Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) is an international nonprofit ministry dedicated to marriage preparation. It was started in 1975 as an outgrowth of the Marriage Encounter ministry. Marriage Encounter is a weekend experience designed to renew the couple's relationship after several years of marriage; Engaged Encounter, in contrast, is designed specifically for engaged couples.
Our motto is "A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime". 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?
A Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend is a weekend experience which provides the engaged couple the opportunity to discuss with each other their future together in the Sacrament of Matrimony. The goal is to deepen a couple's relationship through reflection and dialogue. A team of two married couples and a priest will present various topics to the engaged couples. After each presentation, the engaged couples will have the opportunity to concentrate exclusively on each other and discuss their thoughts generated from each presentation.
The presenting team will share personal experiences with the group. Engaged couples will share personal information only with each other. Group interaction is not required.
Individuals reflect on what they are bringing to the marriage in terms of personality characteristics and values learned in their upbringing. Also, to recognize that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, including the recognition that we must love ourselves and be prepared to share our real self with our fiancéTop
Married life involves a continuous cycle of ups and downs referred to as romance and disillusionment. In this recurring cycle, love is not dependent upon feelings, but upon a daily decision to love. Making a decision to love moves us beyond disillusionment and leads us to the goal of marriage which is unity.Top
True communication is a process of talking and listening which involves elements of risk, trust and acceptance. In marriage we are challenged to take a risk, to share openly with our spouse and to trust our spouse's acceptance of our thoughts, ideas, and feelings. To experience the deepest sense of love, we need to become vulnerable and trusting.Top
Addresses how to handle arguments when they arise and how healthy conflict can help us grow as a couple.Top
Introduces the concept of being life-giving by making the decision to love.Top
Illustrates that decision-making is a process of discernment that involves prayer, gathering information, considering the consequences, discussion, mutual agreement, and mutually accepting responsibility, and being open to re-evaluation.Top
Couples complete an exercise that will enable them to discern how open they are regarding finances. They talk about values, attitudes, and expectations about spending habits, savings, and financial goals.Top
Marriage is a vocation, a sacred call from God to love each other uniquely, totally, and unconditionally. When couples live out this calling, they grow together in unity. Striving for unity, not happiness, is the primary goal of Christian marriage.Top
Provides basic information about how Natural Family Planning (NFP) works, how it helps a couple's marriage, and why using NFP is in accordance with Catholic teaching.Top
The presenting team shares how strengthening all the non-sexual forms of intimacy allows a couple's sexual relationship to become more fulfilling. Explains that sexual intimacy is a gift from God that is meant to be exclusive to the life-long covenant relationship between husband and wife. God's design for husband and wife is to become one in mind, body and spirit.Top
It is important to realize that our family begins on the day we marry. Understanding each other's family values and traditions is an important aspect of forming our family. As a couple we have a duty to choose which values are important. Our values are based on Christian beliefs, and not just on what will make us popular with our children.Top
Shows the need for forgiveness and reconciliation in marriage and how this is best achieved. Offers the engaged an opportunity to share their vulnerability and forgive each other and explains that they can draw upon their sacramental graces to heal each other.Top
In the Catholic faith, marriage is a sacrament. Explains how they become a sacrament on their wedding day, and that the beauty of living out this sacrament is manifested in their everyday lives. Illustrates that 'A wedding is a day. A marriage is a lifetime.'Top
Helps the couples assess where they are in their preparation for a sacramental marriage. Provides examples of what they need to do individually and as a couple to prepare and make a commitment to work on their relationship with each other and God.Top
Encourages the engaged couples to recognize their gifts and generously share them with their parish, community, and Catholic Engaged Encounter.Top