Marriage Retreat, A Time For Spouses To Reconnect With Each Other

By: Curtis Ophoven 0 Comments   1/30/2013

ST. CLOUD, MN – Marriage is one of the greatest experiences of life.  Sharing every stage of life with one person creates an intimate bond unlike anything else. 

To celebrate marriage, the Diocese of Saint Cloud Family Life Office is hosting a Marriage Retreat called ‘Your Marriage Is Your Treasure’ on Saturday Feb 2nd. 

John & Teri Bosio will lead the retreat.  John is the author of several books about Marriage including his latest book “Blessed is Marriage: A Guide to the Beatitudes for Catholic Couples

As noted in a previous article, marriage is a major indicator of the success of a community, state and nation.  The strength of marriage in a community is the greatest contributor to the success of the next generation. This is because children are the most successful in every way when they are raised with their parents that remain in a committed marriage.  This is not to say that children cannot be successful is other cases, just that by all social and economic measures, their biological parents are their best option.

I had the chance to ask John a few questions about the upcoming marriage retreat and here is our dialog.

Curt: What is this Marriage Retreat about? 

John: It is a time for spouses to reconnect with each other emotionally and spiritually and to strengthen together their relationship with God. 

Strengthening a couple’s relationship with God is important for the health of the marriage.  This is not something that only people of faith believe, but it has been proven scientifically.  The researchers at the National Marriage Project wrote In their 2011 report called: “When Baby Makes Three”: "couples who regularly attend a church, synagogue, or mosque together enjoy higher levels of marital success."   They also explained that a key factor in a couple’s success is their belief that God is present in their marriage.

The retreat is not so much a learning experience, as your question infers.  It is an experience that helps the spouses who attend remember and appreciate who they are as a couple and what they are called to be as Christian spouses.   

The day is dedicated to exploring and cherishing the treasure that is the relationship of husband and wife in marriage.  During the day we will explore four elements of this treasure and will give thanks to God for all the blessings he has showered on us through this treasure.

The four elements are:

  1. Our commitment to each other.
  2. Our memories of our life together (our love story).
  3. The Gift that we are to each other.
  4. The gift of our Christian faith.

In the last part of the treasure, The gift of the Christian faith, we will consider how the beatitudes of Jesus, Matthew chapter 5, show the way to holiness to married couples during this retreat.

The content presented to the couples is drawn from my two books: Happy Together, the Catholic Blueprint for a Loving Marriage - (2008),  and Blessed is Marriage, A Guide to the Beatitudes for Catholic Couples – (2012).  Both books were published by Twenty-Third Publications.

Curt: Is this conference for Catholics only?

John: The presentations will be delivered with the assumption that the audience is Catholic.

However, non-Catholics who want to attend are welcome.

Curt: Why is marriage worth strengthening?

John: Marriage is worth strengthening because it is the greatest treasure that any community has.  Strong and healthy marriages are more likely to produce future citizens who value relationships and work hard for the good of society.  Pope John Paul II said on several occasions that as the family goes, so go the world and society.  Recent research has shown that the optimal environment for raising children is the home with a father and a mother.

Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher have written a landmark book called The Case for Marriage.  Linda Waite is professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago.  The authors report that having a partner who is committed for better or worse, in sickness and in health, makes people happier, healthier, and financially more secure:

  1. Married men and women report less depression, anxiety and stress.
  2. Married persons are less likely to commit suicide.
  3. Married people have a lower mortality rate.
  4. Married men and women are healthier.
  5. Married people fare better financially and in business.

These are only a few of the findings reported. 

The marriage retreat will take place at the Pastoral Center in St. Cloud.  I’m not sure if the retreat is full, but if you are interesting in attending contact the St. Cloud Dioceses http://www.stcdio.org/offices/omf.html 

A retreat like this can have a major impact on a community, reminding everyone just how valuable marriage is and how fortunate we are to have examples like John and Teri to help couples strengthen their marriages. 

If you are married, take some time this week to do something nice for your spouse. And if you’re not married, thank someone you know who has a strong marriage for being a good example for you to learn from.  

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