Why should we attend an Engaged Encounter?
Our motto sums up why: "A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime." People spend thousands of dollars and months of preparation on their wedding, just one day. But how much time is actually spent preparing for a lifetime of togetherness? While the 44 hours that you will spend at the retreat center are hardly enough, they will give you an excellent start in understanding that good marriages don't just happen, they have to be developed.
Do we have to stay the whole weekend?
Yes. Please arrive at the retreat center no later than 6:45 p.m. Friday. The retreat should finish no later than 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Please arrange your schedules accordingly.
What happens on a weekend?
Through a series of talks presented by a team of two married couples and a priest, the engaged couples are invited to reflect privately on major aspects of married life, always from the viewpoint of their own relationship. Couples are given the opportunity to question, examine and deepen their relationship with each other. Through a series of writing and sharing exercises the couples are challenged to explore many areas of their relationship in a much deeper, more honest way than they may have before. Each couple concentrates on each other. Personal reflection and dialogue are the main emphasis of the weekend. Couples are there to work at deepening their level of commitment and communication with each other as a couple. The weekend is not a social event, with the exception of meals and breaks.
How much group discussion will there be?
There are no group dynamics. The weekend is specifically designed for private discussion between the couple. However, there are a few opportunities for you to participate in a group discussion if you choose.
Do we have to share personally with the team?
No. We are not counselors. The team shares with you some of their experiences of married life, not for you to get to know them, but to stimulate you to consider and discuss with your fiancé things that are relevant to your couple relationship.
When should we attend our weekend?
It's best to attend at least six months prior to your wedding date so that you will not be distracted by preparations for the upcoming ceremony. This will also give you time to reschedule in the event that you must postpone your retreat date.
Do we have to be Catholic to attend?
No. Although the weekend is designed for couples planning to be married in the Catholic Church, it is open to couples of any faith and it has been beneficial to them.
How much does the weekend cost?
The cost of the weekend is $200 per couple. Of that, $100 must be paid up front in a non-refundable deposit. Your fee covers all expenses on the weekend. The remaining $100 is to be paid when arriving at the retreat center or at least 10 days prior to your retreat date. We do our best to manage expenses wisely to keep the weekend in Lafayette one of the most affordable in the United States.
What should we pack and wear?
Separate sleeping facilities for men and women are provided at the retreat center. Pack separately and bring casual clothes that will be comfortable for the season. Jeans, t-shirts, shorts and sneakers are acceptable. Variations in air conditioning make it a good idea to bring sweaters. There are no formal gatherings requiring dresses, coats or ties. Meals on Saturday and Sunday will be provided. Also, please plan to bring the following items:
- Single sheets and blanket or sleeping bag
- Pillow and pillowcase
- Soap, towels and shampoo
- Non-perishable snacks for snack table (fruit, cookies, chips, etc.)
- Change for soft drinks and bottled water
- Medications you normally take
- Guitar (if you play)
You must register to attend the weekend.
Where is the retreat center?
You should receive your registration confirmation 7-10 days before the weekend, which includes directions to Acadian Baptist Center. You can also find them here.