History

Catholic Engaged Encounter 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.

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!

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.