The journey started in September of 1981 when four couples, Larry and Barbara De Freitas, Richard and Marilyn Webster, Harold and Elvina Wellington, Joan and June Kelly and a priest, Fr. Neil Rodriguez (deceased), journeyed to Barbados to attend a training programme; this was to enhance their ability to better serve the couples in Trinidad and Tobago who were being prepared for marriage. The presenters of this programme were Fr. Pat Mc Donaugh, a Canadian priest and an American couple, Ron and Ann Trudell.

Following that training session, a date was set and approximately six months later in March 1982, the first Engaged Encounter weekend was held in Trinidad and Tobago. The seed was planted and watered by Larry and Barbara De Freitas, Richard and Marilyn Webster and Fr. Neil Rodriguez. Sixteen couples experienced the first weekend which was held at Holy Cross College, Arima. This venue was made available through the generosity of Fr. Ned Foley, the then principal of the College.

That weekend held in that fateful year of 1982 which allowed sixteen couples to truly challenge their relationship turned out to be a resounding success. Engaged Encounter weekends are now held at the Regional Seminary, St. Augustine and Emmaus Centre, Arima.


25th anniversary of CEETT – Fr. Neil Rodriguez


Two of the 16 engaged couples from the first EE weekend


Harold and Elvina Wellington at the 25th Anniversary


International Couple – The Schultzs

Fr. Pascall celebrating mass on the 25th Anniversary opening Mass, July 2007