By Deacon Mark Castanier

Retrouvialle and our story

In 2001 I was dealing with a large amount of stress in my job and it was affecting our marriage. As a couple, we had become distant and were not communicating very well with each other. Our parish priest heard we were struggling and suggested to us that we attend a Retrouvaille weekend. The weekend was a positive experience and we started to communicate much better using the tools of the Retrouvaille Program. This October we celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary.

Now we want to do the same for all married couples who are in doubt as to whether their marriage can survive; survive indifference, anger, adultery, alcoholism or other addictions, abuse or selfishness.  The list goes on and on of all the signs and symptoms of a marriage communication breakdown that is now resulting in over 50% of first marriages ending in divorce.

Retrouvaille means rediscovery

Our answer to your doubt is: let us help. This Catholic program offers those of you in troubled and painful marriages the chance to rediscover yourself, your spouse and a loving relationship in your marriage.

Marriage and family life is about celebrations, shared meals, conversation and intimate moments; but it’s also about dirty laundry, balancing budgets and hanging in there as the kids grow up.
If your marriage has become unloving and uncaring, or if your relationship has grown cold and distant.  If there is little or no meaningful communication or if you feel disappointment, even despair…we believe Retrouvaille can help. Can you spare 48 hours to give your marriage one more chance?

History of Retrouvaille

Retrouvaille was brought to London Diocese by Malcolm and Lynn Hopkins.  It is a peer ministry of couples who have experienced hurt in their marriage reaching out to other couples in similar pain. These couples attempt to offer hope as they share their personal stories of struggle, reconciliation, forgiveness and healing.

Power of Healing in the Church

A Jesuit priest, Chuck Gallagher wrote, “Healing is a prophecy and witness to Jesus’ presence in our midst.  The healing power is essential to the credibility of the Church.  The Church of Jesus Christ must be a healing Church.  The absence of healing in our midst very definitely casts doubt on the authenticity of the Catholic Church.  Every parish – that is the priests and all the people, has a moral responsibility to provide healing.  Otherwise, we are not serious about caring for our people and proclaiming the glad tidings.  One of the greatest glad tidings of all is the possibility of true healing – healing of a person and of a love, not just a body.”

Therefore, we ask each one of you – single, widowed, religious, happily married, children and hurting couples – to pray for and work for the gift of healing in each home in this parish and in our Diocese.  Take home the brochure you’ll find in the entrance to the Church.  Read it yourselves, and give it to your friends and family who need them.  Don’t be afraid to ask for or offer Christ’s promise of healing.  That’s what our Church is all about.

Next Retrouvaille Weekend in London

The next Retrouvaille program in the London Diocese will be held at  the Michaelite Centre on the weekend of February 1 – 3, 2019.  For more information or future dates, please email retrouvaillelondonstthomas@gmail.com or call 519-243-0687. To learn more visit www.helpourmarriage.com

St. Raphael Prayer for Troubled Marriages

O Glorious St. Raphael, Archangel of healing, intercede for our marriage today.

Bring our marriage the same heavenly gifts you brought Tobias and Sarah, the celestial graces of healing, deliverance, and marital unity.

Infuse into our hearts the peace and confidence that nothing is impossible with God concerning the renewal of our marriage.  Rekindle in our marriage new forgiveness, new humility, new grace, new peace, new purity, new trust, and new love.

O St. Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the throne of God, intercede to the Merciful Father for the miracle of peace and reconciliation in our marriage, through the infinite merits of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the consoling power of the Holy Spirit.

O blessed Raphael, guide us on the pathway of marital peace and unity.  Most loving Archangel of healing, I believe in you, I trust in you,
and I thank you.  Amen.