Houston Catholic bees: Looking for a positive marriage prep experience.

posted 3 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Well, I think the marriage prep process is pretty standard diocese-wide. We did our marraige prep at a church in Cypress (a NW Houston suburb), but I think it’s similar everywhere. You’ll take the FOCCUS test (which was actually a fun conversation starter… DH and I answered the same on almost everything, but those few we didn’t brought up great discussions!) and meet with a priest. Some churches have you go over the FOCCUS test with a priest or counseler. We also went on the Engaged Encounter retreat that the dicoese hosts and really enjoyed it! I think most parishes let you choose between the Engaged Encounter retreat and a series of meetings with just the two of you and a sponsor couple, but I’d definitely recommend Engaged Encounter! Feel free to PM me if you have more questions. 🙂

Post # 4
1012 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I got married in Indiana, but my husband lived in the Woodlands when we were wedding planning and we did our prep all there. We did our FOCCUS and some meetings with a priest at his parish, and we did the Engaged Encounter retreat sponsored by the diocese. We did not especially get on with the priest who did the FOCCUS with us, but I still think that going through the process was helpful.

We had a great experience with the diocesan Engaged Encounters. We got a lot out of the weekend, and felt like the lead couples for our weekend were great. They did only a brief chat about NFP, nothing too preachy, and there were couples from all sorts of situations (some living together, some with kids, etc) and it never seemed judgy. The weekend was really all about you as a couple–I felt like we spent much more time journaling and sharing with each other than we spent in the group sessions. 

Post # 5
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Hey there! We are/were in the same boat.  I am just here in Houston for a year, but I became a member at the parish I live in boundry for.  They have been very accomodating with our situation (I can give you the exact name of the parish over PM).  

My fiance does not live in Houston and was deployed for the majority of my time  here, so we had to kind of do everything differently.  The Houston/Galveston Archdiociese recognizes the online marriage prep http://www.catholicmarriageprep.com so that’s what we did. We are not doing FOCUS b/c my fiance will not come to Houston while I’m still living here, and he does not have a parish where he lives, since he just got home from overseas. Obviously, we aren’t doing an engaged encounter either.  I wish we could have done both, but logistically it’s not going to happen.  The online class was just okay (I felt like I did all the work; emailing your answers back and forth is not quite the same), but it at least checked the box for us.  So, that probably doesn’t help you, based upon your post.  I would have liked something more meaningful too, but it didn’t work out for us to do that.  

I did the NFP class by myself here in Houston.  I was skeptical but LOVED the instructors, and I learned a lot.  I would honestly recccomend it, even if you are unsure if that’s the route you want to take.  You learn a ton and it will be helpful info at least for when you want to conceive someday.

Hope that helps somewhat.





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