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More than 30 couples participate in marriage building, marriage care workshop

The Archdiocesan Family Life Commission hosted an enriching three-day workshop tailored to married couples aspiring to become adept trainers in marital dynamics. The March 15–17 workshop sessions were led by Lorrie and Don Gramer, and Leslie Adamson from Marriage Building USA, alongside five local couples. The content delved into the profound dimensions of marriage care and building through a series of comprehensive sessions. There were 32 couples in attendance from 24 parishes. It was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Port of Spain and US-based Catholic Marriage Initiative.

Kicking off the transformative journey on Friday 15 at the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs, the stage was set for an immersive exploration of ‘Train the Trainer for  Sacramental Marriage Building and Marriage Care’.

Here, prospective Marriage Care Ministers, affectionately dubbed as ‘Marriage Angels’, were equipped with the essential tools to navigate the terrain of marital challenges.

Emphasising the pivotal role of faith, participants were guided to impart confidential coaching imbued with profound spiritual support. Through fervent prayer, discernment, and an array of resources, they were empowered to infuse hope and rejuvenation into struggling relationships, facilitating a profound encounter with the healing grace of God.

On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17, couples continued their journey at Green Meadows, Santa Cruz. Armed with leaders’ guides and comprehensive workbooks to aid their learning, each couple delved into an array of essential skills and practices aimed at fortifying their marital bond.

Saturday commenced with an immersive exploration into daily relationship building where couples were guided through affirmations, check-ins, and reflective exercises. Facilitators encouraged participants to navigate daily interactions with grace and intention, fostering open communication and mutual understanding within their relationships.

Through engaging activities such as role-playing scenarios and interactive games, couples honed their abilities to address concerns with empathy, express hopes, and desires, and offer forgiveness as a pathway to healing.

A pivotal focus of the workshop was on the art of active listening and showing understanding. Couples delved into techniques for deep empathetic listening, learning to acknowledge and validate each other’s experiences with compassion and sincerity. Through structured exercises and heartfelt conversations, partners honed their capacity to communicate effectively, fostering deeper connection and intimacy.

Throughout the day, participants also tackled the challenge of breaking old conflict patterns and embracing forgiveness as a transformative practice. Through discussions on the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the power of genuine apology, couples explored avenues for healing past wounds and fostering reconciliation within their relationships.


Jenga blocks

In a creative twist, an activity involving Jenga blocks and emotions served as a poignant reflection tool, prompting couples to share on various emotional experiences. This interactive exercise encouraged vulnerability and mutual support, promoting an environment of trust, and understanding among participants.

On Sunday, couples gathered for Holy Mass presided over by celebrant Fr Matthew Ragbir, grounding the weekend’s reflections in the sacred context of faith. The final day of the workshop saw couples equipped not only with practical tools for marital enrichment but also with a renewed sense of spiritual connection and commitment to their journey together.

Feedback from participants highlighted the exceptional quality of instruction provided by the facilitators. They commended their passion and confidence, acknowledging how the instructors’ belief in the content enhanced the learning experience.

The dynamic presentation style, combining emotional depth with joviality, was particularly appreciated, creating an engaging atmosphere that fostered genuine interest in the topics discussed.

Moreover, participants shared how the retreat had profoundly impacted their marriages, noting shifts in perspective and newfound hope for improvement. The skills acquired during the sessions empowered couples to recognise their strengths, acknowledge areas for growth, and support each other in becoming better partners. Many expressed how the weekend had reignited the passion and commitment within their relationships, leading to improved conflict resolution and a deeper sense of connection.

Ongoing online formation and training continues for married couples from April to July after which they will begin accompaniment sessions for married couples at parish level.

Contact the AFLC at 299-1047, email: familylife@catholictt.org for more information.