who we are

Catholic Engaged Encounter is a community  of faithful Catholic couples and clergy  serving engaged couples by accompanying  them in their vocational development to  recognize the beauty of a life-long,  sacramental marriage and the dedication  to strong family values. It is an  opportunity for evangelization and a call  to a life of faith and holiness where the  emphasis is on the seriousness of  “marriage as a covenant of the whole of  life, ordered to the good of the spouses and  the procreation and education of children”.  (Paragraph #1601, Catechism of the  Catholic Church) The focus is not on the  wedding day, but rather on a married  couple living their life together. “A  Wedding is a Day, A Marriage is a  Lifetime” ® 

what we do

Based on Catholic teachings and values,  the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend  experience encourages the engaged to  grow in self-understanding, developing  deeper qualities of love, patience, openness  in communication, and being of service to  others – most especially one another. 

The Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend is  a presentation-styled format in which the  content integrates the five interrelated  themes of The Family We Grew Up InSacramental Marriage, CommunicationIntimacy, and Values with the formation principles of Human, Intellectual, Spiritual and Missionary outlined in the Called to the Joy of Love National Pastoral Framework. 

how we do it

The 5 main themes are woven into several talks, focused not on the wedding day, but about a married couple living their life together. “A wedding is a day, A marriage is a lifetime.” In helping couples prepare for a great marriage, they need great tools. The most important tool they will need is the ability to communicate effectively and openly – one of the focuses of the weekend.  The talks are presented by a priest and married couples in a group setting, followed by an opportunity for the couples to write and then share their writings with each other, discussing their thoughts and feelings in a safe and loving setting.   






This presentation style format allows these key themes and principles to be developed as the weekend  unfolds with the presentations witnessing to  the Church’s core teaching on marriage: 

  •  The nature of marriage as instituted by God: The Sacrament of Marriage, Betrothal 
  • The vocation of marriage and its  responsibilities: Creating a life-giving marriage, Two Become One, Betrothal
  • How to pray together as a couple: Creating a Life-Giving Marriage, Two  Become One, Decisions, Forgiveness  in Marriage
  • The role of Christian spouses as  witnesses to the charity that flows  from Christ: Stewardship 
  • Living conjugal chastity as a virtue with specific direction to cohabiting couples: Intimacy in  Marriage 
  • The responsibility of Catholic  parents to have their children baptized and raised in the Catholic  faith and to build the domestic church as ministers of their home:  Becoming a Family
  • NFP as a tool for respecting and  living God’s design for married  love while discerning God’s will  for the size of their family: Natural Family Planning 
  • Moral teaching of the Church on  reproductive technologies and  ethical solutions to infertility:  Becoming a Family, Natural Family  Planning 
  • Sensitive issues such as  pornography use and addiction,  resolving abortion trauma, sexual  and domestic abuse and violence,  the experience of separation and  divorce as a child: Intimacy in  Marriage 
  • Practical skills such as communication, financial planning, etc.: Is Romance Enough,  Understanding Myself, Are We Really  Communicating, Managing Conflict,  Financial Fidelity 
  • Requirements for marriage in  accordance with the law of the  Church: Two Become One, Sacrament  of Marriage

"The love they pledge is greater than any emotion, feeling or state of mind, although it may include all of these.
It is a deeper love, a lifelong decision of the heart."

- Pope Francis, The Joy of Love

Recognized Marriage Preparation Program

Featured as a marriage preparation  program on www.foryourmarriage.org, an  initiative of the United States Conference  of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Engaged  Encounter is endorsed and approved by the  Catholic Church from the Vatican to  dioceses and local parishes worldwide

Developed over 50 years ago, Catholic  Engaged Encounter is an international  Catholic marriage preparation  program with communities in over 200  dioceses worldwide, including almost 80  dioceses in the United States. As Pope  Francis has stated, the contemporary issues  faced by couples and families require an  outreach that is “not content to proclaim a merely theoretical message without  connection to people’s real problems”. 

For more information and great videos about the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend experience, check out the official Catholic Engaged Encounter YouTube Channel by clicking below.

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