A Wedding Is A Day, A Marriage Is A Lifetime®


Congratulations on your engagement, and welcome to the Catholic Engaged Encounter of New Orleans Community! Our community has been serving the New Orleans Metro area since 1976. Most of the couples that attend our weekends live in the Greater New Orleans Area, but we warmly welcome any engaged Catholic couple that needs to complete a pre-cana program in preparation for getting married in the Church.

Our Community

The CEE community is comprised of married couples who volunteer their time to share the gift of marriage with engaged couples over the course of a weekend retreat. We are also very blessed and thankful to have many priests that serve our program when they are available.


FOCCUS is not part of the Catholic Engaged Encounter program. The FOCCUS survey should be completed and the results thereof should be discussed with your priest / diocese and representative before you attend the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend.

We recommend the using the “earlier the better” policy. Many parishes require you to start marriage prep at least 6 months in advance. As soon as you are engaged, or even considering engagement, it is the right time to attend a retreat. By attending early, you can discover areas of growth necessary in your relationship, determine if engagement and marriage is right for you and avoid the last-minute hassles of attending a retreat while trying to do everything else your wedding day entails.

Catholic Engaged Encounter is designed to provide couples getting married the tools needed for a successful marriage. The retreat is open to any engaged couple wanting to prepare for a deeper, more meaningful life together in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church according to its Church law.

The cost of the weekend if $350 per couple which includes meals, lodging and supplies. This amount is to be included with the registration form. The fee is non-refundable in the event of cancellation; however, you may reschedule 30 days in advance. Confirmation of your reservation will be sent only upon receipt of the registration form and fee. Please register 2-3 months prior to your desired weekend to ensure your date

The retreat is not group therapy, instead, it provides private one-on-one time for the couple to learn about each other and marriage based on 5 major themes: The Family we Grew Up In, Sacramental Marriage, Communications, Intimacy – more than just sex, and Values. Couples learn about these 5 major themes through a series of presentations given by married couples. After each presentation, both fiancé’s are given time to individually reflect and write on the topic covered. Couples then are given time to privately reflect as a couple. Couples are never required to share with the group.

We suggest you bring the following items with you:

  • Wear comfortable casual clothing;
  • Bring a snack to place on the shared snack table which will be available in the conference room (water, tea, and coffee will be provided);
  • A six pack of your favorite non-alcoholic soda, energy or sports drink;
  • A reusable cup to enjoy drinks, coffee and water during the retreat

For 3-Day Retreat Weekends, arrive Friday at 6:30pm.
For 2-Day Retreat Weekends, arrive Saturday at 7:30am

3-day Retreat Weekends end Sunday by 2:00pm.
2-day Retreat Weekends end Sunday by 4:00pm

Each couple will receive two workbooks to use throughout the retreat. These are yours to keep. The workbook provides an outline of the retreat and topics covered. Due to varying factors, such as meal times, slight differences in presenter’s length on topics, we are unable to provide exact timing of each presentation. Most presentations, individual reflection and couple reflection time total about 60-90 minutes.

YES, it is very important that you stay for the entire retreat. If you arrive late or leave early, you will miss important parts of the retreat experience, and we will not be able to give you your certificate of completion of the retreat.

Yes, we do ask that you observe a few basic rules.

  • Please refrain from the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Please respect this is a Catholic retreat – we ask that you dress appropriately.
  • Please remember the weekend is presented at a Catholic facility and be respectful of your surroundings.
  • Please do not leave the weekend, for any reason, unless an emergency arises. If you need to leave, please speak to one of the team members.

Dress for the entire weekend is casual. Please dress comfortably. We will attend Mass during the weekend, however casual attire is acceptable.

Catholic Engaged Encounter is a smoke free environment, and due to state law all of our facilities prohibit smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes. If you do smoke, each facility has designated smoking areas outside of the building. Additionally, as a sign of respect, we ask that you please refrain from using e-cigarettes or vaping inside the facilities as well.

Planning a wedding can be a fun and exciting time. It can also be stressful. Catholic Engaged Encounter offers a weekend-long retreat away from the hustle and bustle of life, where you can focus on each other, your relationship, and what it means to become a sacrament. While couples spend the majority of the retreat together – there is not much free time. Couples should plan to start their day a little earlier and work a little later than they typically would on an average weekend at home.

Catholic Engaged Encounter offers a weekend-long retreat away from the hustle and bustle of life, where you can focus on each other, your relationship, and what it means to become a sacrament. As such we ask that couples refrain from using electronic devices as much as possible – including cell phones.

No, the purpose of the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend is to interact with and talk with your fiance about issues you may not have already discussed. If your fiance is not present, you will be unable to complete the program.

Registration, Dates, & Locations

If your reservation is not paid in full at least 2 weeks before the start date of the weekend, it will automatically be cancelled without the possibility of re-booking. All cancellations earlier than 2 weeks before your scheduled weekend will incur a $50.00 administrative processing fee. If you cancel less than 2 weeks before your scheduled weekend, we are unable to issue any refund due to the policy restrictions at the retreat house.

Upcoming Weekends

July 12-14, 2024 W.J. Kelly SVD Retreat Center
(Overnight retreat in Bay St. Louis)

September 13-15, 2024 W.J. Kelly SVD Retreat Center
(Overnight retreat in Bay St. Louis)

November 8-10, 2024 W.J. Kelly SVD Retreat Center
(Overnight retreat in Bay St. Louis)


Even though we are very close, somehow we managed to grow even closer through the discussions and prayer.

We were very apprehensive about having to do this, but after this weekend, we wouldn't have changed a thing.

This weekend has meant a lot to me. I found it helped bring me close to my Catholic religion again. For a while I was not attending church, or even taking time to pray. I think that will change now. I believe it will help me and my relationship to become better.

It gave us a great opportunity to be with each other, away from all the "to-do" lists.

Not knowing a lot about Catholicism, this weekend has given me a chance to see what this religion teaches and I have noticed how similar it is to our faith.

This weekend has given us a foundation to build our life on, and if we follow what we have been taught, then we will have a happy healthy marriage.

It has been an absolutely enjoyable weekend. It has taught me so much about my relationship, our covenant, and myself with God through the marriage sacrament. Father Rodney was just the best, and all the team leaders were magnificent. Thanks a million to you all and God bless.

This weekend meant to me a beginning of a beautiful new relationship with my fiancé and God - the burying of all the doubts and insecurities, and the light to follow when things get dark and scary.

Each presentation was timely and needed. Our presenters were wonderful and inspiring.

This weekend has given us a great opportunity to focus on our relationship with no other outside distractions. It has opened our hearts and minds to the sacrament of marriage, and this step should not be taken lightly.

This weekend was a wonderful opportunity for my fiancé and I to spend some quality time together exploring our relationship and the sacrament of marriage. By spending this time together, we have grown closer with God.
Excerpts From Letters From Our Retreat Couples

Volunteer for CEE

Our community is always looking for charitable people to donate their time to our ministry. We often reach out to ask for prayers for the engaged couples that attend our weekend. The couple will receive a personal note card with the name(s) of those praying for them. This ministry can be fulfilled from the comfort of your own home!

If you have a strong call to serve our community, you and your spouse may be interested in serving as a team couple. Serving as a team couple involves writing talks on topics using your personal marital experience. To serve as a team couple, you and your spouse must be a couple in good standing with the Catholic Church.

If you would like to be a face in our community, but aren’t called to be a team couple you may be interested in serving as a host couple. Host couples arrive before the weekend starts to help engaged couples to their rooms at the retreat center. This commitment involves an hour or two of your time, but serves as a warm welcome to the engaged couples we serve.

Volunteer Today

    Get in Touch

    Please contact us if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

    Message Us

      Scroll to Top