Congratulations on your engagement, and welcome to the Boise Catholic Engaged Encounter Community! Our community has been serving the Treasure Valley area and Idaho, for over 40 years. Most of the couples that attend our weekends live in the Treasure Valley, but we warmly welcome any engaged couple to experience a Catholic marriage preparation program.
Our community currently hosts 3 weekends per year, and has 6 team couples that volunteer their time to share the gift of marriage with engaged couples. We are also very blessed and thankful to have 2 Deacons that serve our program. Some weekends are 3 day stay-overnight weekends, and others are 2 day commuter weekends. Our weekends are typically held at the local parishes in Boise. During this time of COVID, we have transitioned to Zoom Weekends as necessary until the pandemic subsides. We appreciate couple’s flexibility in adjusting to either Zoom or in-person weekends.
Catholic Engaged Encounter is an investment in the future
Think of all the preparation you have done for your career. Many of us spend years studying and learning a trade. Think of the preparation you’re doing for your wedding day. Most people spend close to a year planning, and thousands of dollars, for their wedding. How much time and effort do people spend on preparing for what they hope will last a lifetime – our marriage? Ask yourself this question, “Am I willing to spend 2 days devoted to hearing ideas and learning skills that will help make my marriage the best it can be?
Catholic Engaged Encounter is a wonderful weekend experience offering you the time and opportunity to deepen your relationship with each other and with God. Although Catholic in origin, Catholic Engaged Encounter is open to any couple of any faith preparing for marriage.
In 1992, Pope John Paul, II proclaimed Catholic Engaged Encounter as a Vatican approved marriage preparation program.
Formal engagement is not necessary; a couple need only to be seriously considering marriage. Facilitated by volunteer presenting teams, you and your future spouse learn valuable communication and conflict resolution skills, explore the role of religion and values in your lives and discuss important topics like children, marriage as a sacrament and the power of commitment. You will be stimulated to discuss privately with each other all aspects of married life – always from the viewpoint of your own relationship. The emphasis is not on lectures or group discussions. This is a private experience in a quiet and informal setting. Personal reflection and couple dialogue are the main focus of the weekend. The weekend experience consists of personal presentations, individual reflection and focused discussions with your future spouse. Take time out of your busy lives to focus on your relationship with each other and God.
FOCCUS is not part of the Catholic Engaged Encounter program. The FOCCUS survey should be completed and the results should be discussed with your priest / diocese representative before you attend the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend.
We recommend using the “earlier the better” policy. Many parishes require you to start marriage prep at least 6 months in advance. As soon as you are engaged, or even considering engagement, it is the right time to attend a weekend. By attending early, you can discover areas of growth necessary in your relationship, determine if engagement and marriage is right for you and avoid the last-minute hassles of attending a retreat while trying to do everything else your wedding day planning entails.
Catholic Engaged Encounter is designed to provide engaged couples the tools needed for a successful marriage. The retreat is open to any engaged couple wanting to prepare for a deeper, more meaningful life together.
The cost for the stay-overnight weekends is $300 per couple. The cost for the commuter and Zoom weekends is $150 per couple.
The retreat is not group therapy, instead, it provides private one-on-one time for the couple to learn about each other and marriage based on 5 major themes: The Family we Grew Up In, Sacramental Marriage, Communications, Intimacy, and Values. Couples learn about these 5 major themes through a series of presentations given by married couples. After each presentation, both fiancé’s are given time to individually reflect and write on the topic covered. Couples then are given time to privately reflect as a couple. Couples are never required to share with the group.
We suggest you bring the following items with you:
- Wear comfortable casual clothing;
- Bring a snack to place on the shared snack table available in the conference room (water, tea, and coffee will be provided);
- Your favorite soda, energy or sports drink;
- Any snack or drink items for your own personal use
Stay-overnight weekends start Friday evening at Weekends start Friday at 7:00pm, so plan to arrive between 6:00 – 6:45pm. Commuter weeeknds start Saturday morning at 8:00am so please plan to arrive by 7:30am.
Weekends end Sunday at around 3:00-4:00pm.
Each couple will receive two workbooks to use throughout the retreat. These are yours to keep. The workbook provides an outline of the retreat and topics covered.
YES, it is very important that you stay for the entire weekend. If you arrive late or leave early, you will miss important parts of the experience, and we will not be able to give you your certificate of completion.
Yes, we do ask that you observe a few basic rules.
- Please refrain from the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
- Please respect this is a Catholic experience – we ask that you dress appropriately. Gentlemen, please no hats.
- Please remember the weekend is presented at a Catholic facility and be respectful of your surroundings.
- Please do not leave the weekend, for any reason, unless an emergency arises. If you need to leave, please speak to one of the team members.
Dress for the entire weekend is casual. Please dress comfortably. We will attend Mass during the weekend, however casual attire is acceptable.
Catholic Engaged Encounter is a smoke free environment, and due to state law all of our facilities prohibit smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes. If you do smoke, each facility has designated smoking areas outside of the building. Additionally, as a sign of respect, we ask that you please refrain from using e-cigarettes or vaping inside the facilities.
Planning a wedding can be a fun and exciting time. It can also be stressful. Catholic Engaged Encounter offers a weekend-long retreat away from the hustle and bustle of life, where you can focus on each other, your relationship, and what it means to become a sacrament. While couples spend the majority of the retreat together – there is not much free time. Couples should plan to start their day a little earlier and work a little later than they typically would on an average weekend at home.
Catholic Engaged Encounter offers a weekend-long retreat away from the hustle and bustle of life, where you can focus on each other, your relationship, and what it means to become a sacrament. As such we ask that couples refrain from using electronic devices as much as possible – including cell phones, laptops and tablets.
No, the purpose of the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend is to interact with and talk with your fiancé about issues you may or may not have already discussed. If your fiance is not present, you will be unable to complete the program.
Our community currently hosts 3 weekends per year, and has 6 team couples who volunteer their time to share the gift of marriage with engaged couples. We are also very blessed and thankful to have 2 deacons that serve our program. Our weekends are typically held at local parish facilities in the Treasure Valley.
Commuter Weekend - Location TBD
Volunteer for CEE
Have you ever wanted an opportunity to do something that will really help make the world a better place?
Our community is always looking for charitable people to donate their time to this ministry. Joining our community is not all that time consuming. Those of us that present weekends are usually involved in 1 or 2 weekends per year.
There are many different opportunities for you to help out:
- Prayer – We have a wonderful community full of people that simply pray for the Engaged Couples on weekends.
- Host Team – Host teams greet the Engaged Couples at the beginning of the weekend and help them get settled in.
- Administration – There are several administration tasks which include: registration, supplies, finance, web development, social media, and more. If you are interested in volunteering please contact our Local Coordinators. We would love to share this wonderful ministry with you.
- Presenting Team – Our presenting teams present the weekends, sharing their lives and passion for God-centered, life-giving marriage.
If you have a strong call to serve our community, you and your spouse may be interested in serving as a team couple. Serving as a team couple involves writing talks on topics using your personal marriage experience. Involved Catholic couples find presenting weekends to be a great couple ministry.
Thank you for your interest in supporting Boise Catholic Engaged Encounter. We value any contribution you can make, both in terms of a monetary donation, but also in terms of your time.
Our community relies on the generous support of individuals to make weekends accessible to all engaged couples. Couples with financial hardships appreciate your help in providing Scholarship funds, covering the cost of the facilities, the meals, and the workbooks needed to make the most of the weekend. If you feel called to support our ministry, please use the link below to give within your means. Our community appreciates your consideration and support!
Get in Touch
Please contact us if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!