The importance of Catholic Engaged Encounter
March 23, 2022
A ministry of families
March 23, 2022

Our past, our future

From Anthony and Angela Mitchell, Coordinators, CEE Caribbean

Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) came out of an initiative of Marriage Encounter in 1968, which saw the need for an appropriate marriage preparation programme for couples contemplating marriage as a vocation.

It was a national entity in the USA by 1975, and from there it spread outwards; the first weekend was conducted in Trinidad in March 1982.

CEE is now present in over 30 countries in more than 200 cities worldwide, supported by close to 500 priests and deacons, and over 1,000 presenting couples and service teams.

The ministry conducted (pre Covid) over 1,000 weekends per year, ministering to about 20,000 engaged couples. It is an illustration of God’s grace using simple, flawed, sinful people like ourselves, to help persons experience His love in marriage, and helping to create families, according to the pattern and values of the Holy Family.

CEE works alongside other marriage preparation programmes in countries around the globe; in Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, Singapore, India, Latin America, USA, Canada, etc, and over the last few years, has expanded and experienced much growth in China. Other Christian denominations have also adapted the CEE outline to their particular faith.

The theme from scripture chosen for Trinidad and Tobago’s 40th celebration came about based on the fact that persons who had experienced a weekend decades ago, have children who are now doing CEE weekends themselves; God showing His love and fidelity from one generation to the next.

The CEE programme continually adapts to the changing challenges couples face, to ensure relevance.

In the context of the modern world, what may be the next steps for CEE? Well, the ministry continues to evaluate the use of technology to further its outreach and God’s message for marriage; to combat value systems that eventually lead to the dehumanisation of persons; and to provide support for couples in their early years of marriage by inviting them to participate in support programmes, where they can journey with other couples, finding certain and sure sustenance for their relationships.

For ourselves, we have to continually examine our personal lives and relationships, to ensure that we live what we share with others.

For CEETT, we pay tribute to those who have served tirelessly over the years to keep alive in a tangible way the Catholic vision and reality of marriage. Some have already passed to their eternal reward, but through their monumental efforts and sacrifices, have cleared a path for us to walk.

We pray to God that we are found able and worthy to carry the responsibility placed on our shoulders. We move on in hope, putting our faith in God for “…with God, nothing is impossible” (Lk 1:37).