Dating is many things, but it is first and foremost a method of discernment: do I feel called to the vocation of marriage? And is this the person I am called to marry?

While you are on the dating journey, check in with some of these resources that may help you on your way.

Are you ready to take the next step? Then…


Congratulations on your engagement! We are delighted for you, and ready to support you as you prepare for married life.

Marriage preparation in the Diocese of Harrisburg takes at least 9 months. Please contact your pastor right away so he may guide you through the next steps.

When you are ready for the Conference portion of your preparation, you may choose and register for one of two options: an Engaged Encounter weekend or the God’s Plan for Love day-retreat.

God’s Plan for Love is a single-day program that explores the Church’s teachings on: marriage as a sacrament and a vocation; the human person and God’s design for marriage; and human sexuality. The diocese offers many God’s Plan conferences throughout the year and in a variety of diocesan locations.

Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) is a weekend retreat for engaged couples to spend time away as a couple and to learn more about the faith and about marriage. On the weekend, couples communicate in depth about their future lives together – their strengths and weaknesses, desires and goals, and their attitudes about money, sex, children, and their role as a family in the church and in society. For more information on Catholic Engaged Encounter, please visit their website here. 2024 dates include: April 26-28, September 20-22, and November 8-10.

Did you know that the Church has a special Blessing for Engaged Couples? Consider adding this simple and beautiful rite to your preparations.


Melissa Maleski

Director of Laity and Family

Phone: 717-657-4804 x331

Shannon Gump

Administrative Assistant

Phone: 717-657-4804 x303