Initial Concerns

Do I Have to be Catholic?                                                                                                                                       

No. Catholic Engaged Encounter does present 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 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 welcome also. 

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

Within the Diocese of Joliet, Engaged Encounter is endorsed as fulfilling this requirement.  We work with the Family Life Office.  Our program is also frequently accepted in other Dioceses and states.  Whether in Joliet or elsewhere, your priest always has the final say on what he will accept for your marriage preparation.  Please check with the priest who will officiate your wedding before registering.  At the conclusion of the weekend, you will receive a certificate to give to your priest verifying your participation. 

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 Church.  If you intend to just stay civilly married or have been married for more than 5 years, then you may want to look into a Marriage Encounter Weekend.  This is a similar weekend oriented to improving communication for couples already married.  However, check with your priest before registering for either weekend.

Do We Have to Speak In Front of the Group?                                                                                                        

No.  Engaged Encounter is non-threatening.  You will be asked to introduce yourself and your fiancĂ©.  This is the only time you are required to speak in front of the group.  There will be other group discussion periods.  Participation is voluntary.  No one is forced to speak out.  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 current cost of an in-person retreat is $300* for double occupancy or $375 for single occupancy per couple.  A $200 partially refundable deposit is required to reserve a place on the weekend, with the balance of $100.00* or $175.00 per couple due on Saturday morning at registration. Alternatively, you can choose to pay in full when registering, knowing only $200.00 of the deposit is refundable. 

The retreat fee covers your single/double-occupancy rooms for one night and three meals for each of you.  Breakfast will not be served Saturday morning, but there are coffee, teas, cereal & toast available.  Payment can be paid online by credit, debit card or PayPal account, or through the mail by check or money order.  We are unable to hold a spot for you on a given weekend date until your deposit is received.  Online payments are confirmed immediately.  If you make a payment by mail you will receive a letter or email confirming your registration.  A request for a voluntary donation will be made at the end of the weekend for the continued growth of the program.

Initially the cost may seem high.  However, remember that is an investment into the rest of your life.  How long do you want be married?  50 years?  75 years?  What is the cost per year?  If you can not find a way to afford the weekend, know that scholarships are available.  If you need assistance, please have your priest call our Reservation Couple @  815-277-1112  to begin the scholarship process.  No couple will ever be turned away because of lack of funds.

*subject to change

Checks should be made payable to:  

Are there any weekends in Spanish?                                                                                                                     

Yes, we are now offering retreats in Spanish. 
For information on or reservations for Spanish Engaged Encounter Weekends, visit our Spanish CEE In Joliet page or contact Gabriel y Lupita Mendez or  815-351-9687

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