Slider ME Programs

Opportunities for Marriage Enrichment

There are many wonderful ways to enrich your marriage and help it to grow and flourish despite a busy and stressful schedule!

Teams of Our Lady

Teams of Our Lady is an international lay movement in the Catholic Church, designed to enrich marriage spirituality and make good marriages better. A team is comprised of five to seven couples: they meet once a month, rotating from one home to another. The heart of “Teams” is the endeavors, which include reading Scripture and praying, following a rule of life, going on an annual retreat, attending themonthly gatherings, having a monthly “sit-down” with your spouse, and exercising hospitality. Meetings may also involve a chaplain or spiritual counselor priest.

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Amore Project

The Amore Project is a ministry for married couples which began in Italy in an effort by Fr. Renzo Bonetti to re-evangelize the culture. Fr. Bonetti has worked closely with Rev. Dr. Tory Baucum of Truro Anglican Church to bring this theological teaching and ministry training to married couples in Northern Virginia. As a small group, couples would read Fr. Bonetti’s work Signs of Love or Nuptial Love for Everybody, or have a parish priest build a sermon series around the pillars outlined in the books. The group could continue by selecting another spiritual work.
 
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Marriage Alive/Ten Great Dates

Ten Great Dates is a video-based program which helps get married couple groups started. There are ten videos which the group would view as a community, and each video ends with a simple and positive exercise for each couple to practice. The couple which created the program have also published a number of books for married couples, such as 10 Great Dates Before You Say, “I Do,” 10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage, $10 Great Dates, and 10 Great Dates for Empty Nesters. Finally, the founding couple invites you to email or call them to set up a seminar!

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Alexander House/Covenant of Love

Covenant of Love is an initiative designed to help build marriage ministry at parishes. One element of Covenant of Love is “Date Night,” which is a monthly gathering for couples involving prayer, fellowship, formation, and one-on-one time. Another element of Covenant of Love is a mentor couple program: mentor couples are trained by the organization, and then young couples seeking mentors are connected with trained mentor couples.

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Parish Marriage Enrichment Groups

Within the Catholic Diocese of Arlington there are multiple opportunities for couples to enrich and enhance their marriages. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus – Winchester:  Date Night

Date Night at Sacred Heart is a large social gathering of couples with a catered meal (and spirits). The focus is on having the couples engage in a relaxed setting, let them get to know other couples in the parish, and hopefully also provide a little dose of Catholic culture by focusing the night on one of the Saints or a Feast Day, etc.  This is highly supported by the pastor Fr. Lundberg who does his best to be present at all the monthly gatherings. One night will be a Stump the Pastor night where couples can ask the priest(s) any questions they would like. It is a great evening and often is filled with good theology and humor. It has been greatly received by the parish and about 45 couples attend the event on average!

If you are interested in hearing more about Date Night at Sacred Heart in Winchester, or if you would like to hear more about getting a similar group started at your own parish, feel free to call Mark and Beth Schloemer: schloem@comcast.net.

All Saints – Manassas:  All Saints Married Apostolate

The group for married couples at All Saints used Covenant of Love as their model after Greg and Julie Alexander came to All Saints for a Valentine's Day event!  After completing the program of videos, they broadened the range of topics and materials. Typically about 12 to 20 couples attend every month (including the core team couples), and there are couples of all stages of married life (including engaged). Through the past six years, Date Night at All Saints has included the following topics or activities: the four temperaments, forgiveness, lectio divina, the five love languages, the not-so-newlywed game night, and dance lessons!

If you would like to receive notifications regarding upcoming events at All Saints in Manassas, email allsaintsmarriage@gmail.com. If you would like to learn more about how to get a similar group started, contact Joe Duda: fe2man07@gmail.com.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton – Lake Ridge:  Ten Great Dates

The marriage enrichment group at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton began with the videos produced by Ten Great Dates. After completing the video program, the organizers began to have the couples listen – on their own time – to a CD by Lighthouse Media which would feature a talk on the subject of marriage by speakers such as Scott Hahn, Greg and Lisa Popcak, Matt Kelly, Jason Evert, Dr. Ray Guarendi, and Dr. Tim Gray. Then, on Date Night, the couples come to the Church, drop off their kids for free babysitting, do an ice-breaker, and briefly discuss the topic (about 30 minutes). After the short discussion, they can go for dinner on their own while the kids are watched. There are many young couples in the group! An advantage to this model is that couples can easily go on a “double-date,” if they wish to connect with another couple more closely, while also receiving a bite-size portion of nuptial theology.

If you are interested in learning more please contact Sharon Gallagher: sharongallagher@live.com; 864-207-0498.

 
St. Francis de Sales - Purcellville: Teams of Our Lady

There are three Teams at Saint Francis de Sales, each consisting of about six couples. For their monthly meetings, they gather at one of the couples’ homes and start with dinner, where they each give lighter updates from each of their family lives for a few minutes each (“the whip-around”). After dinner, they settle in for a more focused discussion. For this portion, the pilot resources by Fr. Caffarel, the founder of Teams, have been used, as well as Dr. Edward Sri, St. Francis de Sales, and other personal selections. The gatherings also include “highs and lows,” reading of Scripture, and petitions, and the evening concludes with the singing of a psalm. The small community of faith is usually joined by a priest who serves as an informal advisor.

If you are interested in hearing more about a team in Purcellville, please feel free to contact Michael Galdo at M.Galdo@saintfrancisparish.org. If you are interested in Teams in the northern Virginia area, please contact sector couple David and Carol McCaffrey at themccaffreys22003@gmail.com. If you are interested in finding a Team outside the metropolitan D.C. area but still in Virginia, please contact regional couple Ed and Gilda Cadieux at coastal-rc@teamsofourlady.org.


St. Rita of Cascia - Alexandria: Teams of Our Lady

There are currently about seven Teams in the Alexandria area. One of these teams began as a women’s prayer group, where they would watch each other’s kids while one would go to confession! They discovered the Teams program and got organized. Now they have the prescribed dinner, “whip-around,” and discussion of the endeavors and the reading. They see the necessity of having a priest on the team and for the couples to discuss the reading on their own as well as part of the larger group. The annual retreats have tended to be one-day retreats rather than overnight trips, and destinations have included the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land and the Saint John Paul II Shrine. In times when a group retreat has not been feasible, the couples still find it important to go on retreat as a married couple on their own.

If you are interested in hearing more about the Teams around Alexandria, VA, please feel free to contact Sarah Greiner at sdgreiner1@verizon.net. If you are interested in Teams in the larger northern Virginia area, please contact sector couple David and Carol McCaffrey at themccaffreys22003@gmail.com. If you are interested in finding a Team elsewhere in Virginia, please contact regional couple Ed and Gilda Cadieux, at coastal-rc@teamsofourlady.org


Our Lady of Angels - Woodbridge: Una Familia Mejor

Una Familia Mejor es un grupo de parejas casadas que se reúne dos veces al mes en la parroquia de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles en Woodbridge. Entre diez y quince parejas asisten cada reunión, donde se tienen discusiones acerca de la fe y temas tales como la santidad en la vida conyugal, una nueva encíclica papal (si la hay) y demás literatura relevante.

Asimismo, un retiro para casados es organizado en la parroquia cada marzo, donde se presentan charlas y música, incluso posibilidades de confesión y adoración del Santísimo Sacramento. El retiro es dirigido por el Padre Alex Diaz y los temas se enfocan en las necesidades e intereses particulares de parejas en la comunidad. Tanto el grupo como el retiro son para casados hispanohablantes.

Para mayor información, comuníquese con el P. Alexander Diaz: padrealexdiaz@gmail.com