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New retreat for married couples comes to Sydney

Marilyn Rodrigues
Marilyn Rodrigues
Marilyn Rodrigues is a journalist for The Catholic Weekly. She also writes at Email her at [email protected]
Peter McGregor, facilitator at Love and Truth retreats for married couples says that he knows those who attend receive much from them, particularly from the time spend together with their spouse and God. PHOTO: Unsplash/Daniel Foster

Weekend to meet need of every marriage for support

Eliza and Michael McCumstie know that married bliss doesn’t come automatically for couples after the excitement of the wedding day.

Four years after their wedding, despite their best intentions and being blessed with two children, they found themselves struggling. “We didn’t have many married couples our age to talk to, and the ones we did seemed to be very happy together,” Eliza said.

“What’s not often talked about is that marriage can be really hard and it can be really lonely when things are not going so well.”

“From the moment we got there, it was such a welcoming environment and the retreat was so lovely and was a real turning point for us.”

Eliza searched online for Catholic retreats for married couples and came across a Love and Truth retreat being held near them in Melbourne by the Emmanuel Community.

“From the moment we got there, it was such a welcoming environment and the retreat was so lovely and was a real turning point for us,” she said.

Eliza and Michael McCumstie with their Harriet who attended a Love and Truth retreat with them in 2014 when she was six months old.

“We liked that it wasn’t just someone teaching theology to us, but a couple who were also prepared to share their own story about the kinds of trials they have faced in their marriage and how they came out the other side. That was very refreshing. It was good to meet other couples at different stages of their married lives as well.

“We realised that although we were going to Mass on Sundays we hadn’t really been inviting the Lord into our marriage and our daily lives. Now our spiritual lives are very different today and that’s why our marriage is stronger now at nearly 11 years than it was back then.”

Now being held for the first time in Sydney, a Love and Truth retreat will run from 26-27 June at the Mt Carmel Retreat Centre in Varroville, near Campbelltown.

It provides an opportunity for all married couples to come closer to God, strengthen, nourish and renew their marriages.

Mary and Peter McGregor will deliver the talks at the retreat. Peter told The Catholic Weekly said that while engaged couples are required to have lots of marriage preparation, there’s little support from the Church available in the months and years after the wedding day itself.

Presentations on the weekend will focus on the nature of married love, how God is the source of a couple’s married love, and how a couple’s differences can help them grow in love for each other.

“What couples will hear on the weekend will not just be theoretical, but will include ‘testimonies’, that is, witness from personal experience,” Peter said. “We know that the couples who come will receive a lot from the presentations, but even more from the Lord, not just through the talks, but through prayer, sharing, and time together.”

Sydney’s first Love and Truth retreat costs $200 per couple and registration is required by 12 June at

For more information contact Bernadette at [email protected]


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