Post # 1
There are always fearful posts on here from brides about what to expect from Engaged Encounter, so I wanted to share my experience!
FI and I went to our retreat last weekend. There were about 35 or 40 engaged couples there. We had one employee of the diocese who was kind of MC-ing the event, and six or seven couples leading small groups. We would have a twenty to thirty minute talk on a topic, then have time to do exercises as a couple, then meet back with our group to discuss together and get advice from the other engaged couples and the leading couple.
Sharing with the group was totally optional, but encouraged. Some couples in our group shared more, some were more silent. The topics discussed were communication, finances, intimacy, NFP (we just had a twenty minute presentation, no discussion in groups), and spirituality. At the end of the day, we each wrote a prayer for each other, then shared it.
It was really nice. It felt almost like the prayer we shared with each other was a pre-vow!
I imagine that most retreats follow this basic model, and the helpfulness might vary based on the couples leading the encounter. We really enjoyed the varied perspective and meeting other couples going through the same preparation process. Overall, we were both really happy we went. I’ll be happy to answer any other questions. 🙂
Post # 3
Had to add: the diocesan employee leading the retreat was a married man. No priests there!
Also, my FI is not Catholic (but very spiritual – he has an MA in Religion/ Church History), and he enjoyed it just as much as I did.
Post # 4
We did ours at the end of April and I have to say, it wasn’t bad at all. In the Chicago archdiocese, you do a Saturday session that runs from about 9-4:30 with a break for lunch. We actually were done by about 3-3:30. There was one married couple running the session and 43 engaged couples. We all sat at tables of 8. We followed along in a book that had various exercises. We’d talk about the exercise and then you’d break to do your own writing and then come back to your fiance to talk about what you wrote. The main thing we talked about was communication and finances. Everything else was kind of rushed through (intimacy, NFP, etc) with resources given where you could get further info. I actually really liked the class as it confirmed a lot of what we’ve already talked about and let us know what things we need to spend more time on.
Post # 5
@MUI831: This sounds exactly like our experience, expect we had more couples leading. It was on a Saturday from 8:30 to 4:00, and we used a workbook for our individual exercises.
Post # 6
ours was a saturday 9-12 and had about 5 other couples there. VERY relaxed. We had a few handouts to do and shared a few things, not as bad as I thought, quick and painless.