A Lifeline for Troubled Marriages

Retrouvaille (French for Rediscover) is a program for hurting couples and even for couples that are on the verge of divorce. Weekends are usually held at the Madonna Retreat Center, (Albuquerque's West Side). Call 505.890.3495 for more information.

Retrouvaille Website Retrouvaille


In our society, with the pressures of conflicting demands and too little time, personal relationships are often taken for granted. With all the distractions, we easily forget that strong, caring, loving relationships take work.

Without attention and care, marriages wither. Couples slowly and quietly drift apart or are being torn apart by terrible words and actions. Many are being held together by the mere thread of a married name or "for the sake of the kids". For many, it has been ages since they last knew the joy of a loving relationship. When physical abuse, infidelity, or alcohol or drug abuse are involved, the situation may seem hopeless.

If your marriage is tearing the two of you apart, if there is little or no meaningful communication, if you are thinking about separation or divorce, we believe Retrouvaille can help you.

Retrouvaille helps couples put the pieces back together and rebuilds loving relationships. Retrouvaille is a French word meaning "rediscovery" and it is pronounced re * tro * vai.


Couples come to Retrouvaille from all walks of life, backgrounds, and ages. Some have already separated or divorced, but want to try again. Many are struggling to stay together. What all these couples have in common is a sincere desire to build a stable relationship of love.

Retrouvaille, a program of the Family Life Office of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, is Catholic in origin and orientation, but is open to all married couples regardless of religious background.


Retrouvaille consists of a weekend experience and six post-weekend sessions, spread over a three month period. After that, there are support groups available for couples who desire further follow up.


Retrouvaille begins with a weekend experience in which husbands and wives are helped to reestablish communication and to gain new insights into themselves as individuals and as a couple.

The weekend portion is presented by a team of married couples and a priest. The team couples have been there - disillusionment, pain, anger, and conflict. They offer hope as they share their personal stories of struggle, reconciliation, and healing. You will find courage and strength in the realization that you are not alone in your struggle.

The weekend is not a spiritual retreat, not a sensitivity group, not a seminar, nor is it counseling. Weekends are usually held at a retreat facility.

You will not be asked to share your problems with anyone else. However, you will be encouraged to look beyond your hurt and pain in order to rediscover each other in a new and positive way.

The Retrouvaille weekend will help you to discover how listening, forgiveness, communication, and the dialogue process are powerful aids for building a loving and lasting relationship.


The follow-up series of six Post-weekend sessions is an important part of the Retrouvaille healing process. These sessions provide a time and a place to work on your relationship. The hurt and the pain of falling out of love cannot be healed in a single weekend experience. The Post-weekend sessions offer a support group setting to explore other subjects relating to marriage and love, to renew your commitment, and to develop new insights and skills.

During the Post-weekend meetings, you will explore the following topics:

  • Beginning Again
  • A Look at Me
  • Listening
  • A Place for God
  • Values
  • Conflict
  • Love is a Decision
  • Forgiveness
  • Sex
  • Trust
  • Intimacy
  • Sacrament of Marriage


"Retrouvaille hasn't eliminated our problems or concerns, but has given us the tools to work with. It has given us a better understanding of each other and the maturity to talk things out instead of fighting."

"Our love was buried under bitterness and anger. The program dug it out."

"Retrouvaille was a miracle for me. it wasn't overnight. We did all the work, but someone told us how to do it. We had a good marriage, but something was missing."


The registration form asks for a $250 non-refundable registration fee. Each couple is given a blank envelope and asked for a donation to help cover the cost of the program. However, no one is ever refused the opportunity to participate in a program because of a lack of funds. It costs Retrouvaille approximately $500.00 per couple for the weekend.


If you want more information, or if you want to register for one of the Retrouvaille programs, please call 505.890.3495 or 1.800.470.2230.

If you wish to remain anonymous when calling for more information, you do not need to identify yourself. If you then wish to register for the program, please be assured that all names are kept confidential.