Post # 1
I have an interesting dilemma. My fiance and I plan (tentatively) to marry in my home parish in NY state. The problem? He lives in the UK, and I am probably moving out there as soon as I’m finished with school, so we can have some “normal’ time together before, as he puts it, I have to be introduced as “This is my wife, who none of my friends here have ever met”.
My question is this. My parish has a six-month mandatory marriage prep course. Since at least one of us will be living overseas the whole time, it will be somewhat difficult to attend. Has anyone done their Pre-cana at a different parish than the one they plan to marry in? Or maybe done it over the internet? We have webcameras, and I could even give one to the priest (since I won’t need it when I can look at my fiance by turning towards him 😛 ) so we could have meetings that way. Any input would be great, because this really worries me.
Post # 3
i’m not catholic so i’m not sure how helpful i’ll be but maybe you can talk to your priest and see what he recommends. my church has a 6-month premaritial counseling requirement to have the pastor marry you and i grew up with him and since he’s like a father to me i really want him to preside over our wedding. but considering that the mister wants a short engagement, i asked my pastor and he’s willing to work with us and start the classes earlier preengagement so that we can finish in time. it’s highly unusual and essentially a favor to us but i’m glad i asked him about it. it never hurts to ask!
Post # 4
I don’t know about overseas, but one of my BMs was able to do her prep in Chicago, even though she was getting married in Detroit. I think if you do the prep somewhere else, you need to have certificates of completetion for each program. Some diocese offer online programs for things like natural family planning or in lieu of the typical weekend retreat.
Post # 5
we are getting marrie din Upstate NY and they told us just to go with the parish in Cali (where we live) and they can transfer the pre cana paperwork. I plan on calling our parish out here this week to see what needs to be done!
Post # 6
Some parishes/dioceses do online pre-cana courses, so it would be best to check with your parish if this is a possibility. Maybe refer to this website to check if your diocese or parish will approve online pre-cana courses:
Post # 7
I had a similar situation. (Although nothing as challenging as overseas.) My husband and I were able to go to another parish withinh the diocese that did a shorter, one day intensive precana class. Maybe if you find something like that, your FI can come in for a visit then. Good luck. I think you’ll be able to work something out.
Post # 8
Despite it being overseas, I don’t think you’d have a problem. I’m doing my prep at a church on the east coast (where we live) and will marry in a church out on the west coast (where we are getting married.)
I would talk to your church in NY about the situation and ask what they require for marriage prep. Every diocese (and in some case, even specific churches) have their own requirements, so you need to make sure that the prep that will be available to you in the UK will meet what they ask for in NY. For example, in my case, my priest was really chill about it and said basically anything that is approved where I live will work out there – he just wants to receive a signed certificate proving we participated. He also asked us to do the FOCCUS marriage inventory (kind of like a “compatability test”) even though our church here didn’t require it.
Post # 9
My fiance’ and I took our marriage prep through my fiance’s diocese rather than my own. We just talked to my priest and he gave us permission to do it there. Granted, when we were going to marry at a parish neither of us were members at, at that time, we were needing to have the priests send official letters to each other giving permission, whereas with the situation now, we just need the certificates and the verbal permission.
My sister’s fiance’ lives several states away and sad to say but he flew up for their marriage prep only to find that it was canceled because they felt they didn’t have enough couples registered.
So I’d say it can be stressful as sometimes parishes like just setting up programs that is the easiest for them to run but difficult for us to go through in our situation in life. So I’d say bring the issue up with your pastor and do not panic. Believe me, I’ve had the most stressful wedding planning I can imagine. I first had to work with a priest who barely spoke english and didn’t want to allow me to set a date till we had finished our marriage prep, plus more of shrugged his shoulders when I told him we couldn’t meet together. it was more of like “Well then you may not be able to marry as soon as you’d like.” Granted, our wedding coordinator at my parish eventually began putting her foot down with him (he also wasn’t always showing up to celebrate Mass! The parish kept having to make phone calls to get priests to come at the last minute to celebrate Mass, so Mass was starting late. It usually wasn’t Sunday Masses though…just the weekday ones so it didn’t affect as many people). Then I’ve had issues with bridesmaids, flower girls, music. Honestly its been the most stressful thing ever, but realize that God is working through it. Its revealing things that need to be revealed in our relationship before our marriage and its making me trust God more. And that’s the key. Trust that even if things don’t work out exactly as you planned, trust that God will pull through. Don’t stress yourself out with things you can’t control. Just think “well this route isn’t working. What can I try next?” Make a to do list and just put in your best effort.
Post # 10
This is a situation that I am also encountering. I lived in Denver for 10 years but moved back to Chicago for grad school recently. Meanwhile, my fiance is still in Denver. We plan to marry in Denver but the Denver Archdiocese is super difficult to work with. Only three churches (none of them ours) offer marriage prep and those that do have a very inconvenient schedule. Basically, we can’t make it work. So, I asked our officiating priest in Denver if we could do the marriage prep in Chicago (there is a specialized pre cana for those over 30 in Chicago and the schedule is much more frequent than the one in Denver). You should just ask your priest, but honestly, a Catholic Church is a Catholic Church. I do not see why any Catholic pre cana program should not be transferrable. This is supposed to be a joyous time but I really have to say that the Denver Archdiocese is archaic and stubborn and difficult on every level and I would strongly advise those planning to marry there to consider going elsewhere. Between the affadavit that your parents have to sign in front of their pastor saying you will have a family and are a good Catholic to having to deal with other intrusive and strange questions, I have found the whole thing to be very uncomfortable and disheartening. If the Catholic Archdiocese won’t accept our Chicago pre cana then we just won’t get married in Denver!
Post # 11
Hi ladies, I’m in a similar sitation. Although I’m currently deployed overseas, I will return to VA and my FH lives in our home town in Texas. I’m going to have to check with my parish in VA to see if they will allow us to do some sort of LD/online class, or if we can take a weekend or one-day intensive pre-cana class in Houston.
To add to it, my FH is awaiting the results of a request for annullment. So, count your blessings that you don’t have to wait for that even before you plan pre-cana classes. If the church turns him down, then we are going to be in a tough spot, as we are both practicing Catholics.
Post # 12
@lisalew5472- FI and I are going to do our pre-cana at our local parish in Houston where we are living right now, and are getting married at the parish I grew up going to in Annapolis. Our priest said that it would be perfectly fine to do it that way.
However, my FI also had to get an annullment, and the church we are going to do the pre-cana through said that we cannot go through the course until the annullment request was granted.
Ask the church you plan on going to for pre-cana about it. They might have you wait, too. Good luck!
Post # 13
@Jazziberry: Oh yes – that’s the case with our church too. So, we wait (impatiently……) lol.
Post # 14
We’re in the midst of doing our Pre-Cana long distance (I’m in Boston for grad school, fiance lives in Houston, and we’re getting married in Indiana!). We have broken it up into a series of trips, and are doing it at my fiance’s parish because his work schedule is less flexible. This past weekend, I took a few days off of work so that we could meet with his priest and do the FOCCUS test. Because of our circumstances, he met with us to go over the results that afternoon, rather than waiting a few weeks. We are doing an Engaged Encounters weekend retreat in November, and then should be all set. It has been a total pain though! His parish didn’t want to schedule a meeting too far ahead, but I needed enough time to take off work and book a flight. Good luck!
Post # 15
I had a somewhat odd situation myself. We are in 2 different states… me in NY and he in MA and we are getting married in CO. We were able to do our marriage prep locally but together. Our local parish will send it all out to the marrying church.
I think they will help you out too – if your NY church and the UK church can maybe coordinate.
It’s all about takling to them.
We did the weekend course so that we only had to travel and be together for 1 weekend. The course itself is not 6 months long. Also you meet with your priest/deacon twice… and that’s pretty much it.
Post # 16
Just wondering if you found a solution to this problem?
I find myself in a similar situation now! My fiance and I are living in Germany but are going back to Canada to get married… only we can’t fly home twice (and my parish doesn’t offer a weekend course anyway, it’s 3-months long), we don’t have the money, so we’re thinking of trying to do the class in Germany first.