a program designed to help heal and renew troubled marriages
serving the whole of British Columbia, Canada
The goals of Retrouvaille
Our primary goal is to provide support and guidance on reconciliation to couples who have troubled and broken marriages. The presenters are peer couples who have experienced difficulties in their marriages themselves.
Who will benefit from Retrouvaille?
Retrouvaille is for all married couples wanting to revive their marriages, even those who are already separated or divorced. Retrouvaille rekindles the spark and heals tough problems like infidelity, years of emotional distance or seemingly irreconcilable differences. Some couples come to Retrouvaille feeling hopeless or desperate. Couples who commit to the program leave with a renewed sense of hope, commitment, intimacy and trust.
What Retrouvaille is not:
This is not a group-counseling session, therapy or a retreat. It is a program in which couples work individually, not as a group, on the techniques provided by the presenters. The presenting couples have been through the program themselves and volunteer their time because they strongly believe in, and have experienced, the ability of the program to repair marriages.
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 Retrouvaille Weekend provides tools to help couples with communication, forgiveness, and trust. It teaches a dialogue process of meaningful communication.
The weekend is not a spiritual retreat, nor a marriage encounter nor a marriage seminar. 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 the 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.
Programs and Events
To register now for one of our upcoming programs, click the appropriate link below. The link will take you to our Retrouvaille International website.
Please be aware that to complete the registration process you will be asked for a $300.00 non-refundable deposit. If you need to cancel your registration, the deposit may be applied to another weekend within two years of payment.
If you require financial assistance or would like more information about the Retrouvaille Vancouver program before registering, don't hesitate to contact or e-mail us. We will gladly answer any questions you may have about the program.
Spring 2020 Program
Weekend: April 17 - 19, 2020
Post Sessions (12:30 pm to 4:30 pm): April 26, May 3, 10, 24, 31, June 7
Fall 2020 Program
Weekend: October 16 - 18, 2020
Post Sessions (12:30 pm to 4:30 pm): October 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Spring 2021 Program
Weekend: April 16 - 18, 2020
Post Sessions (12:30 pm to 4:30 pm): April 25, May 2, 9, 16, 30, June 6
Fall 2021 Program
Weekend: October 15 - 17, 2021
Post Sessions (12:30 pm to 4:30 pm): October 24, 31, November 7, 14, 21, 28
CORE - "Continue Our Retrouvaille Experience"
Once a month at the Holy Family Parish, Vancouver, BC. All couples who have attended a Retrouvaille weekend are welcome to attend. Please call 604-530-6710 to confirm the date of the meeting(s) you plan to attend and to be signed up for our community notices and updates.
Retrouvaille Board Meetings
Held right before certain CORE meetings, - all Retrouvaille alumni couples are welcome to attend.
A Priest's View
Dear Friends in Christ,
Last weekend I was away helping on my first Retrouvaille weekend. Using a pattern and approach similar to Marriage Encounter, RetrouvaiIle is a program for couples whose marriages are in trouble. I was asked [in the] spring if I would consider getting involved with RetrouvailIe, and through the summer I worked on my talks. Fortunately I was ready for October!
Retrouvaille is more than a weekend. For a troubled couple the program starts with a rather intense time of self-discovery and learning to listen to one another; it continues with 6 to 12 post-weekend sessions over the following three months. There are also monthly support group meetings on an ongoing basis.
The Retrouvaille program is authentically Canadian. lt started in Quebec about 30 years ago - hence the French name, which is from the verb retrouver, to find again or to rediscover. The movement very quickly spread to the U.S. (where it seems to be strongest) and has now become international with communities on five continents. That is a testimony to both the effectiveness of the program and to the need for a program like this to help couples in troubled or broken marriages.
Couples headed for cold, unloving relationships or divorce have successfully overcome their marriage problems by attending the program. I met some of those couples as they prepared for and cleaned up after the weekend; it was evident that their marriages are now healthy. As they spoke of their experience of Retrouvaille the word that came to my mind was "healing." For many couples, Retrouvaille has been a healing experience.
However, Retrouvaille alone is not enough for everyone - things like counseling, support groups (e.g. AA), the sacrament of reconciliation, etc. are also part of the healing journey.
Last weekend we had couples from different faith communities and at different stages in their marriage breakdown (from wondering if they had a problem to near despair). lt seemed to me that all of them found some help and saw some hope. I pray that the post-encounter sessions will continue and deepen what began on the weekend.
I look forward to continuing my involvement in this healing ministry, and I invite you to pray for the Retrouvaille community and the couples who seek their help.
Below are some recent comments from Vancouver Retrouvaille couples. To read more stories and testimonials about couples who have been through Retrouvaille click here
"This has been a valuable, interesting and informative program. It has given me hope and the incentive to take on the hard work that is required to make a difference. " - Spring 2018 weekend
"I will definitely tell married couples about Retrouvaille and I will treasure everything we have learned from the entire program. Thank you for this very special opportunity. Overall very, very good! Thank you!" - Spring 2018 weekend
"Thank you for equipping us with the new tools to help us in our marriage. As our children got older we started to feel we had drifted apart. We didn’t believe in divorce, but the idea of living together in only tolerance was not appealing. We are now encouraged and excited to have a new beginning to our marriage as empty-nesters, happy, together and excited about the future together. " - Spring 2018 weekend
"What an experience! Likely one of the most memorable learning experiences of my life. I have learned so much about myself, my spouse, and my contribution to the success of my family. A sincere thank you to all of the presenting couples. Thank you for reminding me why I chose this marriage and helping me to re-commit." - Spring 2018 weekend
"I would definitely suggest it to a friend who I think is going through rough times, too, in her marriage." - Fall 2017 weekend
"Yes. I would recommend it. However, I do not think it is effective unless there is a real heart-level commitment to the process." - Fall 2017 weekend
"Yes. We can think of many couples who can benefit." - Fall 2017 weekend
"Excellent experience and most valuable to myself and our marriage. Thank you to all presenters and fellow attendees." - Spring 2017 weekend
"It provided us time to make time for each other." - Spring 2017 weekend
"Thank you for providing me the necessary communication skills to learn how to dialogue. It is an eye-opener to me that marriage is a commitment and that we need to stick it out for better and for worse. Wyatt said it so right. It has to get worse to get better. I hope so." - Spring 2017 weekend
"We didn't know what to expect. We were willing to try, but not sure it would help. We were certain it couldn't hurt, and knew that if something didn't happen soon, it would be too late." - R. and M., Victoria, B.C.
"My husband didn't know how he felt about us anymore. Our weekend was a miracle. We got our marriage back on track by using our new tools." - R. and A., Surrey, B.C.
I felt hopeful for us, it was a new beginning after much darkness and pain." - T and C., North Vancouver, B.C.
"I did not want to attend the program, I saw no hope for our relationship and just wanted out. I agreed at the last minute, and thank God that I did. The program has changed not only my marriage, but also my life." - T and E, Abbotsford, B.C.
"We just attended the Retrouvaille weekend with you and I wanted to share with you all our deepest gratitude and appreciation for you, your time, your sharing of yourselves and your journey. We both attended the weekend very skeptical, doubtful and with one foot out the door of our marriage. This was a make it or break it, last ditch effort on both our parts. I didn`t really even know if I cared enough to even try. We had been living in the same house as strangers and even enemies, living separate lives, sleeping in separate rooms and just tolerating each other for the sake of our 2 boys - 10 and 8 years old.
The weekend was really hard and there were times I just wanted to pack it in and go home, it didn`t seem to be working for us. Then on Sunday we had our break through. The first question broke me, it could have said, "Do you want to go on living?", because this is a question I struggled with many times. Life was just so hard and painful and miserable. Many times I had to will myself to get up in the morning and face another day. I broke down the barrier I had erected for years and shared all my deepest feelings with T, it was so scary and painful but totally worth it! We had an amazing reconciliation. After 12 years of hurt, loneliness and heartache, I have my best friend back. I know we are probably in the "honeymoon phase" right now but we are desperate to make changes and commit to each other and the Retrouvaille Program. We don`t ever want to go back to the way things were.
I have been crying all morning because my heart is so full with gratitude to God, Retrouvaille and you. We have both been changed on the inside. Our once stone hard hearts are now soft and open. This has even changed how I view myself (I am now seeing myself as a person of worth and value), my husband as a unique, special gift from God and my children as precious unique gifts as well. My whole outlook on life and people has changed.
We can`t thank you enough and were so touched that so many people were praying for us and pulling for us. I know that made all the difference. - T and L, Kamloops, BC
"A month before we got married in 2012, we went to pre-marital counselling sessions. The psychologist knew we were not communicating well, and offered no suggestion or help with the issue, which makes you feel doomed to fail before you even start. We are now so lucky to be involved with the Retrouvaille program... baby-step by baby-step we are starting to understand why we push each other's buttons the wrong way at times, and how to diffuse the situation, communicate well, and treat each other well again. Thank you all for your encouragement and dedication. YOU are making a difference, and giving us all a great gift in the process." - M & S, British Columbia
Make a Donation
To make a donation to Retrouvaille Vancouver Society, for which we thank you in advance:
You may do an e-transfer (Interac) through your financial institution, sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
(A donation by e-transfer minimizes our costs and ensures more of your donation goes towards helping struggling couples.)
Donations may also be made by credit card and/or PayPal by clicking on the link below.
Pay your deposit
To pay your $300.00 non-refundable deposit for a weekend which you are already registered:
You may do an e-transfer (Interac) through your financial institution, sent to email@example.com
You may also pay by credit card and/or PayPal, by clicking on the link below.
We thank you for your payment.
Retrouvaille is often recognized in the media. Here are some of the latest headlines.
19/07/2019: Couples find each other again at retreat
“We want all couples to know that God doesn’t want you to suffer and the Church doesn’t want you to suffer in marriage. God wants your marriage to be joyful, and this program helps couples find it.”
11/5/2018: Retrouvaille helps restore marriages
Retrouvaille, developed in Canada in 1977, is a ministry for couples in tough times.
4/4/2018: Retrouvaille: "Married Couples" spirituality
"I realize now what counselors lacked was spirituality!" The women who made this comment at the end of a Retrouvaille weekend for hurting marriages reflected the deep hunger for a meaningful spirituality in our society today.
2/14/18: LIMEY PASTOR: Hearts and ashes
One of the most useful groups, in my opinion, that exists in the Christian world is called “Retrouvaille” — a French term that means rediscovery and that is (a) God centered and (b) while being founded in the Catholic tradition also works with couples of other faiths and even none. The organization is made up of a peer network of other couples who have gone through their own travails and have gained some deep knowledge. I can speak for the effectiveness and helpfulness of Retrouvaille’s work personally.
1/26/18 Retrouvaille gives hope for hurting marriages
With the blessing of Archbishop Julian Leow and the efforts of Fr Edwin Peter, along with the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission’s Committee, the first Retrouvaille Weekend in Malaysia was held in Kuala Lumpur January 26 – 28, 2018.
11 Best Marriage Counseling Retreats in the US for 2018
Marriage retreats give couples the chance to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Removed from the stresses of children, careers, and housework, couples get the opportunity to work on themselves.
8/25/17: Retrouvaille: One Couple's Journey
"This weekend was a miracle to our marriage. There is power in hearing others share their struggles and difficulties in their marriages. There was a sense of 'We aren’t the only ones.' Mike and I learned a new way to communicate with each other that was non-defensive and helped us take down walls that had been built up between us over the years."
8/24/17: Making a Better Marriage: Red River Retrouvaille
Making a Better Marriage: Red River Retrouvaille
...the Fargo Catholic Diocese has your back. Whether you’re a newlywed, a wannabe, an old-time expert or even someone who’s experienced the pain and loss of a divorce, they’re offering a new seminar called “Retrouvaille” coming in September.
6/15/17: Program helps revitalize troubled marriages
Program helps revitalize troubled marriages
“We had the divorce papers filled out, and we started talking to lawyers,” Paul said...
2/14/17: How the Catholic Church supports marriages - every step of the way
HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SUPPORTS MARRIAGES - EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
"In some of the more difficult situations, where couples have sought aid from other resources to no avail, there is still support and hope for healing. Denise Felde, a presenter for Retrouvaille of Maryland / Washington DC, spoke to CNA about her organization, which has been helping heal marriages since the late 1970s."
Recent News and Community Updates For Retrouvaille Vancouver
CONTACT US - You will be glad you did!
If you and you family are living in misery, Retrouvaille can help you recover marital and family harmony.
To reach us by telephone call 604-530-6710.
Our mailing address is P.O. Box 31033, R.P.O. Thunderbird, Langley BC, V1M 0A9
You may also submit a request for further information using the form below.
Dialogue for a Lifetime! There is no reason to be without a question. Click on the link below to access a website that features 36,900 dialogue questions... that are indexed by subject!
Remember the purpose of dialogue is to help you understand your spouse's feelings. It is not to change one another or to manipulate one another. Each dialogue question should be written so that the couple finds out how one another feels. Not how they think... but how they feel. Then truly try to understand and accept one another as you are.