History of Catholic Engaged Encounter

In 1974, in response to the growing incidence of separation and divorce, the newly formed Marriage Encounter Resource Community turned their attention to marriage preparation.  The group adapted the Marriage Encounter Weekend for the needs of engaged couples, and the first weekend was presented in 1975.  The response was immediate.  By the end of that year more than 100 couples and 50 priests were trained to give weekends throughout the United States.  A lay ministry was born!

Joliet was one of earliest communities to offer Catholic Engaged Encounter weekends.  The first weekend was presented in 1975.  In 2019 we will be presenting three weekends.  Each weekend is attended by up to 22 engaged couples.  Many of the couples who present the talks on the weekend are couples who have been through the Engaged Encounter weekend experience themselves.  Presently, weekends are held at The Portiuncula Center for Prayer in Frankfort, IL.

Our Purpose is to prepare engaged couples for the sacrament of marriage by providing a life-giving view of marriage and by challenging couples to communicate openly and honestly with each other.  Our specific goals include:
• To strengthen marriage and family life. 
• To help develop a contemporary theology of marriage.  As married couples we have a great deal to offer from our experiences.  We share these openly with the engaged couples.
• To call our Church to a fresh view of the gift of marriage preparation.
• To help make Catholic Engaged Encounter available in every diocese in the U.S.
• To develop weekends which meet the languages and needs of multicultural groups.

The National Organization of Catholic Engaged Encounter strives to be a truly national family.  We have an established structure, which sustains local communities and reaches out to new areas in this country and around the world.  The United States national family consists of an Executive Team (a couple and a priest) who directs the activities of the United States National Board.  This Board consists of teams that represent the five US districts.  These five districts correspond to the five geographical regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, North Central States, and the West.  For more information about Catholic Engaged Encounter in other areas, visit our national website:  www.engagedencounter.org.

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