Post # 1
Hi bees! I’m just curious about the other couples who went to pre-cana (not Engaged Encounter.) I really wanted to go to EE but it was very expensive and fiance was dead set against it. So I was looking forward to our Pre-Cana. Now I know it’s different for everyone. In our diocese (sp?) you have two “classes” – one is John Paul’s Joy Filled Marriage and the other is Pre-Cana that you choose from a list. The first one was pretty decent. The Pre-Cana was just awful. There were about 50 couples in a school gym where we could barely hear anything. The hosting couple’s first bunch of words were “We have to follow the guidelines of the Diocese and then we’ll get you out of here (paraphrasing)” So one couple told a story about communication and the other about family. There wasn’t any discussion really about God or Catechism. I was really looking forward to Pre-Cana but got a big disappointment. SO… I’m curious if anyone had a similar experience or had a very GOOD experience 🙂
Post # 3
We had a 1 and a half day Pre-Cana course. It was good, we had a prayer service the first day, listened to talks by very well spoken preists and married couples, did the workbook and had several discussions as a couple and as a group.
Post # 4
We have to do the engaged encounter, a 3 hour class on NFP, and meet with a married couple from the church at least twice.
It’s great you have the option of not doing the engaged encounter. I wish we did.
So far, we’ve met with the couple from the church and it was okay. They clearly have a very different relationship dynamic than we do and seem a little off, so it’s a little weird. We just joked about it afterwards and wondered if they had been coerced into doing this because they had problems in their marriage. My friend’s parents do the pre-cana for the church for this reason.
It does feel good to do things together to prepare for our marriage.
Post # 5
We did a day long pre-cana and also a 2 hour NFP class. The pre-cana was interesting although I felt like most of the stuff we had already covered in our lives – like money, children, family. That could be because we already live together and own a house (dont tell the church though 🙂 ) It was interesting to see how people there were like talking about it – and arguing about it – for the first time. We did learn some tips though about each other by doing those exercises wherey ou answer questions about each other and compare so that actually helped.
The NFP class on the other hand was kind of a joke. The lady who was teaching it had 11 kids – seriously you are supposed to tell us this works. I dont really believe that using birth-control is a sin and she made me feel awful for that telling me people who use the pill will die, get cancer, or be infertile. i have been on the pill for 12 years and am still here. I just thought it was alittle old fashioned for the modern day.
Post # 6
We didn’t have to do an NFP class. It was optional. We got a flyer at the end of the weekend with the information if we wanted to sign up for it. I actually would have liked to take the class, but it was one hour away at the Diocese Center and at a really inconvenient time in the middle of the week.
Post # 7
We had the option of the EE Weekend or One day class and three meetings with a couple from our parish. We chose the EE Weekend and really enjoyed it. It really let us focus on us as a couple and listen to each other. There were definitely a couple of negatives, like the NFP presentation. The woman was a pediatrician but standing up there saying how horrible BC was but somehow fertility drugs are okay (because she used them). I’m not sure how you reconcile those to things. If God wants you to have a child and you shouldn’t use BC to prevent it then doesn’t it follow you shouldn’t use fertility drugs because maybe God doesn’t want you to have a child? I don’t know, it just is hard for me to understand the logic. End of rant 🙂
We were very lucky with the EE Weekend because it cost just under $400. Our parish paid our fees for us. We do plan on making a contribution to the parish after the wedding so another couple can go to the program.
I think how good or bad the presentations are really depends on the presenters. If they aren’t prepared or don’t really have their hearts in it then you definitely won’t get as much out of it. Honestly, I didn’t think our presenters were that great on our weekend. They seemed to rehearsed and I didn’t really connect with them. The workbook exercises that Fiance and I did one-on-one were very helpful though in our personal relationship.
Post # 8
My entire experience can be summed up as, “meh.” Could have been worse, could have been at home and not there. Meh.
Post # 9
Our pre cana was classes every friday for a month, about 2hrs a class. I was really dreading it, but it ended up being good. The leaders were all really nice & had funny and honest presentations, and our group leaders were a fun couple. We had work books that we only used a little bit. I think the FOCCUS test was interesting and overall the classes were a good experience. Have to say though, part of it was fun because in our group hubs & I were the couple that had been together the longest, there were a lot of naive youngin’s who hadn’t really talked about some of the topics before! Half the time the group leaders were asking us to chime in w/ advice for them so that was funny cause it brought back some memories of our earlier dating experiences lol.
Post # 10
@JKL2013: My feelings were the same. We signed up for the weekend retreat that covered both classes in our diocese. It looked like something people were planning on putting their hearts into. We figured the extra expense would be worth it since preparing for marriage was more important than preparing for the wedding.
God’s Plan for a Joy Filled Marriage was fairly decent, but my husband and I were already well aquainted with the Theology of the Body. We own two translations. I’ve taken part in a small group study and was first introduced to it through a program much longer than anything marriage prep offers. Christopher West ended up coming to our diocese within the same month, so we went to that talk as well.
I wasn’t impressed at all with the other program. We were rushed through it so that we could leave early. I didn’t appreciate the overall attitude of “We know this is just a hoop to jump through that’s wasting your time.”
Post # 11
When we inquired about it, it was too late, so we somehow managed to NOT have to do it! 😉
Post # 12
@twoangels: EXACTLY how I felt! I didn’t appreciate the entire lack of enthusiasm. To make matters worse, there were long breaks in between the two conversations and I feel like we spent most of the four hours eating and wating. We had a team couple at our table that did absolutely nothing and I even put in my review “exactly what was the point of the team couple?” I wanted to hear some experiences and advice! The only thing they said was “decide about children and money now.” Uh thanks?
I also didn’t like the fact that the two couples that spoke were reading off a paper and sounded like they’d rather be anywhere else than there. They had us do two pages in the workbook and then write a love letter (never said when to GIVE the love letter.) The best part was the food and seeing the team couples’ wedding albums.
@VioletSky: I was really hoping we’d have the classes too, but in our Diocese, that’s not an option. There were other choices of the day that were longer but the one we went to was the closest, the others were a range of 20 minutes away.
@reebs83: The NFP was optional and extra. I have no intention of using artificial anything so I wanted to learn about NFP. I’m really REALLY glad we did it because it’s amazing what you learn about yourself! Also, our couple was absolutely amazing! Can’t say enough about how awesome they were. You’d have to have an IQ of 6 not to know how to do NFP after taking their “classes.” They didn’t have 12 kids either but did have an “oops” one and talked about how if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be and they couldn’t imagine their life without their unplanned daughter. I liked how they brought in the Cathechism without trying to convert you (i.e. The church believes …. )
I really wanted to do the EE but it was $400 and I didn’t want to force the Fiance to go. I enjoy retreats, he hates them. So that pretty much decided it lol.
Post # 13
I am curious because my Fiance and I will start Pre-Cana in May. Are they going to be hardcore with NBP? I mean I’m currently on BC (mostly to regulate my periods) but plan to go off after we’re married. I’m not a fan of counting days because each woman is different, especially with someone with irregular periods.
The good thing is that we’re spreading it out (1 in May, 1 in July, 2 in September including a retreat, 1 in November)because of our work schedules. However, that would mean driving nearly an hour to attend in a couple of occassions. FI wanted to do EE but I’ve read some comments around here that it was boring.
Post # 14
Coming from a Protestant who did Pre-Cana with her Catholic husband…we both enjoyed it much more than we thought we would. I was honestly afraid that they would really come down on us for us not being the exact same religion. That didn’t happen at all.
We went for two Saturdays, for 5 hours at a time. The couple teaching the class was this older couple (the wife was actually 13 years younger than her husband). They were on the corny side, but they were really nice. You could tell that they enjoyed teaching this class. The first class was held in a classroom at the school. They went through four chapters at a time out of our book. We watched a movie for each one, then went and talked (on our own) for about 15-20 minutes. The second day wasn’t very helpful, as we had to be in the cafeteria and it was hard to hear.
Our FOCCUS test was interesting. They did make us take it separately, and the deacon did ask Darling Husband if he intended to raise our children Catholic (didn’t ask me). He said that we didn’t have to raise them strictly Catholic, just expose them to the faith, which is part of our plan. We did fine on the FOCCUS test, though.
We did do a NFP class about two weeks before our wedding. It was okay. The room we were in had this mural that looked like a landscape of Hades. Very motivating!
Overall…we’re glad we did it.
Post # 15
I’m interested in this, too! We are doing ours next month. Fiance is Catholic, and I am not religious (but was baptized catholic), and I’m a little worried about it. I heard it’s actually very helpful/practical and not overly “religious” if that makes sense. Ours is over a weekend, both days. I feel like Fiance and I have talked about most things, though like raising kids (and we live together and share finances already). Not sure how helpful it will be but i’m curious.
Post # 16
@hollyberry4: Same situation. We’ve already talked about how we’re raising our kids, when we should start trying, etc.
I’m also wondering how long will we have to wait for the FOCCUS results.