Marriage enrichment retreat to be held March 2017 at Lake Barkley Lodge

Pope John Paul II in August 1999. Photo credit: © L'Osservatore Romano.
Pope John Paul II in August 1999. Photo credit: © L’Osservatore Romano.

Retreat to be grounded in John Paul II’s ‘Theology of the Body’

By Elizabeth Wong Barnstead, The Western Kentucky Catholic

God calls married people to holiness – “by being able to find it in everyday life,” says Mario Sacasa, who will lead a Catholic, diocesan-based retreat for married couples at Lake Barkley Lodge on March 25-26, 2017.

The retreat, titled “Living the Gift of Marriage,” will begin on Saturday, March 25, at 8:30 a.m. and conclude on Sunday, March 26 at 11 a.m. It is hosted by the Diocese of Owensboro’s Office of Family Life.

Sacasa is a licensed marriage and family therapist and director of counseling services at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, and will focus the weekend retreat on practical applications of Pope St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”

He said he will start by talking about the late pope’s vision for human love and sexuality, and will discuss “steps and suggestions for how to get there.”

Sacasa told The Western Kentucky Catholic that the retreat is for all married couples – those newly married and those married for decades.

He hopes the retreat will enrich the marriages of all who attend, whether they are going through some struggles or are simply seeking a boost to their relationship.

Sacasa has presented these types of retreats for many years, and said he has been humbled especially by the participating couples married 50-plus years: “They are still working on their relationship, still thirsting and wishing to learn more about one another.”

“They bring that openness,” to the retreats, he said. “They have that hunger and drive to still love one another. They never take each other for granted.”

As a therapist and as a Catholic, Sacasa said he has always viewed his calling as “integrating my Catholic faith and modern counseling practices.”

And he speaks from his own experience: he has been married for 14 years and has four children.

“I’m excited for this opportunity to come to Kentucky and lead this retreat,” he said. “It will be fun and hopefully we’ll also grow closer to the Lord.”

To learn more, visit or call the Office of Family Life at (270) 683-1545.

This story originally ran in the December 2016 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.