Getting Ready to Take on Marriage
The Church requires engaged couples to prepare for marriage, usually through Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) workshops.
The high rate of separation and annulments, the increasing number of single mothers in our society, and the increase in conflicts between couples have seen a decline in young people committing themselves to the sacrament of matrimony.
A Knowledge and Understanding of Marriage
CEE, an international programme, aims to equip couples with the knowledge and understanding needed to take on marriage.
Though developed around the Catholic faith, couples from other denominations are welcome.
Bridgette and Kabelo Senne, national coordinators of CEE, together with Fr Paul Tatu CSS, communications officer at the South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), visited Klerksdorp diocese to conduct a Catholic Engaged Encounter workshop.
Live-in weekend workshops are designed for couples preparing for marriage to talk honestly and deeply about their future within a Catholic -Christian context.
Preparation Away from Pressures of Life
“The weekends are about bringing couples closer together to concentrate on each other and their future marriage, free from the tensions, pressures, and interruptions of daily life and the preparations for the wedding,” Mrs Senne said.
“Through presentations based on the lived experience of the team, the engaged couples are exposed to several relevant issues and encouraged to reflect and then discuss these privately from the perspective of their own unique relationship,” she explained.
“This couple-sharing is the most important part of the weekend,” Mrs Senne said.
Moeketsi Khoete, who attended the workshop, said she found it to be rewarding, adding that she learned a lot.
Learning to Communicate
“This workshop was such a great experience for me. Communication was something I had taken for granted in my relationship with my partner, and thanks to the team who offered guidance and advice, I now know better,” Ms Khoete said.
“I really enjoyed the presentations and discussions on money, sex, friendships, children, family, and religion, and would recommend this workshop to all couples in preparation for marriage.”
The bishops have endorsed CEE as one of the effective and relevant programmes to accompany engaged couples, and the best way of implementing Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and family life, Amoris Laetitia.