A couple holds hands at the annual Anniversray Blesings Mass celebrated by Bishop O'Connell. Craig Pittelli photo
A couple holds hands at the annual Anniversray Blesings Mass celebrated by Bishop O'Connell. Craig Pittelli photo

By EmmaLee Italia | Contributing Editor

A daylong diocesan Cana Marriage Retreat, the first of its kind in the Diocese of Trenton, will offer an opportunity for couples serving in ministry together to learn more about the significance of the Wedding Feast of Cana and take the lessons back to their home parishes.

The retreat will take place Feb. 2 at the Divine Word Missionaries Religious Center, Bordentown, and will be led by Peg Hensler, diocesan associate director of marriage ministries and NFP, and her husband Bob, who have served in marriage ministry together as a couple for more than 30 years.

Because this is the kick-off Cana Marriage Retreat for the Diocese and the limited space, 15 couples who already take on some form of leadership role in their parish have already been selected to attend by special invitation.

“The goal here is for parishes to be able to offer the same basic retreat for married and engaged couples in their parish or cohort,” Hensler explained. “The retreat can be adapted for different audiences, such as for engaged couples only, for engaged couples to attend with a sponsor couple from the parish, as a means of marriage enrichment for all married couples in the parish, or for newly married couples.”

The Plan for Marriage launched by the Diocese in 2015, Hensler noted, calls for the Diocese to provide formation and training on how to build and sustain marriage ministry in every parish. The Cana Marriage Retreat is designed as a couple-to-couple retreat, run by a lead couple.

“Providing marriage ministry leadership couples in our parishes with the tools to run this retreat in the parish will help build and sustain marriages,” she said, “and serves as an effective way to help form couples for marriage ministry.

“Each couple who attends will experience the fullness of a marriage retreat,” Hensler continued, “but when they leave, they will be given the tools, resources, talking points and specific instructions on how to run the retreat themselves in their parish, if they so choose.”