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The following article was published in 'Caravan', Vol 10 No. 39, Summer 1996.
The material is used by permission of the 
John Paul II Centre
 of the Archdiocese of Regina 

"Tables for Two"

Written by Mariette Martineau and Dean Woodbeck

John Paul II Centre in Regina has recently discovered a unique way to attract more married couples to the centre: create a romantic setting with roaring fire and candlelight, serve a five-course meal, and let the couples share an uninterrupted conversation!  On the advice of Jim Appleby, program co-ordinator for Catholic Family Services in Regina, the staff at John Paul II were encouraged to use their facility complete with cook, kitchen and fireplace to initiate "Table for Two" at the centre.

The goal of "Tables for Two" is to give couples an opportunity to enrich and deepen their relationship by providing them with a structured time of discussion with one another.  There is no input or content to the evening beyond the couple's conversation with each other.  The evening begins with an opening prayer that ritualizes the lighting of candles at each table and continues with a five-course meal served to the couple at their table for two.  With each course of the meal, discussion questions on a decorated file card are presented to the couple to assist their conversation.  At the end of the meal, the couple is given a closing prayer that they can pray together at the table or pray together once they return home.

The response to "Tables for Two" has been overwhelmingly positive!  The centre had initially planned on doing extra advertising, through a local radio station to encourage attendance, but the evenings have been sold out within weeks of the news arriving at the parish level.

Are you interested in hosting a "Tables for Two" at your parish or centre?  Here's some help!