The following comes from a February 8 Catholic Voice article by Michele Jurich:

In 1989, Jeff and Donna Heusler’s marriage was at a crossroads.

“My wife and I had separated,” Jeff Heusler said. “We were separated for a year and a half.” There was the strain of living separately; it was time for a decision: divorce or getting back together?

A sister at St. Felicitas parish in San Leandro recommended RetrouvailleJeff and Donna Heusler lead the Retrouvaille program in the Diocese of Oakland., a program designed to assist troubled marriages. The Heuslers drove to Sacramento for the weekend that would change their lives.

As the program leaders began telling the stories of their own marriages, Jeff Heusler recalled, “We looked at each other. ‘This is us.'”

Retrouvaille, he said, is “nothing magical.” It teaches a method of communication. And, he said, like with any program, “the program doesn’t work unless you work the program.”

Not long after their reconciliation, the Heuslers became presenters with Retrouvaille.

Retrouvaille pronounced re-tru-vi with a long I, is a French word meaning rediscovery began in Quebec, Canada in 1977. The Retrouvaille program includes the weekend experience, followed by post-weekend sessions.

A Retrouvaille weekend might include a couple married six months, and a couple married 50 years. “Both of them surprise me,” Jeff Heusler said.

At weekend’s end, he said, the long-married people say they wish they hadn’t waited 30 or 40 years to get help.

Also at weekend’s end, “you’re on cloud nine,” he said. He recalled going to Sacramento with his wife. “We argued on the way up,” he said. “We talked on the way back.”