What is CEE? What is an Engaged Encounter?
Engaged Encounter is an investment in the future – a weekend experience in which an atmosphere is created that enables each couple to concentrate exclusively on one another while free of the pressures and interruptions of daily life. This Weekend is not a recreational retreat. It is a program designed to give each couple an opportunity to discuss honestly with their fiancé, in a face-to-face manner, their strengths and weaknesses, desires, ambitions, goals, their attitudes about money, sex, family, their role in the Church and in society.
“Engaged Encounter is the best marriage preparation program in communication for engaged couples of any denomination in the U.S.” Michael J McManus, author of the book Marriage Savers
What Happens on an Engaged Encounter Weekend?
Through a series of ideas presented by teams of married couples and a priest, you will reflect and share privately on topics, including self-knowledge, communication, sexuality, decision making, marriage as a sacrament, morality, family, betrothal, and Natural Family Planning information.
Through a series of writing and sharing exercises, you are challenged to explore many aspects of your relationship in a much deeper and more honest way than you may have discussed before.
Your personal and private engaged couple reflection and dialogue are the main emphasis of the Weekend.
What is the Cost of a Weekend? How Do We Register?
The total Weekend cost is $375 per couple. This includes 5 meals, 2 nights lodging and hand-outs. This amount is to be included with the registration form. Please register 2-3 months prior to your desired weekend to ensure your date. You can begin the registration process online and make your checks payable to Catholic Engaged Encounter. $100 is non-refundable and you must cancel at least two weeks prior to your Weekend to receive a refund.
You can register online and either pay with credit/debit card or by check payable to Catholic Engaged Encounter. Prepayment is required for application to be accepted and a date confirmed.
An opportunity for a donation is made available during the Weekend.
A limited number of scholarships are available. Please contact your local priest prior to registration for a financial need letter and mail it in with your Registration form.
Do We Have to Stay at the Retreat Center All Weekend?
Yes, no exceptions… the Weekend begins on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. and ends Sunday afternoon about 4:30 p.m. Please arrange your schedule accordingly and select a weekend in which you can make this full commitment.
What is the Weekend Schedule?
Arrival time on Friday is 7:00 PM. Since dinner is not provided on Friday, please arrange your own dinner prior to your arrival. Friday’s activities end at about 11:00 PM. The first retreat meal service is Saturday breakfast.
Saturday begins at 7:30 AM. There is a rest period in the early afternoon and the day concludes at approximately 11:00 PM.
Sunday begins at 7:30 AM and the Weekend concludes with Mass at approximately 4:30 PM, followed by Certificates of Completion.
We recommend that you both get plenty of rest the week before your Weekend date.
Does the Couple Have to Be Catholic?
Although the Weekend is designed for couples planning to be married in the Catholic Church, it is open to all couples of any faith. It has been found to be both beneficial and supporting of couples from differing faith backgrounds.
How Soon Before the Wedding Should We Attend Our Weekend?
Although we are called Engaged Encounter, a couple does not need to be actually engaged to attend a Weekend. We recommend the “earlier the better”. As soon as you are engaged, or even considering engagement that is the right time to attend a Weekend. By attending early you can discover areas of growth necessary in your relationship, determine if engagement and marriage is right for you at this time (before becoming too invested in the wedding preparations), and avoid the last minute hassles of attending a Weekend while trying to do everything else your wedding day entails.
Why Should We Attend?
The Weekend experience offers each couple the insights, the tools and the confidence to enrich their relationship and strengthen their love for one another. They learn that good marriages don’t just happen. They must be developed. For many couples, this Weekend is one of the most significant experiences of their courtship.
“In addition to pre-marital counseling, another wonderful way to eliminate the unpleasant surprises of early married life is a program called Engaged Encounter … I strongly recommend Engaged Encounter to every couple planning a wedding.” Dr. James Dobson, author of Love for a Lifetime, founder of Focus on the Family
How Does an Engaged Encounter Enhance a Marriage?
The CEE Weekend teaches a communication technique which permits each couple to explore important areas of their relationship in a spirit of love and understanding. By continuing the newly-acquired technique begun on the Weekend, husbands and wives continually grow closer together to live more joyful and purposeful lives. While not an essential part of the experience, the availability of a community of others who have shared the Weekend and who share similar values provides a supportive environment for even further growth.
What Should I Pack and What Should I Wear?
Separate sleeping facilities are provided for men and women on the Weekend. Pack separately and bring casual clothing that will be comfortable and suitable for the Retreat Center. No short shorts nor revealing clothing. Also bring a bathrobe as the facility is “dorm” style for sleeping and showering. Bedding is provided.