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Be More: A Marriage Formation Retreat by Witness to Love was developed to provide couples a pathway to grow in community, identity and understanding their mission. To each and every couple preparing to receive and live out the Sacrament of Matrimony in today’s world – you were born for a time such as this and the grace of the sacrament is real! Let us walk with you, your mentors, and your church community as you prepare to be more in Christ!

 

This retreat is carefully curated and jam packed with 14 core lessons including videos and resources from engaging and relatable Marriage Champions from around the country.  Together, you will explore Theology topics and Life Skills topics as you grow closer to one another, Christ and his Church.

Register here for Be More: A Marriage Formation Retreat

 

 

Would you like to customize Be More for your parish or diocese?  Click here to see the custom option and select specific lessons, add logo, custom landing and registration page, you may even add a video with your Pastor or Bishop inviting couples to experience Be More.

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Featured Presenters

Ryan and Mary Rose Verret

Ryan and Mary Rose Verret are the founders of Witness to Love and the authors of Witness to Love: How to Help the Next Generation Build Marriages that Survive and Thrive. Witness to Love is a virtues-based, Catechumenate model of marriage renewal and preparation that integrates modern principles of psychology and the virtues to help couples facilitate an authentic dialogue about their relationship.  Together Ryan and Mary-Rose speak on issues regarding evangelization, marriage, NFP, miscarriage and medical ethics. They are frequent guests on Catholic radio and they reside in the heart of Cajun Country with their five children. Their passion is teaching couples to share their marriage with others!

Ryan and Mary Rose

 

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Fr. Benjamin Tran

Fr. Benjamin Tran is a much beloved priest in the Diocese of Orange, California, where he grew up. It was during high school that he felt a “nudge” to consider the priesthood and entered Queen of Angels Seminary High School in San Fernando, California. He explored a different path for a time after graduation but then while in college experienced a deep revelation and clarity of God’s healing mercy in his life. The Holy Spirit compelled him to seriously consider again the priesthood. After a time of prayer and discernment, he entered St. John’s Seminary College and Theology in Camarillo where he completed his undergraduate studies and continued on to receive his theological degree. Fr. Ben was ordained a priest on June 10, 2006 and has been serving at various parishes in the Diocese of Orange since then. He loves to sing, play guitar, and lead worship. Fr. Ben also loves the outdoors, whether it be hiking, camping, playing sports, or traveling. He is known to even skydive on occasion.

Alex and Sarah Schimpf

Alex and Sarah Schimpf live in Oklahoma City, OK, where Alex works as the Director of Marriage and Family Life Ministry for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Sarah is a freelance event planner and a stay-at-home mom. They have been married for 10 years and have been blessed with four children: Xavier(9), Gideon (7), Edith (5), and Antigone (1.5). Together they also serve as the Regional Couple for the Domestic Church Movement.

Mazzone Family

Jeff and Daniela Mazzone

Jeff and Daniela Mazzone live one hour north of New York City with their two daughters, ages four and one.  They married in 2015, and are passionate about supporting marriages, having experienced the breakdown of the family in their own families of origin. Born in New York City, Daniela is the youngest child of immigrant parents from the Dominincan Republic. Before becoming the Spanish Support Team Leader for Witness to Love, she served for five years in the Family Life Office of the Archdiocese of New York as the Assistant Coordinator for Spanish Programs.  Prior to meeting Daniela, Jeff studied to be a priest with the Archdiocese of Washington and then as a temporarily-professed Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR).  He holds an M.A. in theology from St. Joseph’s Seminary, and currently leads music for several churches and ministries while finishing an M.A. degree online at Liberty University toward licensure as a clinical mental health counselor.

Richard Budd

Richard Budd is the director of Marriage and Family Life Ministry for the Diocese of Lansing, MI and a graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. He has served in Ministry for almost twenty years and much of his experience has been focused on helping people achieve their full potential as disciples of Jesus Christ. He speaks regularly to audiences on the gift and nature of the family and the co-responsible role of the Church with the Family to announce Jesus Christ to the culture. He has written for several publications including Humanum, Adoremus Bulletin, and Mosaic. He and his wife Maureen have been married five years and have three children: Eleanor (4), John Paul (2.5), and Benedict (10 months).

Tony and Liz Cotrupi

Tony and Liz Cotrupi have been married for 34 years; half-way there if you consider their parents have been married for 54 and 65 years respectively. They reside in Charlestown, MA. Liz is the Director of Family Life for the Archdiocese of Boston and Tony is a marketing consultant. As students of marriage, they got some things wrong and some things right as they raised three children, and now enjoy the blessing and privilege of being grandparents. Together with a team of great couples, they strive to prepare couples for life-long and grace filled marriages.

Craig and Stephanie Rapp

Craig and Stephanie Rapp met while they each attended college in different states. Craig pursued Stephanie and what began as a long distance friendship led to marriage two years later. Craig and Stephanie have now been married for eleven years and are blessed with three incredible children: Lilyana (6), Liam (4), and Logan (9 months). They live in Columbus, Ohio where Stephanie serves as the Director of Marriage & Family Life for the Diocese of Columbus and Craig works as a corporate attorney. Craig and Stephanie believe that each new day provides them with opportunities to love and new reasons to be grateful for each other and their marriage.

Bob Schuchts

Dr. Bob Schuchts

Bob Schuchts [Ph. D.) is the founder of the John Paul II Healing Center, where he and his team provide healing and equipping conferences for married couples, clergy, religious and lay leaders.  Bob has been serving married couples for the past 40 years, as a marital therapist and conference speaker.  Bob and Jake Khym have a popular podcast entitled: Restore the Glory at:   www.restoretheglorypodcast.com.  Bob is the author of several books including Be Devoted: Restoring Friendship, Passion and Communion in Your Marriage; Real Suffering: Finding Hope and Healing in the Trials of Life; Be Healed: Encountering the Powerful Love of Jesus in Your Life and Be Transformed: The Healing Power of the Sacraments.  These and recorded talks and workbooks on marriage and healing are available through www.jpiihealingcenter.org.  Bob and his wife Margie were married for forty-two years before she passed away in 2017. Bob has two grown daughters who are married and serve in the ministry at the John Paul II Healing Center. He also has 8 grandchildren.

Dr. Kerry and Peter Pound

Dr. Kerry and Peter Pound met while completing degrees at Oxford University.  The beauty of the university provided an amazing atmosphere to have incredibly deep, probing conversations about the meaning of life and God — leading to Peter’s conversion to the Catholic Church prior to leaving Oxford.  Peter and Kerry were married in Montreal while in medical and law school and have been married 19 years and are parents to four wonderful children — Charlie, 15yo; Amelia 13yo; William 8yo, Francis 6yo.  They reside north of Boston and are trying to live their faith in all aspects of life while raising dynamic Catholic kids.  Dr. Kerry Pound worked in the pediatric emergency room during most of her career. In 2018-2019, she became a medical consultant with Creighton Fertility Awareness and in June of 2020, she did medical training with FEMM to expand her ability to diagnose and treat hormonal issues affecting young women. She currently works with MyCatholicDoctor.com as well as being the medical director at the Gordon College Health Clinic.

Deacon Eric and LInda Paige

Deacon Eric and Linda Paige

Deacon Eric and Linda Paige have been married for 26 years and have been blessed with two wonderful daughters. Deacon Eric Directs the Marriage, Family Life and Formation Department for the Archdiocese of Seattle. He also writes for Northwest Catholic magazine and teaches on subjects including Catholic Social Teaching, Faith Formation, Morality and Scripture. Linda teaches the 2nd grade at All Saints School in Puyallup Washington where she encourages parents to be the first teachers of their children. Deacon Eric may be reached at eric.paige@seattlearch.org

Art and Laraine Bennett

Art Bennett is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. He was also the co-founder of the Alpha Omega Clinics in Maryland and Virginia. Art has more than 30 years of experience in the mental health field and is a frequent speaker on marriage and family issues. Laraine Bennett has a master’s degree in philosophy and currently is Communications Manager for the National Council of Catholic Women.  Together, the Bennetts have co-authored five books: The Temperament God Gave You, The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse, The Temperament God Gave Your Kids, The Emotions God Gave You, and Tuned In: The Power of Pressing Pause and Listening. Laraine also wrote A Year of Grace: 365 Reflections for Caregivers.  They have lived in California and Germany and recently downsized to live in a 1940s townhome in Arlington. They have four adult children and five grandchildren.

Dr. Daniel and Bethany Meola

Dr. Daniel Meola is an adult child of divorce who earned his Ph.D. in Theology of Marriage and Family from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C. He has been leading retreats and support groups for adult children of divorce or separation since 2015 in the Archdiocese of Washington, and in 2018 he founded Life-Giving Wounds to spread the retreat, support groups, and other ministry to adult children of divorce or separation around the country.  Bethany Meola has a master of theological studies degree from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C. She and Dan met there and married in 2011. Bethany served the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for seven years in the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.  Dr. Daniel and Bethany Meola live in Bowie, MD and are members of Teams of Our Lady, an international marriage apostolate.  In 2017, Dan and Bethany welcomed their daughter Zelie-Louise through the gift of adoption, and Bethany became a stay-at-home mom. And in 2019, Grace joined their family, also through adoption. Bethany assists with many of the behind-the-scenes operations of Life-Giving Wounds.

John and Lauren Prust

John and Lauren Prust live with their son in San Diego, CA, where John directs the diocesan family life office and Lauren works in commercial real estate. They are also active in marriage preparation and young family ministries at their home parish.  They received M.Div. degrees in theology from Boston College (Catholic) and from Boston University (Protestant) respectively; in preparing for marriage, they followed the guidelines of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church. They are passionate about helping engaged and newly married couples navigate the blessings and challenges of an ecumenical or interfaith marriage.

Father Matt Williams

Fr. Matt Williams is a priest of Jesus Christ for the Archdiocese of Boston, and currently serves as the pastor of St. John the Baptist and St. Joseph Catholic Collaborative in Quincy, MA. Fr. Matt has been a priest for over sixteen years, serving as a parochial vicar at St. Mary’s in Dedham, a variety of roles in youth, young adult and family ministry for the Archdiocese of Boston, and recently (prior to becoming pastor) as chaplain for the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage. Fr. Matt has been involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for more than twenty years and is a founding member and chaplain of LIFT Ministries, a monthly intergenerational gathering where participants encounter the Lord Jesus through the Eucharist, His Word, Praise and Worship, and the gathered community. Fr. Matt has a great passion to preach the Gospel, especially to youth and young adults; helping them to relate the Gospel to their daily lives.

What participating couples are saying about Be More Marriage Formation Retreat:

“Be More offered valuable information and insight into the inner and outer workings of marriage and allowed a more introspective look at our own union and the future we are trying to set up.”  Married Couple, Manchester, NH

 

“Be More is insightful on how to center your marriage around God even when dealing with subjects that we might think do not obtain God such as finances.”  Engaged Couple, Venice, FL

 

“Every presentation was impactful and important to us. The Lesson that was most impactful was lesson 5 because I never thought of our family being considered the domestic church. When looking at it that way it changes the way we view our roles as husband and wife.”  Engaged Couple, Lafayette, La

 

“The presentation about temperaments. We both were able to take the quiz and learn each other’s temperaments. We also enjoyed the content about vices and virtues, we talked about what we thought some of our vices/virtues were and what vices/virtues our significant other thought we had. We were able to learn more about each other through this discussion even after being together for 5 years.”  Engaged Couple, Lafayette, La