Post # 1
Has anyone been to a retreat style one? Our schedule doesn’t really allow for the six Sundays, so we chose this option to get it over with. For anyone who’s been, how is it? Is it like some big group therapy session?
Our priest and church are fairly liberal, thankfully (I’m not Catholic and am generally not down with the whole organized religion thing, so this whole Catholic wedding thing has been a little tough to swallow. I got VERY lucky that our priest is freakin’ awesome). Does that make a difference?
Just looking to see if anyone would share their experiences, especially from the perspective of a non-Catholic doing it for your Fiance…
Post # 3
we’re a long distance couple so like you, 6-8 meetings was not going to work for our schedule so we did a retreat. we were there friday evening through sunday afternoon; we did “God stuff” the first night and then for the rest of the weekend we went through a workbook that covered communication styles, expectations (for truthfulness, fidelity, etc), NFP, finances.. things like that. it was fine and we really just stuck together for most of it. the last morning after mass and our final talk we broke into guys and girls so that if anyone had questions or topics they wanted to discuss without their spouse they could. that was the only “group therapy” type of part of it. some women discussed miscarriages and hysterectomies, sex and NFP. then we all got together again and were done! FH isn’t Catholic and he thought it was good, not too heavy on the God talk, and while we agreed that we didn’t really get much out of it, it at least was an affirmation that we’re doing things right.
Post # 4
We went to Engaged Encounter in August and we both really liked it. We touched on religion, but most of the weekend was general relationship talk. On Saturday night each couple wrote down something they wanted to discuss and everybody sat around (we were all in our PJs with blankets and stuff) and talked about each question without knowing who wrote what. Really it was a lot of fun and we still talk about it.
Post # 5
Nice to hear input on this. We are having an outdoor ceremony but are still going through pre-cana. We are actually doing the 6 meeting FOCCUS and the overnight retreat. Wedding is one day but marriage is forever. Need all the help we can get!
Post # 6
I LOVED our retreat. We got there around 6pm on Friday I think and left around 2pm on Sunday. Friday night was mostly an introduction and plan for the weekend as well as a meet and greet with the priest there and the two “host” couples. All day Saturday and Sunday morning we had the same basic schedule: one of the host couples would speak about a topic and how their own relationship/marriage dealt with that topic, then we separated and journaled our own thoughts and feelings for about 20 min, then we met with our SO and talked about what we wrote about for another 20 min, and repeat with a new topic. It was honestly one of our favorite weekends we have ever spent together. Such an emotionally charged event and absolutely exhausting but it really gives you the chance to be completely open and honest with one another. I would just say the more you put into the weekend, the more you will get out of it.
Post # 7
Let me add that I am not Catholic and did not feel uncomfortable at all. There was not very much religion talk at all though quite a few of the couples were like us (one Catholic, one non) and the priest was super nice about answering a bunch of questions for us non-Catholic folk.
Post # 8
Thanks everyone! That’s the vibe I’ve been getting from these things, but it’s nice to hear it from someone not on the website for the retreat 🙂 I am looking forward to it, but I was just worried that it’d be a lot of private talk in a very public way, which is not something Fiance or I are comfortable with. And good heads up on the pajama night! I was only going to take shorts and a tank top, since I figured I’d be sharing a room with another girl and that’s what I generally sleep in in that situation, but if I know I’m going to be in mixed company I’ll take some yoga pants and a hoodie, haha.
Post # 9
At ours we only interacted with other couples during meals, mass and free time. The rest of the time was basically: listen to the presenting couples speak, separate and write, get together and discuss with our Fiance, repeat. The writing wasn’t our favorite part but the alone time to talk was beautiful. They leave you alone in one of your “dorm” rooms, so every time we talked we actually laid in bed and cuddled too. We learned some pretty interesting things from the presenting couples. I really enjoyed when they talked about the love languages. Good luck and have fun!
Post # 10
There is no therapy or counseling involved in precana. You are simply provided with tools on how to have a successful marriage. Much of it involves talk about how faith will influence your marriage. My Fiance is not catholic…also there are people in our precana group who are marrying agnostics. But there’s no religious pressure. We are urged to discuss it privatley and share what we feel like sharing in regards to our views. I am certain the retreat will be no different and you will get an opportunity to make it known one of you isn’t catholic and they will not assume you both are.
Post # 11
i loved our retreat! it was fantastic. for us it was a lot of things we had already talked about. Money, roles, family, home were all covered. it really gave us tools for sucessful communication-even while fighting. Yes-they told us there would be fights and the best way to work through them. It was a lot of thinking and digging deeper then you usually do. It also gave a forum where we could talk about things that dont get brought up unless someone is upset.
For Darling Husband and I we were already so close and once we left we felt even closer which i didnt think was possible. And we do use a lot of the tools we got from the class. And we made some great friends who we are still in contact with.
There was not a whole lot of God stuff involved. There was a sunday mass and a prayer each day-but that was really it. it was more about you and your relationship and what to expect when getting married. I really think you will like it!