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. However, couples must be couples including one man and one woman.
Does Engaged Encounter Satisfy the Catholic Church's Requirement for Marriage Preparation? Within the Diocese of Covington and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Engaged Encounter is endorsed as fulfilling this requirement. Our program is also frequently accepted in other Dioceses and states. However, 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, then we suggest a Marriage Encounter Weekend. This is a similar weekend oriented to improving communication for couples already married.
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 fiancé. This is the only time you are required to speak in front of the group. There will be only two group discussion periods, one short and one longer. 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 is $245 per couple for 3-day retreats and $210 for 2-day retreats. This fee covers your rooms and meals. This fee can be paid online by credit or debit card, or through the mail by regular check. We are unable to hold a spot for you on a given weekend date until payment is received. Online payments are confirmed immediately. If you make a payment by mail you will receive an email confirming your registration. Part of this fee is NON REFUNDABLE. Please see the "Weekend Ground Rules" page for details.
Is financial assistance is available? Partial financial assistance is available, based on the availability of such funds, to couples who show personal need. As a non-profit group organized by volunteers, funds available for aid are limited. We want to ask that you prayerfully consider whether you may have other options available to you. Some ideas include: 1) Consider asking for the cost of the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend as a part of your wedding registry; 2) One or several couples or friends may offer this as a wedding gift; 3) You might forgo meals out for a period of time as a sacrifice to invest in your marriage preparation. If you feel you need assistance, please request ae financial aid form, complete the form and have it signed by your priest or deacon and scan/photograph it and email it to our Registration Couple. You will be notified upon review of your application. No couple will ever be turned away because of lack of funds.