Your gift to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal is healing hurting marriages through Retrouvaille, providing outreach to the sick and dying in city hospitals, and bringing hope to prisoners in Restorative Ministry.
Retrouvaille saves marriages
For couples struggling in their marriage, the program known as Retrouvaille (French for rediscovery) is a lifeline.
Retrouvaille consists of a weekend experience, where couples are given tools to heal and renew their marriage, followed by a series of post-weekend sessions. The emphasis of the program is communication, and providing practical tools for healing a marriage. Retrouvaille has helped couples in a state of despair and hopelessness, including some who have already separated or divorced, as well as others living with frustration, anger or coldness. “It gave us what we needed to be able to communicate and connect in ways that we hadn’t done before,” said Anthony McCarthy, whose marriage to Anastasia Winterhalt was healed through Retrouvaille.
“Retrouvaille can show you the face of mercy. And if you feel right now that you need to show mercy on your spouse, or perhaps you feel that you need your spouse to show mercy on you, give this a try, because you can only grow from it.”
- Anastasia Winterhalt: She and husband Anthony McCarthy discovered tools at Retrouvaille that saved their marriage.
Prison ministry changes lives
Funded by gifts to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, Restorative Ministry is coordinated by Dianne Anderson, and includes a team of volunteers who provide prayer and programs at Saskatchewan Correctional Centre.
Teresa Hiebert (left) got involved in prison ministry after graduating from Lay Formation. “I was really, really scared at first,” she admits, recalling her first visit to pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet with inmates. “It was such a beautiful honest open atmosphere of celebration and it was so touching to see them.” In addition, assisting with Centring Prayer and Sharing Circle at the Correctional Centre has convinced Hiebert of the need for prison ministry, which changes lives and offers the men support on a new path of faith and healing.
“You can see their hearts melt - and when you see the tears, you know that’s the Holy Spirit and you can see the change in them, the transformation – you see that little spark. I guess that’s the spark of mercy. It shatters that hardened shell on the outside… That’s where the hope starts to come in.”
- Prison ministry volunteer Teresa Hiebert.