After returning back to the Church, one Sunday the bulletin announced an invite to the “Pan De Vida” retreat to be held here at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood. After several days and several discussions about going, my husband made a call and placed us on the list. We had no idea what to expect nor were we prepared for the life changing experience we were about to embark on.
We entered the first day a little shy and unsure, however quickly became comfortable after meeting so many wonderful couples. Once the retreat started we tried to be open minded as well as open our hearts to whatever God wanted us to receive.
By telling you a little of our background you will understand the profound impact we experienced. My husband and I have been married for 35 years which includes saying our marriage vows to each other three times prior to this weekend. The first at age 18 and 20 in what they call ” The Heart of Reno” where we said “I do” very quickly. Then after our first daughter was born we went to our neighborhood church, St Marks in Richmond, CA and spoke to the priest about baptizing her. He agreed to baptize her if we would make a promise to marry in the church. She was baptized and we kept our promise marrying two years later in a traditional Catholic church wedding reciting for the second time “I do”…. and in the blink of an eye our 25th Anniversary was upon us and vows were said once again.
Ten years later, the Pan De Vida retreat happened…. The wonderful speakers, the heartfelt testimony’s, the beautiful music and the Blessed Sacrament. The Holy Spirit filled the room as we understood the “true” meaning of the Marriage Sacrament and the Union of God, Man and Woman as one for the FIRST time. As my husband and I said our vows to each other this time, we each shared them in tears of joy because finally we knew and felt our marriage vows while reciting them together with God. The words came out of our hearts and mouths with the love of God by our side bonding the three of us together in the most beautiful union of love for eternity. The weekend blessed us in ways we will hold very near and dear to our hearts forever. We truly felt like we were newlyweds married for the first time and therefore have since changed celebrating our Wedding Anniversary to that date. Thank you to all the people who were led by the spirit to make this amazing retreat happen for so many couples. We encourage all couples to take a leap of faith and attend a weekend that will change your lives forever.
PdV Marriage Retreat admin 2017-12-15T08:10:57+00:00