This is not a strictly “Catholic” weekend. At ours darn near 50% of the attendees were not Catholic or non-practicing. This is not about “catholic teaching” it is about marriage, preparation and skills you need for a successful marriage.
I can tell you right now, that unless you open yourself to enjoy it, no matter if your favorite band showed up you’d hate it. If your Fiance really wants to go, don’t make him have to “stomp his foot like a 3 year old” because right now it sounds like you are doing the same thing saying “I don’t wanna.” Ironically, communication is a large portion of the weekend 🙂
What happens? Friday night they will do an introduction, give out course materials, mingle, go over the weekend, maybe a talk or so, and have dinner (but def. eat a little before you go and bring snacks for your room). The next day they’ll probably start with a prayer, do breakfast, then get into the talks. The hosts will give a talk, you’ll each write about the topic, then you get together in a quiet “alone” space so you can discuss with each other the topic. Then, rinse and repeat.
You are not being told “like teenagers” to not share a bedroom. Again, if you don’t embrace it, it will eat you apart as well as impact your FI’s experience. Regardless of if cohabitation is an impediment to marriage or not (it’s not), It IS still a Catholic Retreat – And (pardon the frankness) Sex IS NOT appropriate before marriage in the church, nor is the church going to “accept” co-habitation with open arms… as it usually leads to sex. Trust me, this retreat gets you pretty intimate with each other… just not in that way.
Even if the cattle escaped 3 years ago… this is a grueling, intimate weekend for you and your Fiance. Trust me, you’ll barely be in your room, and when you are… all you will want to do is sleep. It also allows for each of you to be able to reflect on the day, the conversations you’ve had, and to evaluate everything.
The retreat is loved by a LOT of people, both Catholic AND non-Catholic. The biggest thing that will influence your retreat is your own attitude. It will be whatever you make it out to be. Don’t be so frustrated by it, be open to learning why it is the way it is. They’ll probably touch on it the first night as well.
Regardless, if this is something your Fiance really wants to do… and it’s something that can make your foundation for your marriage stronger… don’t be stomping your own foot in protest. Go, have a great weekend, enjoy the time with your Fiance because it is so much more intimate that it will be if you stayed home by yourselves, and just be open.
We absolutely loved ours! We both did! We were at an oceanfront hotel – each retreat has different locations. some are at hotels, some at retreat centers, some on campus, etc… so keep in mind that accommodations differ.
Here are some review threads:
Engaged Encounter this weekend…what to expect
Catholic Engaged Encounter???