Encouragement and Enrichment
Good marriages can always be made better! Pope Francis described marriage as “a project to be worked on together” and a “process of growth” (Amoris Laetitia, no. 218, 221). The Church provides many opportunities for spouses to deepen and refine their love for each other. The organizations listed below are dedicated to creating time and space for marriages to grow, and for helping parents raise their children well. Make your marriage a priority by seeking out enrichment opportunities together.
If your marriage has hit some serious difficulties, there are people who can help. Visit this page.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content on this page is provided solely for your information and should not be interpreted as an official endorsement of the organizations, programs, and websites listed. To the best of our knowledge, the information listed here did not conflict with Catholic teaching and was accurate at the time of posting.
Table of Contents
Faith-Based Marriage Enrichment
10 Great Dates® To Energize Your Marriage
For all who have used 10 Great Dates® over the years, here’s some good news! This award-winning, easy-to-do, fun, broad, bible- and skill-based marriage education program disguised as 10 fun dates is now updated complete with a new expanded edition of the book with the latest research and input from millennium couples. Plus new cutting edge multi-media presentations make launching the dates easy and fun. Even presenter notes are included! Take advantage of the current date night phenomenon and offer 10 Great Dates in your parish and community. Couples come for a short 30-minute date launch; tear out the duplicate dating exercises in their book, and head out for their date. They go home more connected and more in love. Do this 10 times and you will be the hero to the couples in your parish.
Contact: 865-690-5887 or Arps@marriagealive.com
10 Great Dates: Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage
At last, a fun, easy way to help couples connect spiritually that they both will enjoy! 10 Great Dates: Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage combines the proven format of 10 Great Dates® with 10 dates that are each based on a spiritual theme, including Appreciating Your Differences, Experiencing God Together, Facing the Storms of Life and Connecting Through Prayer. Run this program as the traditional 10 Great Dates by having a short date launch and sending couples out on their date or it can also be used as a small group study utilizing the free Leader’s Guide available at www.10GreatDates.org. Before publishing this book, it was piloted in several Catholic churches and is crafted to work well in a Catholic setting.
Contact: 865-690-5887 or Arps@marriagealive.com
Annunciation Ministries’ mission is to strengthen the vocation of marriage through consultation, training, events, and resources for dioceses, parishes, and married couples.
The Alexander House: Covenant of Love Ministry
The internationally recognized Covenant of Love ministry programs can help to build a thriving parish community by building and supporting strong, joyful, and lasting marriages focused on God’s plan for marriage.
Contact: Greg Alexander at 210-858-6195 or email@example.com
The BEATITUDES: A Couple’s Path to Greater Joy
This marriage enrichment program explores the Beatitudes as a path to holiness in Christian marriage. The program is based on John Bosio’s book, Blessed is Marriage: a Guide to the Beatitudes of Catholic Couples. The program, which contains six videos, handouts for participants, opening prayers, and a coordinator’s guide, is very versatile. It can be used in date nights programs, small discussion groups, or in couples’ retreats.
Contact: 615-758-9694 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BELOVED: Finding Happiness in Marriage – Home Edition
Beloved is a video-based enrichment program by the Augustine Institute that explores the true meaning of the Sacrament of Marriage. In six sessions, you’ll discover the deepest spiritual, emotional, and practical realities of what your marriage can and should be. Through an exploration of Scripture, Tradition, and Church teaching, God’s plan for your marriage will come alive. You’ll see firsthand the wonder, mystery, and joy behind that first “I do”—whether you said it last year or many years ago.
Beloved sessions are presented on a 6-DVD set, and kits come complete with Couple’s and Leader’s Guides – everything you need to experience the full power of Beloved for marriage enrichment.
Contact Colleen at (866) 767-3155
Watch the trailer for Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage
The Cana Institute
Cana Institute guides couples toward vibrant marriages by helping them understand the dynamics between the spiritual and problem-solving components of marriage.
Contact: Bridget Brennan, MA, MA, President, and Jerome Shen, Ph.D. at 314-313-0613
Catholic Couple Checkup
Catholic Couple Checkup is an online relationship assessment (powered by PREPARE/ENRICH) that couples can take without the help of a facilitator or counselor. Tailored to each couple and the Catholic faith, the computer-generated report helps couples discover their strength and growth areas across several relationship categories such as communication, conflict resolution, roles, financial management, personality, and more. Couples can bring their results to a priest, marriage mentors, or marriage enrichment group to work through their results, or download the PDF Discussion Guide to unpack the results and build relationship skills on their own.
Founded in 2000, Charis Ministries reaches those in their 20’s and 30’s throughout the country, nurturing their faith through retreats based in Ignatian Spirituality. Charis’ Christ Alive in Our Marriage retreat invites couples in their first five years of marriage to reflect on how Christ is alive in their marriages, and how they are called to make Christ Alive in our world. Visit the website for more information on the retreat, and to find a schedule of upcoming retreats.
Christian Family Movement
This network of families supports each other in living their faith in daily life at home, in the workplace, and their communities. In the U.S. and internationally. English and Spanish.
Contact: 800-581-9824 or email@example.com
The Couple Prayer Series
A six-week series to help married and engaged couples develop closer relationships with God and each other as they learn to pray in safe, close, and comfortable ways.
The Covenant Experience
The Covenant Experience is an innovative parish program presented by lay couples and parish staff to enhance a Catholic couple’s appreciation of their sacrament of Matrimony. English and Spanish.
Discovering Our Deepest Desire
“Discovering Our Deepest Desire” (DODD) is a 12-week marriage enrichment program that can be taught by instructors or facilitated by lay leaders using the video series provided. Utilizing a therapeutic model for change, this curriculum systematically walks a couple through skills and knowledge for changing unhealthy patterns in their relationship, as well as connecting the information to elements from St. Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body teaching. Helping couples to divorce-proof their marriages, couples learn 7 steps to strengthen their marriages and to ultimately build a Eucharistic Marriage. The DODD program engages couples through the use of Q&A, Scripture and Catechism readings, activities, as well as homework in each session.
Contact: Greg Schutte at 1-937-262-7010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Domestic Church Movement
Domestic Church is the family branch of the Light-Life Movement, founded in Poland by Servant of God, Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki with the guidance, support, and influence of his bishop, Karol Wojtyla (Pope Saint John Paul II). The movement provides long term formation for couples looking to grow in holiness together. After attending an initial retreat, couples meet in groups to share their joys and sorrows, pray together, and go over their progress in their spiritual lives.
Contact: 337-764-1562 or email@example.com
Fight Less, Love More Couples Course
Bestselling author, Harvard lawyer and couples mediator Laurie Puhn and Family Dynamics Institute have brought you this empowering course based on the bestselling book Fight Less, Love More: 5 Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship Without Blowing Up or Giving In. This step-by-step course is the perfect way to enrich your marriage at any stage.
In each of the nine one-hour classes, you will experience the benefit of using the 5-Minute Conversations to avoid and reduce conflict, increase appreciation, intimacy, and respect, give a perfect apology and create a personalized daily communication routine that will help you grow stronger and closer in your marriage.
There is also an online version of the course that takes place in a virtual classroom, which allows couples and the course leader to interact. Visit www.fightlesslovemore.com for more information and class dates.
Contact: 800-650-9995 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Foundational Intimacy: Eucharist as the Model for Marriage
Available as an overnight retreat and in a day-long format, this skills-based workshop offers practical information and time for prayer and reflection.
Contact: 320-255-9035 or email@example.com
For Your Military Marriage
ForYourMilitaryMarriage.com is an initiative of Worldwide Marriage Encounter to enrich, affirm and encourage military married couples in their relationships and families, and to offer the resources and support of an online network of Catholic military married couples for every age and every stage of married life.
The Hitch Fix Seminar
You invest in your business, your home, and your retirement…but what about your marriage? The Hitch Fix Seminar, offered by Millennials for Marriage, is an engaging couples experience that is designed to identify areas of relational struggles and provide strategic communication and intentional dialogue to strengthen them.
If you are interested in hosting The Hitch Fix at your parish, use this contact form.
Holy Catholic Marriage
Grow your marriage in true intimacy by listening to our weekly marriage Podcasts based on each Sunday’s Scriptural Readings. Great for marriage preparation or for those who have been married decades and still desire more from their marriages. Grow closer to your spouse each week as you listen, share, and implement ways of loving each other as Jesus intended for your sacramental marriage. Week after week and month after month, begin to renew your marriage by listening, understanding, and loving each other as you hoped to be loved on your wedding day.
Hope Springs Florida
A nonprofit organization that helps families with a child with special needs re-energize and restore healthy relationships. HSF offers more than a vacation respite home for those with autism; it offers hope to working-class families in a seaside environment by handling all the details necessary for a relaxing vacation. This includes airport and ground transportation, dietary and sensory need accommodation, and preferred access to recreational activities near historic Saint Augustine, FL. HSF is founded on the principle of hope, as expressed by Pope Francis: “When there is no human hope, there is that hope that carries us forward, humble, simple—but it gives a joy, at times a great joy, at times only of peace, but the security that hope does not disappoint: hope doesn’t disappoint.”
For more information, contact Joe Rodgers at 614-886-5510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Living in Love
A parish-based retreat workshop for newlyweds and young married couples that presents insights from Theology of the Body through the witness of other young couples. A follow-up program, Living in Love Every Day, teaches Theology of the Body life skills to married couples as an extension of the Living in Love retreat workshop and/or a mentor training course for Preparing to Live in Love.
Contact: 877-201-2142 or PMRCusa@msn.com
Marriage Enrichment, Inc
Non-profit, non-denominational, and nationwide, Christian Marriage Workshops build positive communication skills in marriage and family relationships through private and small group activities.
Contact: 800-72-N-RICH or email@example.com
Marriage Enrichment Program
This parish-based ministry for couples includes three programs: The Marriage Enrichment Weekend, the Retreat, and Engaged Enrichment. Archdiocese of Santa Fe. English and Spanish.
Contact: 505-831-8117 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Marriage in Christ Seminar
This parish-based ministry focuses on three key elements: friendship with God, friendship with one’s spouse, and invoking the power of the Holy Spirit. The seminar includes one two-hour session per week for five weeks.
Contact: 651-789-2888 ext. 113 or email@example.com
Marriage Savers and Community Marriage Covenants
Clergy in over 150 cities have collaborated to develop Community Marriage Policies that call for rigorous marriage preparation and training Mentor Couples to help couples prepare for and strengthen their marriages.
Having encountered Jesus Christ, a disciple is not marked by mere conviction, but by commitment. We are not about another program, but a way of life in Jesus Christ. We are about personal, family, and parish transformation overflowing to the world. We are awakening families to their extraordinary life in Jesus Christ within their ordinary world. And it’s making a difference. Of those engaged with Mass Impact: 95% increased in talking and praying in their homes, 91% increased commitment to their parish communities, 86% increased in inviting others to participate in parish life.
Contact: ALIVE@MassImpact.us or (814) 449-9922
Ministry to the Newly Married
A parish-based mentoring program for newlywed couples offered by Agape Catholic Ministries. This five-year program pairs new married couples with couples married at least five years, with the goal of fostering the new couple’s relationship skills and broadening their understanding of each other and living out the Sacrament of Marriage.
Contact: 800-208-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
More2Life Radio with Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak
Airing on over 300 stations across the US on EWTN Radio and SiriusXM130 (and both live online & podcast at avemariaradio.net), More2Life is a call-in advice program that applies insights from Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and cutting-edge psychology to problems of daily living. In addition to callers, we feature a regular slate of guest experts.
Call on Monday-Friday from 10-11 am E (9 am-10 am C) at 877-573-7825 to ask Dr. Greg and Lisa your questions.
National Marriage Encounter
National Marriage Encounter (NME) promotes and encourages marriage and family life by offering Marriage Encounter weekends and a support community. It is open to couples of all faiths and those of no religious affiliation.
Jeannette and Kent Babcock, National Marriage Encounter Business Administrators: 515-278-8458, email@example.com
ProSAAM: Program for Strong African American Marriages
ProSAAM is a marriage education curriculum designed to help African American couples have strong and healthy relationships. It incorporates major aspects of PREP plus a thoughtful and innovative use of prayer. In addition to the spiritual emphasis, the program includes materials and activities that recognize how institutional and implicit racism affects the success of African American marriages.
Now is the time to strengthen your marriage! Whether you’ve been married two, 25, or 50 years, the REFOCCUS marriage inventory is designed for you. Simply take the inventory, compare your responses, and let us help you dive into a better future with your spouse! This powerful tool is now easily accessible online at foccusinc.com. Available in English and Spanish, REFOCCUS can be used on your own or with a REFOCCUS facilitator.
Contact the FOCCUS team at 877-883-5422 to order REFOCCUS today!
It’s easy to get discouraged by our disconnection. Arguments over petty incidents, too busy to romance each other, crowded with other responsibilities. We all go through these periods that we need a breakthrough in our relationship. SmartLoving BreakThrough is a practical, solution-focused course for all stages of marriage. Drawing on contemporary research and Catholic theology, this course will arm you with skills and insights to transform your relationship into the thriving, joy-filled encounter it’s meant to be.
SmartLoving Marriage Kit
The Marriage Kit offers a refreshing look into what it takes to build a healthy and happy relationship. Delivered online and with video presentations guiding couples through the course, it offers practical strategies, insights, and a dash of humor to help revitalize and strengthen marriages.
The Second Half of Marriage
This small group resource is designed to help couples renew and re-energize their marriage for the empty nest years. For empty nesters and those whose nest may have refilled or never emptied, this resource will help couples renew their love, reinvent their marriage and make the rest the best. Based on the award-winning book The Second Half of Marriage, this video-based curriculum was filmed at Our Saviour’s Catholic Church in Cocoa Beach, FL. It is easy to lead and is great for small groups and retreats. The Second Half of Marriage curriculum includes 8 video sessions, Leader’s Guide, and Participant’s book.
Contact: 865-690-5887 or Arps@marriagealive.com
SIX DATES for Catholic Couples
This easy-to-use program is a marriage-building resource for parishes. It includes six videos, handouts, a Program Coordinator’s Guide, and the book Happy Together, the Catholic Blueprint for a Loving Marriage, by John Bosio.
Contact: 615-758-9694 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Strengthening Your Marriage
A Christ-Centered Marriage Renewal Workshop based on Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) that combines faith and psychology to offer practical tools to help married couples reconnect, repair, and re-energize their marriage. Weekends are held at Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Contact: Betsy Ring email@example.com
Teams of Our Lady
We are a movement of “Married Spirituality” which brings together Christian couples united by the Sacrament of Marriage; and who wish, together, to deepen the graces of their Sacrament of Marriage.
Contact: 774-201-9827 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thriving Marriages teaches couples how to build unity, grow in resilience and intimacy, and overcome most marital crises. It is offered on three different 3-hour sessions mostly at local churches (California). Thriving Marriages Program, Book/CD’s are available in English & Spanish.
Contact: 949-851-1572 or Claire@ThrivingFamilies.com
Total Marriage Refresh
The Total Marriage Refresh is a Christian marriage retreat aimed at “reducing the divorce rate one marriage at a time.” It is developed by psychologist Dr. Wyatt Fisher and his wife Alia. The seminar offers a unique blend of Scripture, marriage research, clinical experience, and personal testimony on the peaks and valleys from their marital journey. For couples wanting to laugh as well as cry and breathe new life back into their relationship, this conference is for you!
Together in Holiness
Together in Holiness is a marriage conference series for dioceses that inspires spouses to grow together in holiness and empowers parents to form their children in the Catholic faith. Each conference brings to life a theme on marriage and family life from the teachings of St. John Paul II. The annual conferences include insightful and practical presentations for spouses, as well as Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As an initiative of the St. John Paul II Foundation, Together in Holiness conferences are offered in collaboration with dioceses and host parishes.
The VIRTUES: A Program for Couples
A marriage enrichment program that uses a variety of media to share a positive message about marriage and help couples master the good habits we call cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. Developed by the creators of SIX DATES for Catholic Couples and The BEATITUDES: A Couple’s Path to Greater Joy.
Contact: 615-758-9694 or email@example.com
United in Love – United in Christ
United will explore God’s plan and promise for spouses. The content will turn to the Church’s rich teaching on love and marriage as well as draw on personal stories from couples who are striving to build their lives in Christ. It creatively offers opportunities to reflect, learn, grow, communicate, and experience a deepening in faith. United provides practical steps in building upon what Saint John Paul II taught to be the “Infallible” and “Indispensable” way to a truly united and faithful love!
The Parish Kit comes with 10 Couple’s Guides, United DVDs, Leader’s Guide, Leader’s Guide DVD, Parish Guide, and Parish Guide DVD.
A Worldwide Marriage Encounter
WWME is a weekend experience that teaches a technique of loving communication to promote intimate and responsible relationships and offers community support for the sacramental lifestyle modeled by the presenters. Offered in English, Spanish and Korean. Videos available here.
Contact: 563-608-3305 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For Further Reading:
- Intimate Graces: How Practicing the Works of Mercy Brings Out the Best in Marriage by Teresa Tomeo (Pastore) and Dominick Pastore
- 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage: Simple Ways for Couples to Grow Closer to God and to Each Other by Jennifer Roback Morse and Betsy Kerekes
Faith-Based Resources for Parenting
A ministry within the Courage apostolate dedicated to the spiritual needs of parents, siblings, children, and other relatives and friends of persons who have same-sex attractions. Standing by the true teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, EnCourage members support one another and their loved ones through discussion, prayer, and fellowship. Visit the EnCourage website to learn more and to find a local chapter: https://couragerc.org/encourage/
Established in 1988, Family Honor provides and promotes a family-centered, Catholic approach to chastity education through our programs, online course, and other parent resources. Working through parishes and dioceses, our professionally-prepared presenters provide unique opportunities for parents to come with their son or daughter to one of our three in-person programs (Leading & Loving; Changes & Challenges; Real Love & Real Life) and experience it together. Our course, The Truth and Meaning of Sexuality, Love & Family, is available for continuing education via a flexible online format. Resources can be ordered from our online store.
Contact: 803.929.0858 or email@example.com
Families of Character
Families of Character is an on-line, discussion-based course that develops character through virtues. Established in 2009, Families of Character (FOC) is a nonprofit organization committed to providing parents with the tools to live virtues, impart virtues to their children, and reverse the breakdown of families by helping to create happier, more unified families. Comprehensively focusing on one virtue at a time the course has created on-line videos, self-assessment tools, guided practice, and goal tracking.
Contact: 303-773-0600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Freedom to Love
A complete study course for college students and young adults about the theology of the body, love, sexuality, chastity, relationships, and more. Also a good resource for parents who want to engage their children on these topics. Available from Ascension Press.
The Messy Family Project
Mike and Alicia Hernon, parents of ten children, aim to empower parents, strengthen marriage, and bring families to Christ. This is done through their podcast, short videos, downloadable resources, and live events.
Parenting with Heart: A Guide to Parenting Based upon the Call to Love as We Are Loved
The generous love of God, who has loved us first and loved us into being, serves as the model for parents and those who take the role of parent: grandparents, mentors, and caregivers. The purpose of the guide is to support parents and families to respond to the call to be the Domestic Church, a communion of life, love, and grace. In this program, we reflect on God’s love for us and how God’s love can guide us in our role as parents. We also draw on lessons from the field of parent education. Together, they form the basis of Parenting with Heart. Complimentary copies of the Facilitator’s Guide and the Participant’s “Tool Kit” are available upon request.
Contact: Christine Rybka-Miki and Paul Miki at email@example.com
Teaching the Way of Love
Teaching the Way of Love is a program for Catholic parents that encourages and empowers them to embrace their role as the primary educators of their children, especially in the areas of moral and personal development.
You: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body
A complete study course for high school students about love, sexuality, chastity, gender, and more. Also a good resource for parents who want to engage their children on these topics; there is a separate Parent’s Guide. Available from Ascension Press.
General Marriage Enrichment
An international nonprofit, nonsectarian organization that provides enrichment opportunities and resources to strengthen couple relationships and enhance personal growth, mutual fulfillment, and family wellness.
Contact: 800-634-8325 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Couples learn 11 interpersonal skills for effective talking and listening, plus processes for better decision making, conflict resolution, and anger management.
Contact: 800-328-5099 or email@example.com
Franklin Covey’s Marriage, Family, Youth, and Community Initiatives
This engaging, experiential curricula, including The 8 Habits of a Successful Marriage, is based on Stephen Covey’s best-seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Institute for Soul Healing Love
Non-profit, non-denominational institute designed to strengthen marriages and families. Classes also assist low-income families and minorities to improve life skills through communication and relationship development.
Contact: 704-364-9176 or info@SoulHealingLove.com
Marriage Builders, Inc.
Marriage Builders helps couples learn how to build and maintain a mutually enjoyable marriage.
Contact: 651-762-8570 or Admin@MarriageBuilders.com
Marriage Friendly Therapists
Marriage Friendly Therapists is a nationwide network of marriage/couples counselors who want your relationship to thrive. Each therapist is specifically trained in couples counseling and has met eligibility requirements to make this roster. Most importantly, the health of your relationship is valued by every counselor you will find here; we want to help you find the joy of a deeply meaningful relationship.
PAIRS: Practical Application of Relationship Skills
Established in 1975, PAIRS teaches practical skills for building and rebuilding great relationships. Effective with couples at any stage from premarital to deeply troubled.
Contact: 877-PAIRS-4U or firstname.lastname@example.org
PREP: The Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program
Based on over twenty years of research, PREP teaches marital/premarital couples how to communicate effectively, work as a team, solve problems, manage conflict, and preserve and enhance love and commitment. Available in Spanish.
800-366-0166 or 303-759-9931
Relationship Enhancement (including MML) Programs
Couples learn skills to increase mutual understanding and emotional responsiveness; resolve conflicts; establish more satisfying behavior patterns, and enhance relationships with children and co-workers. Participant’s manual available in Spanish.
Partners on the Journey
This marriage enrichment series combines a Catholic theology of marriage with findings from scientific research by Dr. John Gottman to offer couples both inspiration and practical help. For group facilitators or for couples to take home.
Offers an affordable way to improve relationship skills from the comfort of your own home. Online, skills-based, Healthy Relationship Webinars include topics to help build intimacy, trust, and gain new communication skills. Each Webinar is directed by a certified relationship coach or educator. Individuals as well as couples can benefit.
For Further Reading:
- For Better: How the Surprising Science of Happy Couples Can Help Your Marriage Succeed by Tara Parker-Pope
- Thriving Marriages, 2nd edition by John Yzaguirre, Ph.D. and Claire Frazier-Yzaguirre, MFT, M. Div.