Catholic Engaged Encounter FAQ

  1. Why should my fiance and I attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend ?
  2. Where are the Engaged Encounter Weekends held ?
  3. When should we attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend?
  4. Do we have to be Catholic or engaged to attend?
  5. What happens on an Engaged Encounter Weekend?
  6. What is the cost?  What if we cannot afford the cost of an Engaged Encounter Weekend?
  7. What do we do if there are no weekends available before our wedding?
  8. What should we wear? What should we bring to the weekend?
  9. How will we attend Mass if we are at the Engaged Encounter Weekend?
  10. What time does an Engaged Encounter Weekend start and conclude?

Why should my fiance and I attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend?

Catholic Engaged Encounter is a ministry dedicated to marriage preparation.  Our motto, "A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime", sums up the whole idea. Think of all the preparation taken for the wedding day. Most people spend months planning, and hundreds, if not thousands of dollars preparing for the wedding. But how much time and effort is actually spent preparing for a Lifetime of Togetherness?

See our Testimonials page which sites expert and couple feedback on the benefits of making an Engaged Encounter weekend.

Back to Top

Where are the Engaged Encounter Weekends held?

The weekend is held at a Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Cullman, Alabama.  Note that since Catholic Engaged Encounter is a national ministry, CEE weekends are held in many cities across the United States.  See the Resources link for links to other communities.

Back to Top

When should we attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend?

Couples are encouraged to attend a weekend 6 months before their wedding date to obtain maximum benefit. Couples must plan to stay the entire Weekend to benefit from the experience thoroughly.

Back to Top

Do we have to be Catholic or engaged to attend?

Although the weekend is put on by the Catholic Church, couples of all faith expressions are encouraged to take part as they prepare for marriage.

Couples do not need to be officially engaged, or have set their wedding date, in order to attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend.

Back to Top

What happens on an Engaged Encounter Weekend?

Through a series of ideas presented by teams of married couples and a priest, the engaged couples are stimulated to dialogue privately on all aspects of married life, always from the viewpoint of their own relationship. Couples are given the opportunity to question, examine and deepen their relationship with each other. Through a series of writing and sharing exercises the couples are challenged to explore many aspects of their relationship in a much deeper, more honest way than they may have before. Personal reflection and dialogue are the main emphasis of the weekend, with the exception of meals and a few group activities interspersed. 

Back to Top

What is the cost?  What if we cannot afford the cost of an Engaged Encounter Weekend?

The cost to attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend sponsored by the Diocese of Birmingham is:

If registration is completed on line and paid through PayPal, there is an additional $7.00 service fee.

The total amount must be prepaid to Catholic Engaged Encounter in order to reserve space on the weekend. The price includes payment for your room, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, breakfast and lunch on Sunday, and all printed materials and supplies needed for the weekend. Payment may be made through PayPal or by mailing a check or money order payable to Catholic Engaged Encounter.  It should be received, along with your registration form, no later than the Friday proceeding the weekend you plan to attend. If you choose to mail your registration rather than completing it on line and paying through PayPal, please include an alternate date that you can attend in the event the weekend is closed out prior to your registration being received.  On line registration payments through PayPal guarantee your spot immediately.

If you are unable to afford the weekend please have your Priest contact Engaged Encounter's leadership to discuss a scholarship.

Back to Top

What do we do if there are no weekends available before our wedding?

If there are no available weekend dates before your wedding date, you have several options, but the first thing you should do is contact your Priest for his advice. 

Option 1: Catholic Engaged Encounter is a national organization with weekends presented in nearby cities such as Mobile, Atlanta, Knoxville, Charlotte, Greenville, and Tampa.  You can navigate to the national web site,  http://www.engagedencounter.org to obtain information on weekends in other communities.

Option 2: If approved by your priest, you may attend a Precana class presented by the Diocese of Birmingham. To obtain registration information and learn of available dates for Precana, please contact your priest.

Option 3: Check with your priest to see if your parish runs a sponsor-couple program.  The sponsor-couple program is a series of one-on-one meetings with a married couple in your parish.

Option 4: You may be placed on a wait list for Engaged Encounter weekends that are already full in case of cancellations. Please Email register.ceebirmingham@gmail.com with the following information:  your name, day and evening phone numbers, wedding date and the weekends you are interested in.    NOTE: there is no guarantee that you will get on one of these earlier weekends so you do need to make alternate arrangements.

Back to Top

What should we wear? What should we bring to the weekend?

Attire for the weekend is casual (ex. jeans), but you should bring something appropriate to wear for Church.  You will want to bring snacks to share with the group as well as change for vending machines.  You may also want to bring your checkbook since the Retreat Center bookstore has several of the books noted in the Resources page available for sale during the weekend.

Back to Top

How will we attend Mass if we are at the Engaged Encounter Weekend?

Mass is held as a part of the Engaged Encounter Weekend.  This will fulfill your Sunday obligation.  Again we remind you to bring clothing appropriate for Mass.

Back to Top

What time does an Engaged Encounter Weekend start and conclude?

The weekend begins promptly at 8:00pm on Friday night and ends around 4:00pm on Sunday afternoon. The weekend concludes with Mass. Please plan to arrive at the meeting location between 6:30pm and 7:30pm on Friday night in order to register and check into your room before the first presentation begins.

Scared Heart Retreat Center is approximately 1 hour from Birmingham Airport.  Please plan your travel accordingly. 

Back to Top