"Matrimony responds to a specific vocation and must be considered as a consecration (cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 48: Familiaris Consortio, n. 56). It is a consecration: the man and woman are consecrated in their love. "
Pope Francis, on April 2, 2014 General Audience
(see also our blog article: http://marriageretreats.webs.com/apps/blog/show/42093031-the-married-couple-is-the-image-of-god )
You, who arrived here surfing on the web, know that we pray for you, for a special blessing from God for all who visit this site.
Our Lady of the Graces - Our Patroness
We offer various tools for organizing and doing self-guided retreats to married couples (and also to individuals) through this web site. These tools include online retreat, textbook and other help.
Those who wish can contact us directly with comments, questions, and/or prayer requests through our e-mail address
("The Kiss at the Gate" - St Joachim and Anne in a fresco by Giotto)
"I highly recommend this site to all who are interested in healing and growth in
Christ. It should be of special interest to married couples who are interested
in making the Ignatian retreat together. What is unique in this approach is an
emphasis on the two literally making the retreat together, e.g. praying in
dialogue, being silent together... [they] are onto something here that
is really a new development and you can read their book as it unfolds." (Dr. Bernard Tyrrell S.J., author of Christotherapy, Professor Emeritus at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA)
Peace be with you! (Jn 20:19)
"Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you." (Jn 16:23)
There are wars and dangers of new wars in the world. Witnessing all suffering and atrocities that our world is so full of, all Christians need to ask the Father for the precious gift of peace, lasting peace and good will for the entire world. Encouraged by the words of Jesus in John's gospel, we can confidently ask for end of wars and for a new era of peace for all peoples.
Jesus promised that common prayer will have the efficacy of his own prayer to the Father:
"I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”(Mt 18:19-20)
The Holy Spirit makes us one people and creates the presence of Jesus where two or three are gathered together in his name - we ask you to join us in prayer for peace: pray the Rosary to Mary Queen of Peace, or any other prayer you feel inspired. But pray with faith and insistence in communion with all who desire peace, and the Father will answer our prayers:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him." (Mt 7:7-11)
Our "Step by Step" Online Retreat - Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life - can be done anytime or alongside the Church's Liturgical Year - see for the details the following page: Calendar for the Online Retreat
In this year as usual, we are celebrating the Our Lady of Lourdes Novena between February 2 and 10 and celebrate the World Day of the Sick on February 11th the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
To read more of this program and pray the Novena visit this page
The extraordinarily destructive typhoon "Sendong" in December 2011 hit Cagayan de Oro, a city in the Philippines, causing enormous catastrophe. The Calabrian Children's Foundation's house (noviciate and home in construction for abandoned street children) got destroyed being in the hardest hit zone of Balulang. The members of the community survived by a miracle - they were away that night for a service in Bayabas. Please, pray for the victims and survivors of disaster!
Here is a link to a video by the comunity of Don Calabria (the order of the Poor Servants of the Divine Providence founded by St. John Calabria in 1907 in the city of Verona, Italy with the aim of helping the most neglected children of God) in the Philippines with images of the destruction and suffering in Cagayan de Oro and the letter of Don Pietro Cunegatti who is the head of the mission. Pray for this community, too, and if you can, help them (their address: Poor Servants of Divine Providence c/o Calabrian's Children's Foundation P. O. Box 0620 - Zone 3 - Bayabas 9000 Cagayan de Oro, Philippines)
Update: On December 4th, 2012 an other typhoon, Bopha – locally known as Pablo – hit the area of Cagayan de Oro (http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/residents-in-cagayan-de-oro-flee-their-homes-as-typhoon-bopha-makes-landfall) causing numerous deaths and huge destruction in the town already ravaged by Sendong a year ago. Please continue to pray for these much suffering people!
Further updates: On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), considered the most powerful storm to make landfall in recorded history, struck the Philippines. Yolanda affected 1,473,251 families, with a casualty count of 6,300.
And it was followed in December of 2014 by Typhoon Hagupit.....
The new, revised edition of our Manual for the Retreats is published and available at Lulu Press:
“The inner reality of love can be recognized only by love” Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-88) was a Swiss theologian, considered to be one of the most important Catholic intellectuals and writers of the twentieth century. Incredibly prolific and diverse, he wrote over one hundred books and hundreds of articles. See more about him this site dedicated to his person and work: Hans Urs von Balthasar Internet Archive (Hans Urs von Balthasar -icon by Fr. William McNichols) A good text to read about the theology of the Exercises in Balthasar's ouvre: The Ignatian Exercises in the Work of Hans Urs von Balthasar By Werner Löser, SJ The lecture presents how Balthasar unfolded three concepts around which the theology of the Exercises revolves: choice, indifference, and obedience. The author shows also that it was characteristic of von Balthasar’s work to locate the Exercises within the history of theology and spirituality.
(From 'Love Alone Is Credible' by Hans Urs von Balthasar)
Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-88) was a Swiss theologian, considered to be one of the most important Catholic intellectuals and writers of the twentieth century. Incredibly prolific and diverse, he wrote over one hundred books and hundreds of articles.
See more about him this site dedicated to his person and work: Hans Urs von Balthasar Internet Archive
(Hans Urs von Balthasar -icon by Fr. William McNichols)
A good text to read about the theology of the Exercises in Balthasar's ouvre: The Ignatian Exercises in the Work of Hans Urs von Balthasar By Werner Löser, SJ
The lecture presents how Balthasar unfolded three concepts around which the theology of the Exercises revolves: choice, indifference, and obedience. The author shows also that it was characteristic of von Balthasar’s work to locate the Exercises within the history of theology and spirituality.