Congratulations on your engagement, and welcome to the Catholic Engaged Encounter of Washington DC Community! Our community has been serving the DMV area for over 30 years. Most of the couples that attend our weekends live in the Washington DC area, but we warmly welcome any engaged Catholic couple that needs to complete a pre-cana program.
Our community currently hosts 2 Virtual weekends per year, and has 4 team couples that volunteer their time to share the gift of marriage with engaged couples. We are also very blessed and thankful to have 2 priests that serve our program when they are available. Our weekends are typically held on-line.
FOCCUS is not part of the Catholic Engaged Encounter program. The FOCCUS survey should be completed and the results thereof should be discussed with your priest / diocese and representative before you attend the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend.
We recommend the using the “earlier the better” policy. Many parishes require you to start marriage prep at least 6 months in advance. As soon as you are engaged, or even considering engagement, it is the right time to attend a retreat. By attending early, you can discover areas of growth necessary in your relationship, determine if engagement and marriage is right for you and avoid the last-minute hassles of attending a retreat while trying to do everything else your wedding day entails.
Catholic Engaged Encounter is designed to provide couples getting married the tools needed for a successful marriage. The retreat is open to any engaged couple wanting to prepare for a deeper, more meaningful life together in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church according to its Church law.
Weekends are $175 per couple.
The retreat is not group therapy, instead, it provides private one-on-one time for the couple to learn about each other and marriage based on 5 major themes: The Family we Grew Up In, Sacramental Marriage, Communications, Intimacy – more than just sex, and Values. Couples learn about these 5 major themes through a series of presentations given by married couples. After each presentation, both fiancé’s are given time to individually reflect and write on the topic covered. Couples then are given time to privately reflect as a couple. Couples are never required to share with the group.
We suggest you the following :
- Wear comfortable casual clothing;
- Have snacks and meals(lunches/Dinner) ready where you are
- A six pack of our favorite soda, energy drink or coffee;
- Attend the pre-meeting to be sure your internet connection, camera and mic are good
- Couples will need to be “on-camera” for the talks
Weekends start Saturday at 9:00am, so plan to arrive between 8:45 – 8:50 am.
Weekends end Sunday at approximately 3:00pm.
A week prior to the weekend, each couple will receive two workbooks to use throughout the retreat. These are yours to keep. The workbook provides an outline of the retreat and topics covered. Due to varying factors, such as meal times, slight differences in presenter’s length on topics, we are unable to provide exact timing of each presentation. Most presentations, individual reflection and couple reflection time total about 60-90 minutes.
YES, it is very important that you stay for the entire retreat. If you arrive late or leave early, you will miss important parts of the retreat experience, and we will not be able to give you your certificate of completion of the retreat.
Yes, we do ask that you observe a few basic rules.
- Please refrain from the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
- Please respect this is a Catholic retreat – we ask that you dress appropriately. Gentlemen, please no hats.
- Please do not leave the weekend, for any reason, unless an emergency arises. If you need to leave, please speak to one of the team members.
Dress for the entire weekend is casual. Please dress comfortably. We will attend Mass during the weekend, however casual attire is acceptable.
Planning a wedding can be a fun and exciting time. It can also be stressful. Catholic Engaged Encounter offers a weekend-long retreat away from the hustle and bustle of life, where you can focus on each other, your relationship, and what it means to become a sacrament. While couples spend the majority of the retreat together – there is not much free time. Couples should plan to start their day a little earlier and work a little later than they typically would on an average weekend at home.
No, the purpose of the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend is to interact with and talk with your fiance about issues you may not have already discussed. If your fiance is not present, you will be unable to complete the program.
If your reservation is not paid in full at least 2 weeks before the start date of the weekend, it will automatically be cancelled without the possibility of re-booking. All cancellations earlier than 2 weeks before your scheduled weekend will incur a $50.00 administrative processing fee. If you cancel less than 2 weeks before your scheduled weekend, we are unable to issue any refund due to the policy restrictions.
Volunteer for CEE
Our community is always looking for charitable people to donate their time to our ministry. We often reach out to ask for prayers for the engaged couples that attend our weekend. The couple will receive a personal note card with the name(s) of those praying for them. This ministry can be fulfilled from the comfort of your own home!
If you have a strong call to serve our community, you and your spouse may be interested in serving as a team couple. Serving as a team couple involves writing talks on topics using your personal marital experience. To serve as a team couple, you and your spouse must be a couple in good standing with the Catholic Church.
Our community relies on the generous support of individuals like yourself to make our weekends accessible to all engaged couples. Couples with financial hardships appreciate your help in covering the cost of the retreat house, meals, and the workbooks they need to make the most of the weekend. If you feel called to support our ministry, please use the link below to give within your means. Our community appreciates your consideration and support!
Get in Touch
Please contact us if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!