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, Light-Life was then developed for married couples as the Domestic Church Movement to truly come to grow in their knowledge and experience of Christ and His Church. 

During the Light-Life 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 www.domesticchurchfamilies.com

Photos from Domestic Church Retreats

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

The Basilica green at Conception Abbey.

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

The retreat for Married Couples held in August 2022.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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
benefit.

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.

We are currently hosting alternate-format retreats at parishes. 

These retreats will involve attending 2 weekend days and 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.

COST:  
$75 per couple* -includes 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 the Office of the Domestic Church and Discipleship for more information: [email protected]
*Please contact Kristen Marquis at [email protected] if you would like to discuss deferred payment options or scholarships.

 

To express your interest in hosting one of these alternate-format retreats at your parish, please contact Dino Durando at [email protected].

Register for Domestic Church Married Couples Retreat

Please list both husband and wife in the name field.

Q & A

Q: Is the Domestic Church/Light-Life movement officially recognized by the Catholic Church?
A: Yes, it is recognized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

Q: This sounds wonderful, but what are the time commitments? My family is already involved in so many different things.
A: One of the attractive aspects of Domestic Church is that couples only meet with their circles once a month.
The rest of the work is done in your home with your spouse and family. Meetings don’t get us closer to God and one another; prayer, intentional use of our time, and the grace and mercy of God are what make the difference!

Q: How does a couple take advantage of Domestic Church formation? How do you start?
A: The normal way a couple starts is by attending a couples formation retreat. That’s the first step. It is a weekend retreat at a parish, with no overnight stays.

Q: At what age are we too old, or too young, to join the Domestic Church/Light-Life Movement?
A: There are no age restrictions, and we have found that couples of all ages are deeply affected and grateful for the gifts received through Domestic Church formation. We have newlyweds in their early 20’s on up to couples in their 70’s and everything in between; there are couples with young children, those with children out of the home, and those with no children. The circles are usually a mixture of all of these, and that mixture has been an awesome gift for all involved.

Q: Getting a priest to commit to joining a circle seems like it would be difficult. Is it really possible to have a priest in every circle?
A: We have found that once priests see what Domestic Church is about, and that their role is one of presence and fatherly  guidance rather than full-on leadership, it becomes much more attractive.