SALT LAKE CITY — Long after the Valentine’s Day chocolates are eaten and the flowers have wilted, couples who give themselves the gift of participating in the upcoming diocesan marriage enrichment retreat will still be enjoying its fruits.
The retreat, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 23 at St. Vincent de Paul’s Benvegnu Center, is being presented by Couples for Christ. Bishop Oscar A. Solis announced his endorsement of Couples for Christ and their incorporation as an “integral part” of the Office of Family Ministry in a Jan. 15 memo to priests, deacons, religious women, principals, directors of religious education and diocesan staff.
“I have personally observed them over the years and on various occasions worked with their leaders in promoting the important mission of our Church to bring Christian spiritual renewal in marriage through evangelization, formation and support of couples, their children and other members of the family,” he wrote. “Their leaders have proven their commitment to this special ministry and dedicated their lives with great devotion in order to build stronger families rooted in the teaching of Christ and Gospel values.”
“I am confident of their love, commitment and abilities to carry on this special ministry to promote faith renewal and strengthen family spirituality and unity,” he continued.
The retreat will be a daylong spiritual event designed to help couples ensure healthy relationships between husbands and wives and amongst their family members. Five CFC team couples from California will present that day, while local couples who have joined CFC and are being trained to conduct these retreats will act as support.
This retreat can be a step for making sure a couple’s “blessed union continues to be enhanced in their glorifying of God; in loving each other and their children more, even being selfless and serving others and God more,” team leader Rodolfo “Toffee” Jeturian said.
Participants will hear from four speakers who will share the rules of a Christian marriage and the Christian roles of husband and wife and the elements of a Christian home and making the family a domestic church. Other presentations will include techniques and methods to enhance communication between couples and help them effectively handle the day-to-day challenges in marriage, and the importance of forgiveness and healing in the marital relationship.
“I think of marriage more as a union between two forgivers – of words and actions,” Jeturian said. “It is important if there is any resentment among couples that there is a healing of emotions and of hurts.”
The retreat is open to all couples of any age, but Jeturian particularly encourages young couples to attend.
“Sometimes young couples have come in and they have spent four, maybe eight years, working on their education or careers but they have received absolutely no training or education in regards to this very important part of their life — their marriage,” he said.
Throughout the retreat, there will be time for personal reflection and for dialogue between couples where they can determine how best they can apply what they have learned in their own family situation. Participating couples will also be introduced to the CFC Christian Life program.
The retreat will conclude with a Mass at which Bishop Solis will preside.
Couples who complete the retreat and who wish to deepen their experience will have the opportunity to continue in the Christian Life program that will help them progress in formation in a diocesan and parish-based setting.
WHAT: Marriage Enrichment Retreat
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 23, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
WHERE: St. Vincent de Paul Benvegnu Center, 1375 E. Spring Lane, SLC
$40 per couple. Light lunch provided
Register at https://www.dioslc.org/about-us/diocese-calendar/marriage-enrichment/32-diocesan-marriage-enrichment-retreat