The National Organization

Catholic Engaged Encounter strives to be a truly national family and has an established structure which sustains existing local communities and reaches out to new areas around the country and the world. The United States National Family consists of an Executive Team (a couple and a priest) who direct the activities of the United States National Board. The Board consists of teams which represent the five US districts. These five districts correspond to the five geographical areas: the Northeast, the South, the North Central States, the Midwest, and the West. For more information about Catholic Engaged Encounter in other areas, check out our links.

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. Adapting the Marriage Encounter Weekend to the needs of engaged couples, they presented their first weekends in 1975. The response was overwhelming and immediate. By the end of that year more than 100 couples and 50 priests were trained to give weekends throughout the United States. Today, Catholic Engaged Encounter has grown to be an international organization that serves thousands of couples each year.

Our purpose is to prepare engaged couples for the sacrament of marriage by providing a life-giving view of marriage and by challenging couples to communicate openly and honestly with each other. Our specific goals include the following:

  • To strengthen marriage and family life.
  • To help develop a contemporary theology of marriage. As married couples we have a great deal to offer from our experiences and we share these openly with the engaged couples.
  • To call our Church to a fresh view of the gift of marriage preparation.
  • To help make Catholic Engaged Encounter available in every diocese in the US.
  • To develop weekends that meet the needs of multicultural groups.