Congratulations on your engagement, and welcome to Eastern South Dakota Catholic Engaged Encounter! Our community has been serving the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls for 43 years. Most of the couples that attend our weekends live in Eastern South Dakota, but we warmly welcome any engaged couple that desires to complete a Catholic marriage preparation program.
Our community usually hosts 8 weekends per year, and has 7 team couples that volunteer their time to share the gift of marriage with engaged couples. We are also very blessed and thankful to have 5 priests that serve our program when they are available. Our weekends are typically held at Catholic parishes and schools.
Payment for the weekend covers lunch and dinner on Saturday, one meal on Sunday, and all materials. Your reservation is not booked until you pay in full, so to secure your seats please register as soon as possible. Credit card processing through PayPal is fast, and can be used even if you don’t have a PayPal account!
No refunds are given, but please contact us if you need to move to another weekend and we will do our best to accommodate you.
We welcome couples of different faiths seeking to prepare for a deeper, more meaningful life together in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church and in accordance with the Church’s teachings.
Have more questions, here are more details about finding unity in a mixed-marriage.
We encourage you to attend a retreat early in your engagement. This allows you time to discuss important issues and focus on your future marriage without the distractions of last minute wedding details. Attending six months before your wedding is a good goal.
Weekends cost $125 per couple. This covers the cost of food, materials and the use of the facility.
The weekend is a time for couples to focus on their future marriage. Presentations are given by married couples and a priest throughout the weekend, followed by personal reflection time. Then couples are given time to reflect privately.
The 5 major themes are:
- The Family We Grew Up In
- Sacramental Marriage
- Bring a snack.
- Beverages for your own personal consumption. Water and coffee will be provided.
Registration check-in is at 7:45 am.
Weekends end Sunday by 2:00pm.
Lodging is not provided on the weekend. Many couples from out of town stay with family or friends. Couples are expected to arrange for their own lodging in accordance with the Church’s teaching on cohabitation.
Each couple will receive two workbooks that provide an outline of the retreat and topics covered. These are yours to keep.
We have a mobile app that you may download and use on the weekend that includes the schedule as well.
Due to varying factors, such as meal times and 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 minutes.
Most facilities do not have WiFi available. We have an optional mobile app that you may download and use on the weekend with your own cellular data (standard rates apply). Of course we encourage you to disconnect from the outside world so you can fully participate. We will discuss this further at the beginning of the weekend.
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.
Dress for the entire weekend is casual. Please dress comfortably. We will attend Mass during the weekend, however casual attire is acceptable.
Our facilities prohibit smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes. If you do smoke, each facility has designated smoking areas outside of the building.
This will be a working weekend and you will spend most of the time with your fiance. There will not be time to leave the retreat, but there will be an afternoon break.
No, the purpose of the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend is to interact with and talk with your fiancé. If your fiancé is not present, you will be unable to complete the program.
Retreats have limited capacity based on the facilities. Weekends are filled on a first-come/first-serve basis and we do not maintain a waiting list.
Testimonials & Endorsements
Volunteer for CEE
Our community is always looking for charitable people to donate their time to our ministry. We often reach out to ask for prayers for the engaged couples that attend our weekend. 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 help engaged couples to their dialogue rooms. This commitment involves one or two hours of your time, but serves as a warm welcome to the engaged couples we serve. You may also choose to come at the end of the weekend to help clean-up.
Our community relies on the generous support of individuals like yourself to make our weekends accessible to all engaged couples. Couples with financial hardships appreciate your help in covering the cost of the meals, and the workbooks they need to make the most of the weekend. If you feel called to support our ministry, please use the link below. Our community appreciates your consideration and support!
Get in Touch
Please contact us if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!