The Vowed Life

Spiritual Faithfulness and the Marital Way of Life

The Evangelical Counsels in Marriage

A retreat for couples married in the Catholic Church

September 23-25, 2022
New Melleray Abbey

Spiritual faithfulness refers to a way of attaining holiness. Specifically, it is the way of practicing charity, i.e., seeking the good of God and neighbor. To do this we must be free of attachment to things of the world. Why? We tend to assess our personal worth with status & possessions.

Humans have a threefold good: the good of external things (stuff/possessions), the good of one’s own body, and the spiritual good of the soul (the use of our free will). These are given to us for our legitimate use. It is not commanded (i.e., not required for salvation) that we renounce them. Monks and nuns renounce these attachments through the evangelical counsels of poverty (use of external goods), chastity (other affections), and obedience (one’s own will) in order to follow the poor, chaste, and obedient Christ. The source of their personal worth is their relationship with God. And so it is with married couples! Their lived expression of the counsels will be different, but just as sincere. At this silent retreat we will discuss what is expressed by these counsels and suggest practical ways to live them in the married state of life.

It will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday with Vespers followed by dinner, and the first presentation at 6:30 p.m. Saturday there will be 2 conferences with a guided meditation on Sunday morning. The retreat will conclude after Mass on Sunday morning at 10:15 a.m. with a renewal of vows ceremony. Registration is limited to 7 couples. A free-will donation is asked; $280 per couple is suggested. The donation will cover room (linens and towels provided), meals, and materials. For those commuting from nearby (not staying overnight) the suggested donation is $90 per couple. For more information please contact the retreat master, Fr. Jonah, at (563) 588-2319 ext 154, or at or visit our website at .