What is a Catholic Engaged Encounter?
It is a weekend retreat away with other engaged couples with plenty of time alone together to plan for a sacramental marriage. It is designed to give couples planning marriage the opportunity to dialogue honestly and intensively about their prospective lives together-- their strengths and weaknesses, desires, ambitions, goals, their attitudes about money, sex, children, family, their role in the church and society--in a face to face way. Also see The Weekend page.
What is the cost?
The registration fee is $175 per couple. Please pay total amount with reservation. A minimum of seventeen (17) days notice is required to cancel or reschedule a weekend. $60 is non-refundable at all times. Balance is refundable only with the 17 days notice. Scholarships for full or partial payments are available on a financial need basis. If you need assistance, please call. We will contact your priest to request that the parish contribute. We ask you the couple to contribute along with your priest and the Engaged Encounter community will help cover the remaining balance.
To date, no couple has ever been turned away because of lack of funds
To date, no couple has ever been turned away because of lack of funds
What happens at an Engaged Encounter?
Through a series of ideas presented by a team of two married couples and priest, the couple is motivated to dialogue privately with each other on all aspects of married life--always from the view point of their own relationship. Personal reflection and dialogue are the main thrust of the weekend with communal meals and Sunday Liturgy providing group participation. Also see The Weekend page.
Do you have to be Catholic?
No, individuals and couples of other faiths are welcome and often attend. At the same time though, because the Encounter is a Catholic program, all presentations are from a Catholic perspective and theology on marriage. CEE welcomes couples of all faiths. Be aware however that Catholic Engaged Encounter is a program designed for couples who are preparing for a marriage that would be recognized by the Catholic Church
Who is Engaged Encounter?
Engaged Encounter is a community of local lay married couples and priests. The local community is part of the national Catholic Engaged Encounter program. The team couples have been through a work-shopping process to prepare their presentations. All are volunteers who look at engaged ministry as a calling to serve God and the Catholic church.
Where are the weekends held?
Weekends are usually held at a parish center in the Salt Lake City area depending on the size of the group and facility availability. To find out more about where a specific weekend is being held, please see the Dates & Locations page.
When should we go?
We suggest that couples make an Engaged Encounter weekend at least eight weeks before their wedding date. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis and weekends do fill up. Spring weekends are usually the fullest and do fill up so it is best to register as soon as you consider marriage. All marriage preparation is coordinated through the parish. Prior to registering for a weekend, please notify your parish priest of your intent to marry.
What type of program is this?
Catholic Engaged Encounter is unique because its emphasis is on quiet time for each other as opposed to small group interaction and sharing. This marriage preparation program is specifically designed for private dialogue between the engaged couple.
How do we register?
You may register from our Registration page or, if you prefer, registration forms can easily be obtained from your parish. You can also e-mail a request or request one via voice mail. However, payment for your weekend must be received with your registration in order to be officially registered for a weekend. See our Registration page for more info.
Can we come to the retreat late or leave early?
It is imperative that all couples attend the entire weekend to get the full benefit from the weekend. No exceptions.
What food will be provided on the weekend?
A very light breakfast is provided Saturday and Sunday mornings. Saturday and Sunday lunches as well as Saturday dinner are provided on the weekend. In addition to the meals, couples are encouraged to bring a snack to share with the group and are available throughout the weekend. Following is a sample menu of the meals provided by EE.
- Saturday lunch - Chicken noodle soup, pasta salad, green salad, and rolls
- Saturday dinner - Chicken enchiladas, Spanish rice, and a green salad
- Sunday lunch - Pita sandwich wraps (various meats) and chips
What time does the weekend start and end?
A weekend typically starts at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning. Saturday is usually a long day that ends close to 10 PM that night. We try to break up the day, but the schedule doesn't always allow for much of a break. Sunday morning also starts at 8:00 AM and usually goes until 5 PM. There is a lot of material to cover over the course of the weekend. Much of the timing of the weekend is determined by the punctuality of the attending couples as well as the weekend format. Once you have registered and paid for the weekend, you will receive a confirmation email that will detail what time you need to arrive on Saturday. See our Dates & Locations page for more info.
How much and what kind of snack should I bring?
We worry less about the amount and more about the fact that everyone brings a little something to share with the group between meals. We almost always end up with leftovers so we recommend bringing less than you think is necessary. One small-medium size package of something should be more than sufficient.
Is this retreat available for Spanish speaking couples?
Unfortunately at this time, the Utah EE community is only able to offer English weekends, however if you can understand English well but prefer to have a handbook written in both English & Spanish, we can provide those if you make the request on your registration form. If your primary language is Spanish, please do not register for a Utah weekend as it will not meet your needs. You will need to speak with your priest directly with what your options are for a Spanish Marriage Prep program either in the parish or online. There are weekends offered in Spanish outside the Utah community. Please check our national website, engagedencounter.org, for possible weekends in other areas.
Are there overnight accommodations available?
We recognize that some couples may be traveling a long distance to attend a CEE weekend. Unfortunately we nor the Parish Center are able to provide overnight accommodations. We suggest you contact local area hotels directly (Murray, UT or Holladay, UT) and/or online hotel & travel sites to find the best rates available for the weekend you will be attending.
So we don't have to stay overnight?
In the past, Engaged Encounter weekends required an overnight stay in a retreat center or hotel. In order to better meet the needs of today's couples, in 2015 we introduced the Commuter Weekend format where couples "commute" to and from the weekend rather than staying overnight.
How do I get more information?