Ministry Director

Maria and Rev. Mr. Randolph Copeland
[email protected]

Upcoming Retreat Weekends
February 9-11, 2018
June 15-17, 2018
October 12-14, 2018

Or use this form:

Engaged Encounter is an investment in the future — a weekend in which an atmosphere is created for each couple to concentrate exclusively on one another, free of the tensions, pressures and interruptions of daily living. It is a quiet weekend, specifically designed to give a couple planning marriage an opportunity to talk honestly and intensively about their future together.

The weekend consists of a series of presentations led by a team of married couples and a priest. The engaged couple is encouraged to talk privately with each other on many aspects of marriage, always from the viewpoint of their own relationship. Personal reflection and discussion as a couple are the principal activities of the weekend.

Marriage can be understood in its cycles of romance, disillusionment, and true joy, culminating in unity. Through this weekend the couple gets to know each other more deeply, and learn ways of communication that can be used throughout their lives. The weekend encourages engaged couples to communicate in terms of planning a marriage, not just a wedding celebration. Couples who attend an Encounter weekend several months prior to their wedding obtain the maximum benefit. 

Engaged Encounter began in 1974 to help prepare engaged couples for marriages. It has grown to a national organization with communities in most dioceses in the United States and in many countries around the world. More information may be found about the organization, the program, and other communities at

Do You Have to Be A Catholic?
This retreat is for all couples planning marriage who desire a richer, fuller life together. It is designed to deepen and enrich your relationship with each other. The retreat is Catholic in origin and adheres to the teaching that marriage is sacramental. However, we welcome all couples of any faith who seek to enrich the quality of their future life together. Catholic couples are reminded to contact their parish pastor as early as possible to begin the required preparation process.

When does the weekend begin and end?
The weekend begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday night and ends about 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

What topics are address during the weekend?
The topics focus on individual and mutual factors that relate to living a marriage commitment. These include ambitions, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and attitudes about God, money, sex, children, family and role of the marriage in the Church and society. 

What have past participants said? 
The weekend:

  • “helped our communication skills, goals and priorities in life, a deeper sense of commitment.”
  • “put a whole different perspective on marriage.”
  • “helped us build the habit of discussing sensitive things.”
  • “was a very exciting and rewarding time with each other away from everyday life.”

    Where is the Encounter Held?
    Engaged Encounter weekends are held at the Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Gallup, New Mexico. The facility offers an environment conducive to personal growth and quiet time for couples to practice communication skills. Specific information and directions will be mailed to each registrant with the registration confirmation. Please be aware that male and female attendees are assigned separate lodging for this event. 

    What is the Cost?
    Regular Registration: $85 per couple

    Commuter Option: $50 per couple – this option is for those who do not need lodging at the Retreat Center. 

    The registration fee covers, all required materials and lodging plus three meals on Saturday, and two meals on Sunday. Lodging accommodations are single beds, usually in a two person room unless there is a special need for private quarters. Catholic Engaged Encounter is a non-profit organization with volunteer leaders. An opportunity for a voluntary donation is provided during the weekend. 

    Are there other opportunities to attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend in the surrounding area?

    Southern Arizona (Phoenix & Tucson):
    Western New Mexico (Albuquerque & Sante Fe):
    West Texas and Southern New Mexico (El Paso & Las Cruces):


  • 503 W. Highway 66
    Gallup, NM 87301
    PO Box 1338
  • (505)-863-4406
  • [email protected]
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