A Wedding Is A Day, A Marriage Is A Lifetime®


Congratulations on your engagement, and welcome to the Phoenix Catholic Engaged Encounter Community! Our community has been serving the valley since 1970. We warmly welcome any engaged Catholic couple that needs to complete a marriage preparation program.

Our Community

Our community currently hosts 5 weekends per year, and has six team couples that volunteer their time to share the gift of marriage with engaged couples. We are also very blessed and thankful to have a priest that serves our program. Our weekends are typically held at the beautiful Mount Claret Retreat Center in Phoenix Arizona.


Catholic Engaged Encounter is designed as a retreat for couples planning to be married in the Catholic Church. The retreat fulfills the Marriage Life Skills (step 3) component needed to complete in the Phoenix Diocese as well as other Dioceses. Catholic Engaged Encounter is officially recognized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.  Watch our YouTube video “Got Marriage Prep?” which explains more about our program – Got Marriage Prep?

Please confirm with your parish before registering. At the conclusion of the weekend,  a certificate will be provided to give to your priest/parish verifying your participation.

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.

No. 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.

Weekends are $225 per couple.

The retreat 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:

  • A snack to place on the shared snack table which will be available in the conference room (water, hot tea, and hot coffee will be provided)
  • Your favorite non-alcoholic beverages to share
  • Any snack or drink items for your own personal consumption
  • We will provide pens, but you’ll do lots of writing, so if you have a favorite pen consider bringing it
  • Seat cushion – although the seats provided are cushioned, sitting for several hours can be uncomfortable

Weekends start Saturday at 8:00 AM. Plan to arrive at 7:30 AM Saturday morning to allow time to locate the conference room and settle in before first session. Sunday starts at 8 AM, please plan to arrive no later than 7:45 AM.

Saturday session ends at around 9 PM and Sunday session ends around 2:00 PM.

Each couple will receive two workbooks to use throughout the retreat. 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 60-90 minutes.

YES! In order for a certificate to be provided, each couple will need to attend the entire retreat. If a couple arrives late or leaves early, important parts of the retreat experience will be missed, and we will not be able to provide a certificate of completion for 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 couples dress appropriately. Gentlemen, please no hats.
  • Please be respectful of the retreat facility and grounds.
  • No pets are allowed at the retreat center
  • Couples should not leave the retreat at any time, unless an emergency arises. In case of an emergency, please advise one of the retreat leaders.

Dress for the entire weekend is casual. Please dress comfortably. We will attend Mass on Sunday, 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.

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.

Additional Catholic Engaged Encounter weekends are held in nearby dioceses. Check other CEE communities for additional locations and dates on the national website.

Once a weekend is full, a waiting list is generated in date-order of requests received. If there are cancellations on the full weekend, slots will be filled in the order of requests received. Please email at phoenix@engagedencounter.com with any questions.

The Retreat is a lively process of listening, interaction with presenters, writing and discussion time with your fiancé. You will be unavailable to the outside world so it is very important to capture the same peaceful feeling at home that you would have at the retreat center. For further information, please email at phoenix@engagedencounter.com

Due to the retreat weekend requiring much focus and deeper communication between couples, children are not permitted to be with retreatants.

Reservation Policies

Payment for the 2-day commuter weekend covers all materials and Saturday lunch and dinner. It also covers Sunday continental breakfast and drinks for entire weekend. Your reservation is not booked until you pay in full. To secure your seats, please pay as soon as possible. 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!

Scholarships are available. If you need assistance please email phoenix@engagedencounter.com to begin the scholarship process. No couple will ever be turned away because of lack of funds.

Cancellation Policy 

  • Refunds will be granted when:
    • You cancel your original confirmed weekend within 60 Days of your original registration date and your original confirmed weekend date is 30 days or more away.  A credit will be issued to your credit card for the full amount, minus a $5.00 transaction fee. 
    • A “one-time” rescheduling option will be offered at no additional charge.
  • Partial Refunds will be granted when:
    • You cancel your original confirmed weekend after 60 days from your original online registration payment date and your original confirmed weekend date is 30 days or more away.  A refund check will be issued minus a $20.00 surcharge and mailed to the woman’s mailing address on file.  Alternatively, a “one-time” rescheduling option will be offered at no additional charge.
  • No Refunds will be granted when:
    • You cancel your weekend within 30 days of your original confirmed weekend date.  This option does not qualify for a rescheduling option and no refunds will be issued.

You agree that by registering and submitting payment that you release Catholic Engaged Encounter of Phoenix, along with its volunteers, from any and all liability associated in any way with your attendance at the weekend program.

You consent to interview(s), photography, audio recording, video recording and its/their release, publication, exhibition, or reproduction to be used for news, web casts, promotional purposes, telecasts, advertising, inclusion on websites, social media, or any other purpose by CEE and its affiliates and representatives. Images, photos and/or videos may be used to promote similar CEE events in the future, highlight the event and exhibit the capabilities of CEE. You release CEE, its officers and volunteers, and each and all persons involved from any liability connected with the taking, recording, digitizing, or publication and use of interviews, photographs, computer images, video and/or or sound recordings.

Mt. Claret Retreat Center

Google Map Link
12:24 AM
2-Day(s) ($200.00)
16 space(s)
12:24 AM
2-Day(s) ($200.00)
31 space(s)

Virtual Retreat

Virtual Weekend Designation
12:24 AM
2-Day(s) ($150.00)

Volunteer for CEE

Our community is always looking for charitable people who have attended the weekend 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 greet couples upon their arrival and assists the team couples on the weekend. This commitment involves an hour or two of your time, but serves as a warm welcome to the engaged couples we serve.

If you would like to volunteer in our ministry, please complete the volunteer form found on this page.

Volunteer Today

    Get in Touch

    Please contact us @ phoenix@engagedencounter.com if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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