What is the Marriage Rediscovery Program?
Marriage Rediscovery (this website) is both a platform for helping marriages in all stages, and is also currently developing a weekend and follow-up program/retreat that is expected to launch in 2021.
The team behind the Marriage Rediscovery Program all have years of experience in marriage ministry, and have served in leadership, especially with Retrouvaille. We promote the other programs here because we know them, believe in them, and many of us continue to serve with them.
However, the founders of Marriage Rediscovery also recognize that one size does not fit all, so we went to work with the goal of developing a program that compliments the others, and would address the needs of couples that do not necessarily see the others as fitting their goals.
Retrouvaille and Marriage Encounter are very specifically Roman Catholic in perspective, while some of the off-shoots of Marriage Encounter remain very specific to a single denomination. A Weekend to Remember is interdenominational.
Presentation & Content Format
When it comes to format, Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille are what is known as a “Dialogue-Based” programs, meaning that they focus on building on communication in a way to open a couple to greater intimacy. They are focused almost entirely on “listening,” “feeling,” and “writing.” A Weekend to Remember is more of a “conference getaway” with dynamic speakers and very general topics covered lightly, and focuses heavily on “visuals” and “couple projects”
The “meat” of the Marriage Encounter program and A Weekend to Remember stops with the weekend, while Retrouvaille offers a series of six weekly four-hour follow-up sessions that are presented by couples that are part of the Retrouvaille presenting team at a secondary location.
Both Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille only allow married male-female couples to attend. Cohabiting couples are not allowed. Retrouvaille makes an exception for couples that are divorced, and attending Retrouvaille with the goal of getting back together. A Weekend to Remember does not require a couple to be married.
Marriage Encounter is quite clear that it targets couples in strong marriages. Retrouvaille focuses on couples that are in crisis, and while A Weekend to Remember does not make this distinction, the programming refers couples to purchase books when it comes to any deeper topics
Does This Mean The Marriage Rediscovery Program Will be Better Than The Others?
Absolutely not. The founders of Marriage Rediscovery see great value in all three of those ministries, while also seeing a gaping hole that is not addressed. That is, everyone in the middle. If a Catholic couple in marital crisis were to ask us which program to attend, we would always say Retrouvaille. If a couple in a good marriage that considers clergy participation important wants to attend a program, we would absolutely suggest Marriage Encounter. If a couple is simply looking at a fun getaway weekend with some marriage enrichment, but nothing too deep, we would absolutely suggest A Weekend to Remember.
What Will Happen on a Marriage Rediscovery Weekend?
The weekend will start on a Friday evening. Attending couples will given a presentation by one of the presenting couples. After the presentation, couples are given a question to answer in private. The husband and the wife will separate in order to write their reflections on the question, then join together to privately have a short conversation on what they wrote.
This will lead to he next session, during which another of the couples will present on a new topic. All of the presentations will be a mixture of teaching points, interactive participation, and the couple’s own personal sharing on the topic they are presenting. At the end of each presentation, another question is given to the couples for private reflection by writing on the topic using a format the team will teach.
This basic rotation repeats throughout each day of weekend. At the end of each day, all three presenting couples will have an open round table discussion and invite questions from the attending couples.
There will be several break throughout each day, in addition to time for lunch and dinner.
The presentations slowly build to more serious and profound topics as the weekend progresses.
What will the Cost of Attending the Marriage Rediscovery Program Be?
The Marriage Rediscovery program will have a fixed registration fee for the weekend and core follow-up sessions, which will be calculated to cover up front expenses to make each weekend happen. This will vary based on location costs (hotel/conference facilities, shipping and materials costs, etc). This amount will not cover administrative, publicity, scholarship, or costs to help grow and spread the program. As such, there will be a voluntary donation request at the end of each weekend to help the non-profit ministry grow.