Help For Your Marriage
Retrouvaille is a program for couples with marital problems that want marriage help. Those who are considering marriage separation and those who are already separated or divorced are encouraged to consider the Retrouvaille Program. There is always hope of reviving your relationship.
Some couples come to Retrouvaille during the initial signs of a marriage problem. Other couples are in a state of despair and hopelessness when they attend the program.
Many lawyers and judges send couples to Retrouvaille as a prerequisite to filing for a divorce or rendering final decisions. Many marriage counselors and family therapists send their clients to Retrouvaille as a prerequisite to counseling. These professionals know that the tools of communication in marriage taught in the program are often what couples need.
I. Period of Evangelization and PrecatechumenateThis first stage is called the period of inquiry. This is when an individual first expresses interest in becoming a Catholic, and begins to explore, with the help of the parish community, to discern his or her relationship with Christ and how this can be deepened by joining the Catholic Church. Once a non-baptized individual discerns to enter the RCIA process, they celebrate Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. This is a liturgical rite in which the inquirer states publicly that he or she wants to become a baptized member of the Catholic Church. The Church, through the local parish community affirms this desire to follow God's call. Once celebrating this rite, the non-baptized are referred to as catechumens. For candidates who have already been baptized and are seeking full communion in the Catholic Church, this step is called the Rite of Welcomingthe Candidate.
II. Period of CatechumenateThis second stage is an extended period which normally lasts one year or longer. This is a time of formation and education based on Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Catholic Church. “The length of the catechumenate period will depend on the grace of God and on various circumstances… Nothing, therefore, can be settled a priori [that is, beforehand]. The time spent in the catechumenate should be long enough – for the conversion and faith of the catechumens to become strong” (RCIA Source Book #76).
III. Period of Purification and EnlightenmentThis stage coincides with the liturgical season of Lent. It is a time of reflection, prayer, and intense spiritual preparation rather than a time of catechetical instruction. A Lenten retreat is offered during this period. During this time, catechumens celebrate several rites: The Rite of Election, or Enrollment of Names, coincides with the beginning of Lent and is celebrated by the Bishop at the cathedral church of the Diocese. The Rite includes the official enrollment of names of all those seeking baptism at the Easter Vigil. At this Rite the catechumens publicly request baptism and declare their desire to make a faith commitment to Jesus in the Catholic Church. After this Rite, they are referred to as the elect. The Scrutinies are three public celebrations during the Period of Purification in which the elect are invited to progress in their perception of sin and their desire for salvation. These are celebrated at the local parish church. While candidates for full communion do not celebrate neither the Rite of Election nor the Scrutinies, they do celebrate The Call to Continuing Conversion, celebrated by the Bishop at the cathedral church of the Diocese.
IV. Period of MystagogyCatechumens celebrate of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil, which has been done since the beginnings of the Church. Through this step the elect are admitted into the people of God. Candidates are received into full communion through the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist during the Easter season. For pastoral reasons, candidates may also celebrate during the Easter Vigil. At this time the newly initiated explore their experience by being fully initiated through participation in the Sunday Eucharist. The period is marked by actively living a life of charity, service and love. Mystagogy is a lifelong process, one that all Christians are engaged in, as we all work to deepen our sense of what it means to be a Christian.