to similar married life experiences, especially military married life experiences is something I will take with me from this experience,” said one attendee after the 2018 marriage retreat in California.

That statement is not an exception, but the norm. The opportunity to converse and pray together in a retreat setting offered many of the couples in attendance the opportunity to focus on a deepened understanding of their spouse, as well as, an opportunity to grow in their Catholic faith. The weekend retreats offer couples an occasion to step away from their busy lives, and an opportunity to reflect on the gift of love in their life and the gift of Christ in their marriage.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, standing next to Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, the Bishop of Assisi along with Marriage Enrichment Retreatants.

In post-retreat evaluations, the couples said the encounter gave them fresh ideas on how to strengthen their marriages. Typical of the comments received were:

  • “I truly enjoyed meeting other military Catholics in a relaxing setting and enjoying the fellowship with other married couples.”
  • “It was great being alone with my husband and focusing only on us. I have a renewed commitment to my marriage and to prayer.”
  • “I will walk away with better understanding, communication, and embeddedness with our Lord God in the continued strength of our marriage.”

In each retreat, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, is present, reassuring the couples of his commitment to assist them in strengthening their marriage. Marriage is full of many challenges. Military couples, in addition, experience deployments, post-traumatic stress, and re-entry into society all of which add unique challenges. The AMS is determined to help military couples overcome them. As Archbishop Broglio has said, “marriage is indeed a most sacred and serious union. It is a wonderful gift to the Church and to society. Like all precious gifts, it must be cared for, supported, and sustained.”

Although COVID-19 has forced postponements of the Marriage Enrichment Retreats for 2020, future retreats are in the works. With your continued prayers and support, the AMS hopes to resume them.

The mission of the AMS of serving those who serve is more critical than ever.

Additional Stories

Your donation will help ensure that of all the sacrifices our service members make, their faith will not be one of them.