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Hartford Catholic Engaged Encounter
About CEE



What is Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE)?

CEE is recognized, both nationally and internationally, as a quality, highly effective, marriage preparation program designed to meet the needs of today's engaged couples.

The Engaged Encounter is a weekend experience during which each couple can concentrate exclusively on one another, free of the tensions, pressures and interruptions of the world. It is a quiet weekend specifically designed to give the couples planning marriage an opportunity to dialogue about their prospective lives together - their strengths and weaknesses, their desires, their ambitions, their goals, their attitudes toward money, sex, children, family, their role in the Church and society - in a face-to-face way.

The Engaged Encounter fulfills the Hartford Archdiocesan requirement for marriage preparation as an approved alternative to Engaged Couples Conference/Pre-Cana.


Who is it for?

It is for couples planning marriage in the Catholic Church who desire to deepen, develop and enrich their lives together.


What happens at an Encounter?

Presentations are given by two married couples and a priest who share personally from their own experiences. The engaged couple is stimulated to discuss privately with each other on all aspects of married life.Topics covered during the weekend include self-awareness, human sexuality, communications, decision making, Natural Family Planning, vocation, sacrament, unity and more.

This is not a sensitivity session, nor are there any group dynamics. Rather it is a private experience in a quiet and informal setting. Personal reflection and couple dialogue are the main thrust of the weekend.

What should we expect to gain from the weekend?

Engaged Encounter does not boast of a 0% failure rate. The teams are very realistic about what can be done on a weekend. They have noticed that even a minimally motivated couple can come to an experiential knowledge of what marriage is.

The weekend meets the needs of Catholic Engaged Couples:

Communication Needs

Engaged Encounter introduces couples to a communication technique they can use effectively to foster a deeper knowledge of each other.

Spiritual Needs

Each couple comes to realize that marriage is a sacrament and a vocation, and that God and prayer are essential to a fruitful marriage.

Personal Needs

Each person is challenged to review the decision-making process and to examine the motives for seeking marriage.

Here what engaged couples tell us about their Engaged Encounter!

This weekend has given us time to focus on each other in a highly concentrated way. It gave us insights into each other that perhaps we may not have discovered if we had not experienced the Engaged Encounter Weekend.

There could be no price put on what we experienced here.

We learned one thing...no matter what happens, we talk about it.

We've grown to love each other more, yet when we arrived Friday night, we hadn't thought that would be possible.

What is the History of CEE?

Catholic Engaged Encounter (known as "CEE") is an International organization founded in 1975 to offer a marriage preparation program to the Catholic Church within the United States. We are an independent organization completely volunteer and funded totally by donations. CEE has grown since its founding from a few dozen couples and priests in just a few dioceses to several thousand working within the ministry to the pre-married. Engaged Encounter has moved from just several dioceses to almost all of the dioceses within the US. CEE has expanded from the US and is in many countries throughout the world. Other faith expressions have taken our material and adapted it to meet the needs of their engaged couples. Our presenting couples come from every walk of life, from the highly trained professional to the unskilled, but they all have one thing in common. They believe in their marriages and the commitment they made on their wedding day.In 1992, Cardinal Trujillo, head of the Family Life Office for the Vatican, presented CEE with a special message from Pope John Paul II proclaiming CEE as a Vatican approved marriage preparation program.

Cost?

$300 per couple. This includes separate overnight accomodations for men and women, Saturday and Sunday meals, towels, linens, and all materials. Financial assistance is available.

What Should We Bring?

We encourage couples to bring: comfortable, casual clothes; a bathrobe (dorm style rooms); personal items (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.); snacks to share, e.g., fruit, cake, cookies, chips, pretzels; and, a musical instrument if you want to play at Mass on Sunday.

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© 2001-2005 Catholic Engaged Encounter of Hartford. All rights reserved. Last modified: March 10, 2005
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