Information About the Weekends
Catholic Engaged Encounter provides preparation for marriage that is presented in a weekend retreat format to give couples the opportunity to discover the deep meaning of the Sacrament of Marriage within the Catholic Church.
We recommend that couples make the weekend as soon as possible after becoming engaged so they can continue to benefit from the weekend as they prepare for their marriage. During the weekend, the atmosphere is provided for each couple to concentrate exclusively on their relationship with each other; free of the usual tensions, pressures and interruptions of the world. It is a “working weekend”, NOT a vacation. It provides couples the opportunity to talk honestly and deeply about their life together, their strengths and weaknesses; desires, ambitions, goals, attitudes about money, sex, children, family; their role in the Church and in society.
The Weekend is for engaged couples who have a definite commitment to each other and who are considered ‘free to marry’ according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It is primarily for couples being married in the Catholic Church; including Catholic Couples, Mixed Marriages and Interfaith Couples.
Through presentations on a series of themes, by a team of married couples and a priest, we set the stage for couples to have discussions privately with each other on key aspects of married life. Personal reflection, plus discussion between the two of you, is the main approach of the Weekend.
At in-person weekends, group involvement is enjoyed at communal meals, Saturday night Question Period, Break Times and at Sunday Mass. During free time, the presenting couples are available to listen and share from the wisdom of their married life together, and the priest is available for Counselling and/or Confession, as needed (in-person weekends only).
What Happens on a Weekend?
An atmosphere is created for the two of you to concentrate exclusively on each other, free of the distractions, pressures and interruptions of daily living – a time away from home, friends, and wedding preparations. It is a quiet weekend, specifically designed to give you the opportunity to talk honestly and intensively about your future together – an opportunity to discover a deeper appreciation of your relationship and God’s call to unite in a permanent union, the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Beginning Friday evening and ending Sunday afternoon, led by the Team, the two of you are encouraged to talk privately with each other on many aspects of marriage, always from the viewpoint of your own relationship. Since each relationship is different, your private answers will be unique and special for you.
The members of the presenting team talk about what the Sacrament of Matrimony means to them individually and the impact a great marriage can have on the world. Their stories are meant to encourage you to explore your own attitudes and expectations. They will offer some good ideas and tools to help the two of you to continue growing closer through the years.
Why Should We Go on A Weekend?
Our motto is a “A wedding is a day; a marriage is a lifetime.” Think of all the preparation you have done for your career or job. Most us spend years studying and learning. Think of the preparation taken for your wedding day. Most people spend months planning and many dollars preparing for their wedding. But how much time and effort do we spend preparing for what we hope will last 50 or 60 years – our marriage?
Ask yourself this question, “Am I willing to spend 44 hours devoted to hearing ideas and learning skills that will help to make my marriage the best it can be?”
The CEE movement depends entirely on volunteers. Everyone involved in the movement gives of their time freely. CEE ‘presenting couples’ come from every walk of life. They all have this in common: “they believe in marriage; they believe in marriage being a sacrament; and they accept the commitment to make Christ’s love known through the love they have and show for one another in their marriage.”