Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Last weekend I was away from the parish participating in Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE). Yes, since 2008 I have volunteered two weekends each year to serve as the chaplain for this retreat which focuses on preparing engaged couples for Christian/Catholic marriage. While it is a hardship on our parish for me to be absent, I believe this is part of my service to the broader Church community. I appreciate your understanding and support as I do my part in assisting one of the many Church ministries based outside of the usual parish work. Generally speaking, every Archdiocesan priest involves himself in one or more such ministries. Why did I choose CEE? Consider —
What is Catholic Engaged Encounter? CEE is a weekend program that gives couples preparing for marriage the opportunity to examine their lives together through verbal and written communication —
1) the emphasis is on Christian values; commitment and responsibility to marriage, God and the faith community;
2) time is spent sharing openly and honestly with each other about feelings, hopes, disappointments, joys and frustrations; and,
3) it fulfills the retreat portion of the marriage prep requirement in the Archdiocese.
What happens on the Weekend? A team of two married couples and a priest guide the engaged couples as they explore many topics: introspectiveness, relational communication, conflict resolution, finances, intimacy, God and church. Following the various presentations, each couple privately shares their thoughts and ideas with each other. Couple communication is a key component of the retreat.
Do you have to be Catholic? No. CEE welcomes engaged couples of all faiths preparing for marriage. Please note that the weekend does follow the Catholic Church’s teachings.
Weekend Details — The price ($225 per couple) includes four meals, one night lodging and supplies. Financial assistance is available. The weekend begins at 8:00am Saturday and ends at 4:00pm Sunday. The facility is handicapped accessible.
Contact any Catholic parish for more information.
The CEE motto proclaims: A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime. Preparing these “starry-eyed” couples to embrace a Christian/Catholic marriage is a huge responsibility both family and Church must embrace. We are blessed here at St. Edwards to have a solid prep program which includes dedicated mentor couples who counsel each engaged couple. The retreat is another means to guide the engaged couple to a better understanding of this special Sacrament. Personally, I believe CEE is the best of all the retreats available in the Archdiocese. If you have further question, feel welcome to call me.