In light of the ongoing circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus, Knoxville Catholic Engaged Encounter community’s first face-to-face weekend is scheduled for April of 2022. While we will always promote the value of face-to-face weekends, we are acutely aware of the need to continue our marriage preparation weekends virtually where necessary. If you should have need of a weekend prior to April of 2022, please visit dioknox.org/marriage-preparation-weekends for several virtual options.
Meanwhile, we are now planning for and accepting registrations for face-to-face weekends beginning in April of 2022. We will keep registered couples aware of any changes should health concerns prevent us from gathering in person.
Congratulations on your engagement, and welcome to the Catholic Engaged Encounter of Knoxville Community! Catholic Engaged Encounter is a weekend experience that offers an engaged couple a unique opportunity to discover a deeper appreciation of their relationship and God’s call to unite them in a permanent union. It provides the occasion for them to examine and deepen their commitment to one another, and gives them a clear view of what a good Christian marriage involves. The weekend addresses itself primarily to the sacramentality and theology of a marriage in a manner inviting the couples to open up to a richer understanding of these aspects. Although Catholic Engaged Encounter is primarily for couples being married in the Catholic faith, couples of all faiths are welcome to attend.
Our community has been serving the East Tennessee area for over 15 years. We currently host 3 weekends per year, with 10 team couples, including 4 presenting teams, that volunteer their time to share the gift of marriage with engaged couples. We are also blessed and thankful to have a priest join our program when available.
Our weekends begin at 8:00 am Saturday morning and conclude by 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. Lunch on both days and dinner on Saturday are provided and the group will attend Mass together during the weekend. Our weekends will be held at All Saints Catholic Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. For additional information, please refer to FAQs.
We pray that our Lord will prepare your hearts and minds for the sacrament of marriage to which He has called you. May He continue to bless and guide you with each passing day as you plan your future together
FOCCUS is not part of the Catholic Engaged Encounter program. The FOCCUS survey should be completed and the results thereof should be discussed with your priest / diocese and representative before you attend the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend.
We recommend the 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 retreat. 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 entails.
Catholic Engaged Encounter is designed to provide couples getting married 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 in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church according to its Church law.
Weekends are $175.00 per couple, which covers meals and materials.
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 fiancés 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 which will be available in the conference room (water, tea, and coffee will be provided);
- A six pack of soda, water or sports drink to share;
- Any additional snack or drink items for your own personal consumption.
Weekends start Saturday at 8:00am, with registration from 7:00 – 7:30am.
Weekends end Sunday at 3:00pm.
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. Due to varying factors, such as meal times or slight differences in presenter’s length on topics, we are unable to provide exact timing of each presentation. Most presentations, individual reflection and couple reflection time total about 60 minutes.
YES, it is very important that you stay for the entire retreat. If you arrive late or leave early, you will miss important parts of the retreat experience, and we will not be able to give you your certificate of completion of the retreat.
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 retreat – we ask that you dress and act appropriately.
- 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 do need to leave, please speak to one of the team members first.
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 as well.
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 true retreat experience 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.
No, the purpose of the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend is to interact with and talk with your fiance about issues you may not have already discussed. If your fiance is not present, you will be unable to complete the program.
Payment for the weekend covers the meeting facility on Saturday and Sunday, meals on Saturday (2) and Sunday (1), and all materials. Overnight accommodations are each couple’s responsibility. Your reservation is not booked until you pay in full, so to secure your seats please pay when you complete your registration. Credit card processing through PayPal is the fastest form of payment accepted, and can be used even if you don’t have a PayPal account!
If your reservation is not paid in full, it will automatically be cancelled and will require resubmission. If you request a cancellation more than 2 weeks before your scheduled weekend, your registration fee will be refunded minus a $50.00 administrative processing fee. If you cancel less than 2 weeks before your scheduled weekend, we are unable to issue a refund.
Volunteer for CEE
Our community is always looking for charitable people to donate their time to our ministry. We often reach out to ask for prayers for the engaged couples that attend our weekend. The couple will receive a personal note card with the name(s) of those praying for them. This ministry can be fulfilled from the comfort of your own home!
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 marital experience. To serve as a team couple, you and your spouse must be a couple in good standing with the Catholic Church.
If you would like to be a face in our community, but aren’t called to be a team couple you may be interested in serving as a host couple. Host couples arrive before the weekend starts to help engaged couples to their rooms at the retreat center. This commitment involves an hour or two of your time, but serves as a warm welcome to the engaged couples we serve.
Our community relies on the generous support of individuals like yourself to make our weekends accessible to all engaged couples. Couples with financial hardships appreciate your help in covering the cost of the retreat house, meals, and the workbooks they need 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!