Marriages for Mary
"Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5)

Testimonials

2011 Marriages for Mary Medjugorje:

"We enjoyed the experience immensely and our hearts were moved and touched deeply. There was a yearning, much happiness and the peace was extraordinary. We met others who are searching for God and his Mother. I found this trip to be very enlightening, holy and joyful." (Joe and Fran Chiarotto)

"What made Marriages for Mary so special and specific to couples was the renewal of our Marriage Vows. The personal testimonies that followed were cathartic whether relating to family dysfunction, addictions or tribulations. We all shared the other person's burden through empathy and fellow feeling. A genuine sense of camaraderie developed during the ten days spent together Lastly, the greatest gift on the pilgrimage of Marriages for Mary was that of our spiritual director, Fr. Tim Devine who inspired us with his lectures, his prayers, his heavenly Mass and blessing, and his soulful singing. In the words of Fr. Pablo, a Spanish priest on retreat - I now see the world through Fr. Tim." (Sash and Rita Chittal)

We are so grateful for the Marriages for Mary Ministry. My husband and I travelled with this ministry on retreat to Medjugorje. At the time we were courting in our relationship. We feel what we learned there set the foundation for our Marriage. I will never forget the talks/ teachings from Father Tim Devine and other guest speakers who attended the retreat. While on retreat with Marriages for Mary, my husband proposed to me. A short time later we had a beautiful wedding and have been happily married now for 15 months. We pray with one another each day and attend Holy Mass frequently. Honoring and loving God in our marriage, I pray, will continue for the rest of our lives as we turn to him in time of need. With complete trust and confidence in him, he will see us through. As Marriages for Mary professes marriage is a mystery- A Holy union of three, husband, wife and Our Lord God Almighty. We know that we need God in our marriage like the air we breathe. The greatest way we can thank Almighty God for our union together is through our commitment, love, and respect for one another. (Grant and Suzanne Rowe)

"I will never forget the evening that Gerard and Rita invited me to go to the "Marriages for Mary" retreat in Medjugorje. In my mind I was thinking, " How would I fit in at a marriage retreat?" You see, I have been a widow now for 23 years and I felt I would not fit in with seven married couples. Well, the Blessed Mother had another plan.....she wanted me there, along with two other widows! The retreat was a blessing to us as we laughed, cried and prayed with the couples. To my amazement, "the widows" did fit in perfectly because it was God's perfect plan. (Eleanor Fitzgerald, the very grateful widow)

2012 Marriages for Mary NL:

"It is no easy feat to put into words the holiness and beauty of the "Marriages for Mary" retreat that Ron and I just attended. Everyone on the team was so "Real", so authentic and so themselves. The talks were so simplistic and yet so profound. So many insights were drawn from these. The graces and healing that we received are innumerable and still flowing. We are now enjoying a closeness that I never thought was possible." (Ron and Denise Carew)

"We really did enjoy the weekend in Conception Harbour. For us, it bought to our attention to better communication with each other. The book, "The 5 Love Languages" was really helpful to us in the sense of understanding each other's love language. The weekend bought us closer together in many ways. I feel I am a little more patient with myself & my husband because of this weekend. It has helped make me think before I speak!" (Paddy and Sheila Dalton)

"Thank you for a wonderful weekend it was very powerful . I had a appointment with the counsellor tonight but canceled because I didn't need her.... my heart feels different. I wrote her few lines and told her about the retreat and gave her your card to use as one of her tools to help couples because she specializes in keeping marriages together. It is nice to feel liberated, not held prison by hatred or resentment." (Tony and Rosann Abbott)

"During the retreat we attended Mass and we both felt at home there. While praying I heard, "God loves you just the way you are". In our 20 years together Ken has always told me how much he loves me but I never really believed it. I realized that if God can love me with all my imperfections than I shouldn't doubt Ken's love for me. I thought I would feel out of place because I wasn't Catholic but everyone was amazing. We felt like we were part of a family and we all wanted the same thing: to see marriages succeed. The information in the talks helped give us the tools to make our marriage work. It also helped reinforce our decision to become Catholic. After the Marriages for Mary retreat we began attending Mass regularly at St. Patrick's Church and will be starting RCIA classes in the next few weeks. Our wedding 20 years ago was a civil ceremony so after our conversion we are planning to renew our vows in the Church. In today's society everything has become disposable, including marriage. A lot of people either don't believe in God or only believe in Him when they need Him. Marriages for Mary helps reinforce the need for God in our lives and how important marriage is to Him. With God in our lives the devil can't win! We hope we can become part of Marriages for Mary and help other couples as we were helped." (Ken and Cindy Askeland)

I feel we were very blessed by the weekend. When you said the title, "Marriages for Mary", I didn't know what to make of it. I wasn't sure if I even wanted to do the weekend. However, I am so glad we did it. I was especially touched by the renewing of our vows! (Mike)I remember not being sure if I would do the weekend. I am so thankful to God that I was able to attend.. I felt that Mike and I were just getting to know one another. I didn't know what to expect when we renewed our vows. When we got to the church I felt led to ask Father Devine to bless my rings as they were not the rings that was given to me on our wedding day. They never really meant anything , only they were wedding rings. Father Devine suggested we exchange rings again. I was like a teenager and so excited that he would do that for us. When the couples began renewing their vows the tears started flowing and you could feel the presence of Almighty God. It was a blessing! Finally, when it was time for Mike and I to go to the Altar I can't remember ever being so happy and ready to be renewing our vows. When we came back to our seats I couldn't stop crying and it was tears of Joy. We received the Blessed Sacrament and I became aware of the beautiful cross that was given to us. I felt that I had to put Jesus first and Our marriage second. We can do nothing without him and his direction in our lives. We have struggled in our thirty eight years of marriage but we know that God has never left our side. We have so much to be thankful for. We have three beautiful children and we have each other. I would like to thank Rita and Gerard and all the wonderful and faithful people who worked so hard to make "Marriages for Mary' a truly blessed retreat. (Mike and Bertha Keating)