Frequently Asked Questions
Central California Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a part of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter family. Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a Catholic organization, whose mission in the United States is "to assist couples and priests to live fully intimate and responsible relationships by providing them with a Catholic 'experience' and ongoing community support for such a lifestyle."
Background & History of WorldWide Marriage Encounter
Worldwide Marriage Encounter began in 1952 when a young priest in Spain, Father Gabriel Calvo, began a series of conferences for married couples. The focus of the conferences was on developing an open and honest relationship within marriage and learning to live out this sacramental relationship in the service of others. Each presentation ended with a question designed to encourage the couple to look at the concepts presented in terms of their own relationship. For approximately 10 years the "marriage teams of Pope Pious XII", as the presenting teams were called, traveled throughout Spain with this series of conferences for married couples.
What is the basic philosophy of Marriage Encounter ?
The basic philosophy of Worldwide Marriage Encounter rests on the belief that the Sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders are a call to unity for the couple and the priest.
How does a Marriage Encounter enhance a marriage?
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend teaches the couple and priest or religious a communication technique, called Dialogue, which permits each couple, priest or religious to explore important areas of their relationship in a spirit of love and understanding. By continuing this newly acquired technique begun on the weekend, the couple, priest or religious continually grow in intimacy, living more joyful and purposeful lives.
Who is it for?
A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is designed for every married
couple who desires a richer,
fuller life together. It is for couples with a good marriage who desire
to make it better. A marriage can never
be too good. This weekend encounter is designed to deepen and enrich the
joy a couple shares together, whether
they have been married for only a short time or for many years.
For marriages that are troubled, or those which include a period or periods of separation, a different experience called Retrouvaille is available. Please visit the Retrouvaille website to learn more about those weekends.
Do you have to be Catholic?
The Weekend is Catholic in orientation and is expressed in the tradition and understanding of the Catholic Church. Because it is open to all, a certain number of spaces are reserved each Weekend for couples of other faiths. There are eleven other faith expressions that provide a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. Please go to our Links page to find different faith expressions of Marriage Encounter
What happens at a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend?
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is designed as a series of
presentations by a trained team
of three Catholic couples and a Catholic Priest. Each of these
presentation, involves a sharing of some aspect
of their own relationship concluding with a question for the personal
reflection and discussion of the
participants (couples, priests and religious). Each presentation allows
you and your spouse a rare opportunity
to look at yourselves as individuals, then look at your marriage and
your relationship to one another, and finally
to look at your relationship to God, the Church and the world.
Does the weekend respect the couple's privacy?
YES! The design is such that the weekend is a private experience. The weekend is oriented strictly to each individual couple, priest or religious. The concentration is on your spouse. A concentration to such an extent that most people are hardly aware of the other people present. The presentations are given to the group as a whole. After each presentation, the participants have time in the privacy of their room for their own personal discussion. There are no group discussions.!
How much does the weekend cost?
A $100 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit is required to confirm your
reservation, food and lodging.
There is limited availability, so early registration is encouraged. At
the end of the Weekend each couple is given
a blank envelope and asked to make a further donation. No one is ever
refused the opportunity to make a
Weekend because of lack of funds.
Cancellation policy and guidelines:
When and where?
Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends are held regularly at local motels and retreat houses. In some areas there is a waiting list for the Weekend. Registration several months in advance may be advisable. The experience begins on a Friday evening and concludes late Sunday afternoon. Generally 20- 30 couples participate. Click on a particular area to se where your weekend will be held. Or please check the Weekends page for a complete listing of all the dates and their locations.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter sees its weekend experiences as the
beginning of the Encounter.
Follow up programs and the development of the Encounter community at the
local level are seen as a vital part
of continuing growth and support. For the couple, these provide an
opportunity for continued discernment of
their role and mission within the Church, usually lived out in the
context of the parish. Large numbers of
encountered couples tend to become involved in parish leadership roles,
especially in ministries relating to
Religious Education, Marriage Preparation, Family Life Programs, Renew,
and the Liturgical ministries.
Diocesan or inter-parochial programs such as Right-to-Life and Natural
Family Planning are also areas that
involve many encountered couples. For these couples, the Encounter
community continues to be a source of
continued, strength and support.
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