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.

Stockton Catholic Engaged Encounter retreats cost $175.00 per couple. Couples must pay prior to the retreat to ensure their spot is secured. Retreat fees include meals and materials. Should you need to cancel or reschedule your retreat, please do so as early as possible. Please see our cancellation and rescheduling policies.

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.

Catholic Engaged Encounter of Stockton provides a ‘commuter’ retreat. As such, we do not include/offer accommodations. Should you need hotel accommodations, we are more than happy to provide you with a list of hotels within the area; however, hotel fees are not included in the registration fees and will be your responsibility to reserve and pay for.

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.

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 – more than just sex, 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 which will be available in the conference room (water, tea, and coffee will be provided);
  • A six pack of our favorite soda, energy or sports drink;
  • A reusable cup to enjoy coffee and water during the retreat;
  • Any snack or drink items for your own personal consumption

The retreat starts on Saturday morning with check-in and breakfast between 7:45 – 8:30 AM. Because we are on a tight schedule, we cannot wait for couples who arrive late. If there is an emergency and you must be late, call or text our registration team at (209) 645-0267.

Saturday evening ends as late at 10 p.m., please plan accordingly. The weekend typically ends as late as 4 pm on Sunday. In special or unusual circumstances, our schedule may change, but the weekend should still run no later than 10 p.m. on Saturday and 4 pm. on Sunday.

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, 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 45-60 minutes.

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 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.

The dress for the entire retreat is casual. Please dress comfortably. We will attend mass during the retreat, however casual attire is acceptable. Please respect this is a Catholic retreat – we ask that you dress appropriately. Gentlemen, please no hats.

Yes, we provide continental breakfast with coffee, pastries, fruit, cheese, and bread. Once you arrive at the facility, you will be invited to enjoy breakfast. We will also provide lunch, and dinner on Saturday. On Sunday, two meals (breakfast and lunch) will be served.

Our caterer will do their best to accommodate your needs. If you have special dietary needs, contact the Registration couple as soon as possible and we will do our best to accommodate you.

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.

No, the purpose of the Catholic Engaged Encounter retreat 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.

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