I just had a jam-packed, draining but very fulfilling weekend. It was my most memorable and enjoyable retreat to date. I enjoyed it because I was with Person A and one of the ground rules was, we are not to socialize with anyone but ourselves, meaning the weekend is just meant for your partner.
Yes, it was a couple's retreat and I am glad that we attended the Discovery Weekend before tying the knot.
According to the website, The Discovery Weekend is a program designed to enrich and deepen the couple’s relationship and prepare them better for the sacrament of marriage. It is aimed for you to:
Our weekend started at 5:30, Friday afternoon in the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Quezon City. The compound is full of trees and have lovely paths where we love to take walks in between reflections and after meal times.
After dinner Friday, the sessions started and it went on until 4PM Sunday afternoon. Friday and Saturday ended at 11PM.
There were 10 topics shared in this manner: 15-minute talk, 30-minute sharing by a married couple and 45-minute reflection through a dialogue with your partner. The topics covered are categorized into:
1. I - about yourself, about your feelings
2. You and I - you and your partner
3. God and We - you as a couple and God
4. God, We and the community - being a part of a community and sharing your love to the world
There was also a couple confession facilitated by a priest and during the Eucharistic celebration, couple communion was done. Cool!
Here are some notes I took which hopefully will give you an idea about what I learned over the weekend.
On feelings and reactions
How to dialogue
Dialogue behaviors as sharer (DEEP) and listener (LOVE).
On masks that we wear and should take off when we communicate with our partner
On Marriage as a Sacrament and as a Vocation
We loved our Discovery Weekend experience and we highly encourage couples who are getting married or are seriously in a relationship to spend time and treasure for this weekend:
1. Our main key takeaway is how to communicate to each other especially when you have to settle issues. It's about DIALOGUE: tell your partner how you feel, why you feel that way and what do you need from him/her. Having a common structure would make it very easy to be on the same page then move on to resolving the issue.
2. It is also highly recommended for couples who did not get the benefit to start out as friends. Through the 10 topics, the reflection materials would allow you to reveal yourself to your partner and discover things that you don't know about your partner.
3. You will be reminded on how to be the best person you can be for your partner.
I would like to end this post by sharing Father Wax's (the American priest who assisted us over the weekend) homily, "Your goal in marriage is to support your partner to become a saint and your goal as parents is to do your best to allow your child to become a saint".
Lala Denilla - DW Secretariat
Room 307, Spiritual Pastoral Center (CEFAM)
Seminary Dr., Ateneo de Manila
Loyola Heights, Quezon City