Everything you need to know about an EE weekend is answered here. Chances are, you won’t read through all the answers now – just remember they’re here. But before you register, make sure you read the top 3 questions. They’re important.

Engaged Encounter is one of the approved marriage preparation programs available to couples being married in the Catholic Church. 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. It is a weekend to be shared privately by a couple, though the weekend will have a limited number of other engaged couples attending.

The weekend is not a recreational retreat. The weekend utilizes a dynamic process based on listening, writing and dialogue. It gives couples making a commitment to Christian covenant marriage the opportunity for honest intensive communication about their future lives together.

Engaged Encounter is a program designed to give each couple an opportunity to discuss honestly with each other, 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. The couples are urged to communicate in terms of planning a marriage, not only as a wedding day celebration, but as a lifelong commitment to each other.

Please visit our online registration page to view the costs for any particular weekend. The fee to attend an Engaged Encounter weekend covers all materials used on the weekend, meals and facility costs. This amount must be prepaid. VISA, Master Card or American Express are the methods of payment, processed securely through PayPal. $150 of the registration fee is non-refundable. No refunds are provided to cancellation requests within 30 days of the registered weekend.

If you cannot afford the cost of the Engaged Encounter weekend due to financial hardship, please contact our registration couple at sfcatholicengagedencounter@gmail.com to inquire about our scholarship program.

Yes! Your registration data is kept safe and secure in a restricted access database. Further, your payment information is processed through PayPal© using PayPal© security and data protection features.

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. Specifically, we recommend that you attend a weekend at least three months before your wedding date. It is required that you stay the entire weekend in order to receive a certificate of completion for Catholic weddings.

Immediately! The retreats are often booked 2-3 months out. We can place you on a wait list if you cannot be scheduled one month or more before your wedding, but cannot guarantee space. We try our best to accommodate deploying servicemen/women.

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.

The weekend retreat is for engaged couples who are making a commitment to the Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony, however engaged couples of all faiths are welcome to attend. This weekend will help couples to deepen and develop the skills needed to enrich their lives together. This weekend meets the marriage preparation requirement for all Catholic parishes.

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 for couples from other faith and differing faith backgrounds.

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.

The Engaged Encounter 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 experience and who share similar values provides a supportive environment for even further growth.

Separate sleeping facilities are provided for men and women on the weekend, so please pack separately. Please be sure to bring the following items with you:

  • Comfortable casual clothing
  • Sleeping attire
  • A bathrobe, as the facility is “dorm” style, for showering
  • Toiletries, medicines and other personal items
  • An extra pillow
  • A snack to share on the community table
  • A six pack of your favorite soda, energy or sports drink
  • A reusable cup to enjoy coffee
  • A reusable bottle for water
  • Any snack or drink items for your own personal consumption

Variations in air conditioning make it a good idea to bring sweaters for indoors. Depending on the weather, part of the time may be spent outdoors as well, so a jacket and an umbrella may be advisable. None of the gatherings require ties, coats or dresses.

You will be assigned a roommate of the same gender during the weekend. While we recognize that couples may already be living together or civilly married, you will not be permitted to share a room with your fiancé while on the weekend. At both of our retreat facilities, dormitory style restrooms are provided with private shower and toilet stalls.

A team of married couples and a priest facilitate and guide the weekend. The team consists of couples with well prepared, consistent and balanced presentations. The presentations involve personal sharing on marriage and family issues.

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

  • Please refrain from the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Please sleep in your assigned room.
  • Please do not leave the weekend for any reason.
  • If an emergency arises please speak to one of the team members.

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.

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, dinner will not be served on Friday. On Saturday, three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be served. On Sunday, brunch will be served.

Although we do not have the ability to offer you a different menu, there is fruit and salads available at all meals along with sides to the entrees. You may be able to supplement your meals with the snacks from the snack room, but please feel free to bring a few personal food choices if you are concerned. Our refrigerator is available for food storage, we just recommend labeling your food so others do not mistaken it for part of the community fare.

Smoking is permitted in designated areas only.

Unfortunately children of any age are not allowed to attend the Engaged Encounter weekend.

The location for each weekend is shown on the Register page.

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