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Program Information

This program is for couples seeking help for marital problems. Some couples come to Retrouvaille during the initial stages of marriage problems. Other couples are in a state of despair and hopelessness when they attend the program. Couples who are considering separation and those who are already separated are encouraged to consider the Retrouvaille Program. There is always hope of reviving your relationship.

Phase 1: The Retrouvaille Weekend Experience


Retrouvaille begins with a weekend experience in which couples are helped to re-establish communication and gain new insights into themselves as individuals and as a couple. There are two programs per year in the Vancouver area. The program starts with a weekend at Barnabas Landing, a Retreat Centre on beautiful Keats Island.  The weekend begins at about 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening and ends at about 5:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. Couples are required to stay at the facility for the entire weekend. This part of the program is presented by a team of three couples and a priest or minister. The presenting team has experienced disillusionment, pain, and conflict in their own lives and offer hope as they share their personal struggles of reconciliation and healing.


You will find courage and strength in the realization that you are not alone in your struggle. You will not be asked to share your problems with anyone else. You will be encouraged to put the past behind you, and to look beyond the hurt and pain in order to rediscover each other in a new and positive way. 


The weekend is not a spiritual retreat, nor a marriage encounter, nor a marriage seminar. During the weekend couples will learn how to use the tools provided to help couples with communication, forgiveness, and trust. It teaches a dialogue process of meaningful communication. The team presents a technique of communication that enables you to take a good look at many areas of your relationship. The team does not provide marriage advice, but does provide practical tools and a living example of how using these tools will improve your marriage. The team will share how they were able to benefit from these techniques themselves. After each presentation, couples will have a chance for reflection and discussion in complete privacy.


Phase 2: The Post Weekend Sessions


The Post Sessions are the next important phase of the Retrouvaille healing process.  These follow-up sessions are held at the Holy Family Parish in Vancouver BC, over 7 to 9 (depending on long weekends) consecutive Sunday afternoons after the weekend.


Most couples find this to be one of the most productive components of the program and where the most growth in their marriage occurs. The sessions have been designed to continue the marriage renewal begun on the weekend. During these sessions, the technique learned on the weekend is further developed and is used to explore additional areas of the marriage relationship.  


The Post sessions are a very important part of the program and couples are urged to attend all in person; however there are options for telephone or internet attendance for couples who live too far away.


During both the weekend and the follow-up sessions, couples learn techniques for communication and do practice exercises to work on the concepts of trust, forgiveness, commitment and love. Each couple's confidentiality is strictly maintained.


Phase 3: Monthly Support (CORE)


The final phase is a monthly small-group support meeting, called CORE (Continuing Our Retrouvaille Experience). It allows for casual and supportive interaction with other couples who have attended the Retrouvaille program. The meetings continue to reinforce the communication tools learned on the weekend, allowing couples to form strong and lasting bonds as they continue to heal their marriages.


Retrouvaille is a Christian peer ministry but ALL married couples, regardless of faith or belief, are welcome. The cost of the Vancouver program is very reasonable in comparison to other similar marriage programs. The requested donation for the entire program is $950 per couple; however, NO couple is ever turned away for lack of funds.


People can and do change and marriages can change for the better. The many couples that have participated in the Retrouvaille Program over the years decided to make the investment in each other to continue their journey of marriage. It can be a difficult choice, but in making your decision, consider the investment you have already made in each other. Reconciliation and healing are possible if you are willing to put the past behind you and look beyond the hurt and the pain, to rediscover each other in a new and positive way. Retrouvaille can be the fresh start your marriage needs.