Evening Panel 1

Coping with Crises and Hurt in Marriage.

19:00 - 20:00 Panel 1: Coping with Crises and Hurt in Marriage.
(Hall 8A) - EN. 🎧 ES, IT, FR

Moderator: Deirdre O’ Rawe, Director of ACCORD Ireland (North).

•    Sallyann and Torbjorn Huss, Retrouvaille, Ireland
•    Stephen Conway, Retrouvaille, South Africa
•    Carlos Compoy Osset, Diocese of Toledo, Spain - Presentation available to download here
•    Mary Johnston, ACCORD, Ireland

“The life of every family is marked by all kinds of crises, yet these are also part of its dramatic beauty. Couples should be helped to realise that surmounting a crisis need not weaken their relationship; instead, it can improve, settle and mature the wine of their union” (AL, 232). This panel reflects on the various crises and hurt encountered by families and discusses the various ways in which they can be supported in overcoming such difficulties.


Deirdre O’ Rawe, Director of ACCORD Ireland (North).

Deirdre O’Rawe is Director of ACCORD Northern Ireland Catholic Marriage Care Service CLG. She studied Social Policy and Social Administration at UCD and undertook postgraduate studies in Management at QUB.  She recently completed a diploma in Pastoral Theology at St. Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the WMoF 2018 and sits on the Northern Ireland Catholic Council on Social Affairs. Previously, she was a member of the Irish Episcopal Conference Council for Marriage and the Family. Deirdre chairs the Down and Connor Diocesan Family Life Forum and has been involved with an RCIA programme in St. Mary’s Parish, Belfast for a number of years. A native of Fermanagh and the diocese of Clogher, Deirdre attended Mount Lourdes Convent Grammar School in Enniskillen.  She and her husband Des live in Belfast with their two sons, Conall and Cormac.

Sallyann and Torbjorn Huss, Retrouvaille, Ireland

Torbjorn and Sallyann Huss are full time professional volunteers with Retrouvaille. They are 13 years married and live in Dublin. They met as students in Sweden where they fell in love and life was full of excitement and exploration. In the busyness of life and facing the natural challenges of marriage, they slowly started to drift apart from each other.  In the midst of their difficulties they found hope when they attended a Retrouvaille programme, which brought life and light into their marriage again. Retrouvaille helped to give them a new perspective on their marriage and with work and commitment, it is now a happy one. Experiencing the transformation in their own marriage, they are committed to supporting marriage and family life. They are the national co-ordinators of Retrouvaille Ireland and regularly share their own experiences for the benefit of other couples. 
For further information on Retrouvaille Ireland check here.

Stephen Conway, Retrouvaille, South Africa

Stephen Conway is from Durban, South Africa. He was born in Scotland on the 4th April 1962. At the age of 10 his parents with their two sons emmigrated to South Africa and have made Durban their home. He been married to Sandra for 31 years. Their daughter Heather has just turned 30. A grandson Callum turned 1 in July. Stephen, with his wife and daughter are avid power walkers and travel to many different parts of South Africa to participate in road races. Stephen and Sandra and  also have a passion for Retrouvaille ministry- a programme for hurting couples. They are currently part of the international board for Retrouvaille, which has allowed them to travel and meet people from different countries. They were invited to give a presentation at the Synod of Bishops on the Family in 2014, the highlight of which was meeting Pope Francis. 

Carlos Compoy Osset, Diocese of Toledo, Spain

Carlos Campoy Osset is a music teacher in Toledo (Spain). He graduated in Contemporary History from the Complutense University of Madrid (1989) and has taught in various high schools since 1990. He has taught Geography and History, English, Music, History of religions, ethics and Spanish Literature. Together with his wife, Mª Alegría Gutiérrez Garoz, he is the coordinator of the family schools of the diocese of Toledo, working with the diocesan Delegation for Family and Life, during the academic year 2012-2013. He has actively participated in the family "Family Night" project for 4 years. He is currently one of the lay leaders of the "Free to educate our children" platform, as well as of the delegation for the lay apostolate and the delegation for teachers.

Mary Johnston, ACCORD, Ireland

Mary Johnston has a BA in History and Politics (University College Dublin); a BSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Hons, Middlesex University, London); a MSc in Alcohol and Drug Policy (Trinity College, Dublin); an Adv. Diploma in Supervision (Middlesex University, London); and a Certificate in Psychology, (Maynooth University). Mary worked in primary education for 34 years, where her experience included classroom teaching, special education and continuing professional development for primary teachers in the area of social personal and health education. She trained as a marriage and relationship counsellor with ACCORD in 1995. Her current role is as Specialist in Counselling in ACCORD Central Office, Maynooth, includes responsibilities in the training of ACCORD marriage and relationship counsellors and in the provision of ACCORD’s counselling service across the island of Ireland. Mary also works as a counsellor in her local ACCORD centre.


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