Jun 22, 2014
In addition to my primary service as your pastor, I help out with Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE). I believe that as a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis I also have a responsibility to assist in the ministry of the larger Church.
Every priest has the choice as to what his “secondary” ministry will be. Back in 2008 I decided to participate in CEE, for I have always enjoyed helping to prepare “starry-eyed” engaged couples to understand and embrace their upcoming Catholic marriage. With all the demands on my time here at St. Edwards, I no longer have the time to handle the pre-marriage counseling required of our engaged couples. Instead, I work with these couples through CEE: consequently, two weekends each year I step away from my parish ministry to serve as a leader of a CEE retreat. This Saturday and Sunday is one of these weekends as I will be absent from the parish at a CEE Retreat at King’s House Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota. Please include me, our retreat leaders, and our engaged couples in your prayers. May this be a meaningful experience for these couples as they explore Catholic/Christian Marriage.
The CEE motto is — “A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime.” Check out the following CEE info:
What is Catholic Engaged Encounter? — CEE is a weekend retreat program that gives couples preparing for marriage the opportunity to examine their lives together through verbal and written communication. Retreat weekends emphasize Christian values; commitment and responsibility to marriage, God, prayer; and faith community. Retreatants are given time to share openly and honestly with each other about feelings, hopes, disappointments, joys and frustrations. CEE fulfills the retreat portion of marriage prep in many dioceses.
What happens on the Weekend? — A team of two married couples and a priest will guide you as you explore many topics including: relational communication, conflict resolution, finances, intimacy, forgiveness, decision making, marriage as a sacrament, God and prayer. After each presentation, you and your fiancé will be given time to privately share thoughts and ideas.
Do you have to be Catholic? — No. CEE welcomes engaged couples of all faiths preparing for marriage. Please note that our weekend does follow the Catholic Church’s teachings.
Weekend Details — Four meals, one night lodging and supplies are included. The retreat begins at 8:00am on Saturday and ends at 4:30pm on Sunday (It is a busy two days, so come rested and ready to work!). The facility is handicapped accessible. The cost is $225 per couple. Scholarships are available.
Regardless of whether a couple is being married in the Catholic Church, CEE is a wonderful opportunity for an engaged couple to prepare for their upcoming marriage. If you are a parent or grandparent of one of these “starry-eyed” individuals, perhaps you might consider offering them a gift certificate to a CEE weekend. What a wonderful wedding gift!
Summer blessings, Fr. Brian