Support Programs

Marriage Preparation

Over the last year, the Diocese has hosted a Marriage Preparation Course at Trappers Lake Spirituality Centre. In the Sahtu and Athabasca regions of the Diocese, locally prepared couples have supported marriage preparation courses closer to home. Core Couples are local couples who have received training and support and who are prepared to offer the Marriage Preparation Course in their own communities . They do so with great enthusiasm, sharing their lived experience of marriage with couples who are preparing for marriage within the next year. Through a series of talks, time for group and personal sharing and activities, the couples preparing to marry come to better understand the meaning of the sacrament of Marriage and learn some of the skills necessary to make their marriage a place of great love, forgiveness and growth.

Returning to the Spirit

The Returning To Spirit Residential School Healing Program is now being presented across Canada. This unique and powerful program brings healing, hope, and empowerment for those who participate in the three‐phase workshop. Returning To Spirit is about returning people to who they are rather than reliving the painful experiences of residential school. It has nothing to do with religion, political, or legal matters and is focused purely on creating opportunities for healing, growth, and transformation.

The Mackenzie‐Fort Smith Diocese in partnership with the Sisters of Saint Ann took the initiative to respond to that need by sponsoring the development of a healing program called “Returning To Spirit”.The program, Returning to Spirit, like a warm and healing wind, is blowing across the country. The transformative approach of Returning to Spirit “creates the possibility for individuals and groups to consciously create a future based on forgiveness, collaboration, trust and appreciation.”

The program is focused around the challenge of letting go of the past and opens the opportunities of creating a powerful future by gaining:

  • A better understanding of past issues ‐ why they keep you stuck and how to move beyond them.
  • A profound insight of how the residential school experience shows up in your life today.
  • A deep understanding of survival and coping ‐ how they work and the role you play in them.
  • A look into the beliefs that limit you and how you move beyond them.
  • The ability to create a future based on choice rather than reaction to the past.
  • A deep knowledge and understanding of empowerment.
  • A deeper sense of who you really are and what you are capable of doing.
  • The ability to cause a breakthrough and be in development .
  • A sense of fulfillment and ability to create future possibilities.