Photos from Domestic Church Retreats

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Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki and Pope St. John Paul II. Fr. Blachnicki is the priest founder of Domestic Church which began in Krakow Poland with the blessing of then Archbishop Karol Wojtyla (later Pope John Paul II) in 1973. The two began to collaborate on retreats for young adults and families years earlier when they were both priests.

The retreat for Married Couples held in August 2022.

Couple Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament during a parish-hosted Retreat for Married Couples in 2021.

Mass at the Oasis Retreat for Family Animators held at Prairie Star Ranch in 2021.

Couples outside the Conception Basilica following the closing Mass at our first local Retreat for Married Couples.

Game night during free time at the Oasis Retreat for Family Animators held at Prairie Star Ranch in 2021.

The retreat center at Conception Abbey where our first local Retreat for Married Couples was held.

Evening Bonfire at the Oasis Retreat for Family Animators held at Prairie Star Ranch in 2021.

Archery at the Oasis Retreat for Families in Southern Missouri, June 2022.

Family Adoration during Family Time/Afternoon free time at the June 2022 Oasis held in Southern MO.

DC candles given to the National Couples representing the various regions of the U.S. at the National leadership meeting in 2020.

Stations of the Cross outdoors, with each station led by a different family at the July 2020 Oasis for Families held in Arkansas with leadership from Kansas City.

The "official" retreat photo from our second local Retreat for Married Couples in early 2019.

Couple Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament during the Retreat for Married Couples in 2020 held at Conception Abbey.

Social Distanced "official" retreat photo for the Retreat for Married Couples held at Conception Abbey in 2020.

View of the lake at Conception Abbey taken during free time for Couple Dialogue at the 2020 Retreat for Married Couples.

What is the Domestic Church/Light-Life Movement?

The Domestic Church is a movement of married couples who wish to live out their sacrament to the full with the help of God and a small group of other couples along with their parish priest. 

Would you like to grow together in your marriage and your faith?

The Domestic Church Movement provides formation, using the Church's spiritual tradition and official teachings, for how to pray, how to use Scripture in prayer, and how to grow in a real relationship with God, our spouses, and our children in light of our Baptism.  It began under the leadership of Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki a close collaborator with Pope St. John Paul II who was the Archbishop who oversee the founding of this movement in Poland in 1973.

Originally created for young adults in Poland, to provide them with a foundation in their Catholic faith amidst the Communist threat, retreats and formation materials from the Light-Life Movement were further developed for families as the Domestic Church Movement to truly come to grow in their knowledge and experience of Christ and His Church. 

During the Domestic Church married couples retreat, couples are invited to dedicate their faith life and marriage more fully to God and His good plan for their marriage and they are introduced to the basics of the 7 Commitments that make up the "method" for the Domestic Church movement.

More information can be found at

Learn more about this movement in this article by Erin Franco from 2016 (She and her husband, Michael were elected for service as the National Couple in 2023).

God used Domestic Church to begin a slow, but sure healing process that has unified Michael and me through the simple and faithful practice of our faith–together. We don’t have the perfect marriage, and we won’t be writing a book any time soon about how to have the perfect one. What we do have is good foundations, built on habit and faithfulness rather than just ideals or nice ideas."

Article: How Domestic Church Changed My Marriage

Married Couples Introductory Retreat

We are currently hosting alternate-format retreats at parishes. 

These retreats will involve attending Friday evening through Sunday evening, with no overnight stays. Eliminating overnight stays will ease the burden for parents needing to obtain childcare and will make it possible to reduce the cost of the retreat.  This new format has been approved by the national leadership of the Domestic Church Movement.

$100 per couple* -includes dinner on Friday, morning snacks, lunch, and dinner on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. Scholarship funding is available.  NO couple will be turned away due to financial need.

*Please contact Kristen Marquis at [email protected] if you would like to discuss deferred payment options or scholarships.

The couple responsible for this movement in the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph is Matthew and Julia Unger. You may contact them with any questions at [email protected]

The Seven Commitments

In the initial Light-Life retreat, couples are invited to commit together to living 7 Commitments. The beauty of these commitments, is that they aren't specific prayers, Scripture passages, or structures.  Members commit to pray as individuals, as a couple, and with their family and the movement provides formation, using the Church's spiritual tradition and official teachings, for how to pray, how to use Scripture in prayer, and how to grow in a real relationship with God, our spouses, and our children in light of our Baptism. Each couple/family determines the specifics of how they will live out each of the commitments in reference to the specific situation of their family.


This commitment is to step outside of the activities of the day everyday to a separate, quiet space to do nothing but enter into the presence of God.

In a quiet, separate space, the individual takes advantage of the gift of the living Word of God to commune with Him and come to internalize what He reveals through the Holy Spirit during that time each day.

The couple takes time each day to share intimate and open prayer. There is no length of time or other regulation set on this prayer, but formation focuses on overcoming the obstacles to making real, intimate couple prayer a daily habit.

The formation regarding family prayer time focuses on setting aside time each day, making sure each member is able to participate and

This is a three-way conversation--both spouses and God. It is a few hours of scheduled, uninterrupted time so they may deepen their understanding of one another and of God’s will for their lives.

Particularly in connection with monthly dialogues, each couple decides upon specific changes or policies they will put in place in their individual lives, their marriage, and their household that reflect God’s specific will for them.

Family life benefits from an annual retreat. The initial Light-Life Retreat is for the married couple only. Future retreats involve are family retreats, so the kids come, too.

Register for Domestic Church Married Couples Retreat