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About Us >

Initial Concerns

couple rings

Do I Have to be Catholic?

No. Catholic Engaged Encounter presents God as a focus for a successful marriage. While the weekend will be presented in a Catholic expression of faith, each weekend is open to couples of all Christian faiths. The opportunities of the weekend go well beyond the boundaries of any one faith expression. We are not going to try to convert you or pressure you in any way. Couples where neither person is Catholic are also welcome.

Does Engaged Encounter Satisfy the Catholic Church's Requirement for Marriage Preparation?

Within the Diocese of Birmingham, Catholic Engaged Encounter is endorsed as fulfilling part of your requirement. Our program is also frequently accepted in other dioceses and states. Wherever your home parish, the priest preparing you for marriage always has the final say on what he will accept for your marriage preparation. Please check with your priest before registering. At the conclusion of the weekend, you will receive a certificate verifying your participation to show to your priest.

What if We Are Civilly Married?

After you meet with your priest and he schedules your wedding, you are welcome on the weekend as you prepare for your sacramental marriage within the Catholic Church.

Do We Have to Speak In Front of the Group?

Participation is voluntary and no one is required to speak. The weekend is not group therapy. Your privacy will be respected. The weekend is not counseling nor is it based on group discussions. The weekend is designed for the two of you to have quality time for private discussions.

What does a weekend cost?

The cost to attend a Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend sponsored in the Diocese of Birmingham is:
  • $300 per couple for couples getting married in Alabama or being prepared by a priest in Alabama
  • $300 per couple for all others
  • If registration is completed online and paid through PayPal, there is an additional $7.00 service fee.
The total amount must be prepaid to Birmingham Catholic Engaged Encounter in order to reserve your 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 Birmingham Catholic Engaged Encounter. Mailed checks, along with your registration form, must be received no later than the Friday proceeding the weekend you plan to attend. If you choose to mail your registration rather than completing it online 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. Online registration payments through PayPal guarantees your spot immediately.

Is financial assistance available?

Please contact your priest to discuss financial assistance. No couple will ever be turned away because of lack of funds.