Marriage Retreats & Parish Program
Our Radical Love program is a Catholic response to the deterioration of family values and the sanctity of marriage, the divorce rate and the decision so many are making to live together without marrying.
Formatted as seminars, parish missions, home retreats, and week-long getaways, it’s an experience that inspires couples in the true vocation of marriage.
As a complete parish program, the retreats are followed by weekly gatherings of couples who share and grow in faith together.
Who’s it for? All couples: dating, engaged, married in the Church or married outside the Sacrament. We evangelize all to embrace the Sacrament of Marriage and to become witnesses to other couples. The retreat is also open to anyone who wants to learn more about the Vocation of Marriage: Clergy, counselors, and others who minister to couples.
With our Radical Love program…
(1) You will fortify couples with a fuller understanding of Catholic teachings about marriage, their biblical foundations, and how they are designed to guide us into the deepest, most profound love possible.
(2) Couples will commit (or recommit) their relationships to a Christ-centered, Sacramental union.
(3) The parish community will become more evangelizing as couples become witnesses united to the Church in standing strong for God’s plan for marriage, thus working toward turning the tide of worldly influences back to what is good for children, couples, and society.
The 3-part process…
(1) Parish team workshop: Usually held the Friday evening before the Saturday retreat, we train couples to serve as facilitators of Small Christian Communities for Couples (SCCCs) and as mentors.
(2) Radical Love Couples Retreat: Usually held on Saturday, it begins with a continental breakfast provided by the church, and it ends at the Vigil Mass, which includes a public renewal of wedding vows for participants who already have a sacramental marriage, followed by all participants taking the Holy Marriage Pledge (see attachment).
(3) Small Christian Communities for Couples (SCCCs): Couples meet with other couples weekly in homes after the retreat. Each group includes mentor couples, who are trained and have at least 10 years of a successful marriage. Mentors serve as friends, companions on the journey of marriage, not therapists. Resources used for discussions can be the free Reflections for Couples, written by Terry and Ralph Modica and available at www.reflections-for-couples.org, or Symbolon’s Beloved series, or other recommended materials.
Ongoing and Growing Radical Love:
The retreat is repeated once or twice a year. Couples who have been through Parts 2 and 3 personally invite other couples to the retreat. They might also become team members who help organize and teach the next retreat and/or serve as SCCC facilitators or mentors, if the parish leadership believes they are qualified. More SCCCs are formed after each retreat.
$1,000 plus travel expenses for two, accomodations and meals. However, if this is not possible for your parish budget, we can find sponsors to cover travel expenses or more. Alternatively, we can provide our teachings through live webinars.
About the presenters:
Ralph and Terry Modica married in 1975. They have two young adult children and are currently caregivers for Terry’s parents, whom they brought into their home.
The Modicas have been involved in evangelization since 1978 and have served in many parish ministries, including Pre-Cana and Marriage Encounter. In 1995, they founded Good News Ministries of Tampa Bay, Inc., giving seminars, parish missions, and week-long evangelization schools. Vetted by the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Good News Ministries of Tampa Bay is listed in The Official Catholic Directory and has grown into a global, faith-building network of resources for the Catholic Faith through multiple websites, social networking, and speaking engagements as far away as Malawi in Central Africa and New Zealand.
Both Terry and Ralph are graduates of the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Terry has a degree in Theology. They have served on their diocesan Core Team for Evangelization. Terry has held numerous diocesan and parish staff positions, including as founding coordinator of Adult Faith Formation, founding director of Small Christian Communities, Evangelization Coordinator, and RCIA Director.
Their Radical Love Program comes from a solid background in Church teachings and their own experiences in marriage. “We were high school sweethearts, and statistics said (as did some human beings we knew) that it wouldn’t last. The story we share when we give retreats includes some tough trials (cancer, mid-life crisis, job lay-offs, rejection, caregiving, and building a house when the economy worked against us), but with God as the third partner in our marriage, we were empowered by faith to live the vocation of radical love as a reflection of His love. Our story offers hope to the discouraged, restoration to the weary, and courage for witnessing to others about God’s radical love for us and his design for marriage.” ~ Terry Modica
What is “radical love”?
Radical Love, they teach, is first knowing how deeply and unconditionally God loves you — the root of all successful love (the word “radical” means “root”) — and then relying on that love to share it with your spouse. Couples are empowered by the Holy Spirit to love each other with the love that comes from God.