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In June 1974, the members of the Resource Commission of the Catholic Movement "Marriage Encounter" (ME) received a request for training programs for Engaged Couples, due to concerns about the increasing rates of divorces and separations.

With the authorization of the National Executive Team of ME in the United States, seven pilot Weekend Experiences (FDS) were conducted in the metropolitan area of New York and one in Albany, totaling eight.

In January 1975, the ME Resource Community participated in the quarterly worldwide ME convention, where they presented the progress of the format for engaged couples. As a result, they received numerous requests to train couples and team priests. Consequently, a training weekend was organized in Kansas City, Missouri, with 30 couples and 15 priests from various parts of the United States participating. The training requests continued, leading to the scheduling of two more experiences.

With more than 100 team couples and around 50 trained priests, and having conducted FDS in almost all parts of the United States, the task entrusted to the ME Resource Commission was completed, and the dissemination of the training program for engaged couples began in many dioceses.

Thus, the Catholic Engaged Encounter (ECN) was born, as a gift from Marriage Encounter to the Church, through the Dioceses across the United States and the world, with the dream of being incorporated into family pastoral programs.

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International Community

In October 1990, the "Louisville Declaration" was born, stating: "The international representatives gathered in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on October 3-5, 1990, unanimously agreed to establish the International Committee of the Catholic Engaged Encounter. Our dream is for the Engaged Encounter Weekends to be lived in the same way all over the world. May God grant that our children and grandchildren may experience the same Weekend, anywhere in the world.

Subsequently, with the participation of couples and teams from 15 countries, the International Meeting was held, where it was agreed to form the International Council (IC) and the International Executive Committee (IEC) of the International Catholic Engaged Encounter (ICEE). In addition, the following main goals and objectives were proposed and agreed upon:

1. Promote the Catholic identity of the Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE).
2. Promote unity within the International Community of the Catholic Engaged Encounter.
3. Promote fidelity to the philosophy, mindset, and lifestyle proposed by the Catholic Engaged Encounter.
4. Promote communication channels within the Catholic Engaged Encounter.
5. Seek communication between the Catholic Engaged Encounter and all levels of the Catholic Church.
6. Promote the international expansion of the Catholic Engaged Encounter.
7. Promote mutual support among existing communities of the Catholic Engaged Encounter.
8. Promote and encourage collaboration with other movements and ministries related to Family Pastoral Care, to support the Church's ideal centered on the Family. (Added in Wichita, October 1996).
9. Promote the formation of support groups for Post-Encounter and newly married couples during the first four or five years of marriage. (Added in Singapore, 1997), and also for presenting couples and support couples participating in the CEE communities.


The objective of the International Council is NOT to be a controlling body of the CEE. Rather, it should be seen as a Family Council, promoting the exchange of experiences, profound knowledge, language, and culture to enrich the entire International family. Therefore, the international community is INVITED to recognize these 9 objectives as their own, for the good of our Catholic Church, the CEE, and the engaged couples.

What lifestyle does the CEE promote?

  • Actively participate in your Parish.

  • Regularly attend Sunday Eucharist with your family.

  • Live and promote the inter-sacramental relationship, preferably with the priest of your parish.

  • Frequently receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharistic Communion.

  • Experience a deepening of faith at least once a year.

  • Regularly read and meditate on the Holy Scriptures.

  • Know and familiarize yourself with the basic documents of the Church's Magisterium related to family and marriage preparation (the suggested list is found in Annex 7).

The Sacred Family

This image is an iconic representation of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The three are shown embracing with all their hands joined, representing the unity of their love: the love that is the Trinity.


The halos of Mary and Joseph are connected, symbolizing their marital vocation: to be united in the pursuit of holiness, continually sanctifying each other. The fruit of this calling and of that love is Jesus, whom they have also helped to form in holiness.


May the Holy Family be a guide for us who are called to marriage or simply for each person incorporated into a family, so that we may learn to love as they love.

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