Marriage Prep experience liberal or non-Catholics..?

posted 3 years ago in Catholic
Post # 2
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

serendipity24:  I have similar beliefs to you, but I haven’t started classes yet.

The course of action FI and plan to take (we are both Catholic with liberal social beliefs) is to work with a more liberal priest, because as much as I wanted to be married in the church I am not okay with having to lie in order to do so.

But that said, what do you know about the church you are attending NFP at? I wish I was able to give you some advice or assuage your concerns, but I haven’t been there yet. I hope you are able to figure out a solution that works best for you!

Post # 3
588 posts
Busy bee

serendipity24:  It’s going to totally depend on who is leading the class and who is attending the class. I am completely with you on living together before marriage (I actually strongly recommend that people don’t wait until after marriage to try cohabitating), birth control, and equal marriage. There are a lot of liberal minded Catholics out there.  Not all dioceses even requires you to attend a NFP course if it’s not for you.  

As long as you go in expecting to be polite (and no giggling), you should be able to feel comfortable asking your questions. If it’s clear that people are getting upset, back off a little, but likely you will not be the only one in the room who shares your viewpoint.

Post # 4
2787 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


serendipity24:  It really depends on who you get for your marriage prep and what kind you do.  There are two types; retreat weekend or sponsor couple.

My FI and I went with the sponsor couple route, and our couple was actually very cool.  We run alone the same lines that you do; we co-habitated, we use BC because we aren’t ready yet, we don’t agree with the church 100% of the time.  Our sponsor couple was able to listen to our disagreements and not take them personally.  Our time with them was probably the best part of our marriage prep.  I actaully can not say enough good things about the process, and 99% of them are about the couple we had.

We didn’t have to take an NFP class, but they gave us a pamphlet.  They said “We don’t care what your family planning method is, but here is this information.”  End of topic. 

I can’t speak form experience, but this may be the better route if you are a liberal Catholic.  If you go to the retreat weekend, you are thrown in a room with a bunch of other people.  I just don’t like that idea. 

Post # 6
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I have similar beliefs as you and we completed our marriage prep last weekend. I was really sort of psyching myself out and preparing myself to not be oversensitive and be prepared to refuse to answer questions about our private life together, etc. But I was very suprised at how relaxed and open minded the whole experience was. We had the whole hour long Billings Method talk and it honestly went right over my head (not that I was planning of using it, but I was curious as to what it was). It almost felt like they were just going through the motions because they had to. There were even comments from the mentor couples afterwards that the talk was boring, not informational and should be cut from the program.

Also, our program used the book ‘A Decision to Love’. In every chapter at the end there are question to go through with your SO. Every chapter had a special set of questions for couples who were bringing children into the marriage and for couples who decided to live together before marriage.


I really don’t think you have anything to worry about! After that experience I feel like the church has become more liberal and accepting if modern times and peoples’ life choices.

Post # 7
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

serendipity24:  Thought I would chime in.  I am in the SAME boat as you, as far as believing in the core beliefs of Catholicism, and believe in my faith, but not all the teachings and readings, etc, etc, etc.  For this reason, I Parish jumped in my twenties.  If I did not like the close-mindedness of a Priest, then I would keep looking.  I did this, because I truly believed that I would find a good ‘fit’ for myself in this religion.

A few months before my FI proposed, we found the parish we now belong too, and love, and are getting married in.  The Priest was laid back, and a bit more ‘modern’, even if he is ‘older’.  At our first meeting, post-proposal, we were validated in our decision when he asked for our address, and both stuttered (feeling he would have something to say about living together).  He turned around and said ‘Do not worry, I know the answer, and in this day and age, it is normal, and therefore I am not going to punish you, or make you feel bad for a decision you made as two mature adults’.  I was immediately at ease. Furthermore, his pre-cana is not traditional.  He feels with people’s schedules, and wedding planning in general, devoting an entire weekend to pre-cana is hard.  He sits down with us, after we take an online ‘exam’ and openly discusses points we do not see eye-to-eye on.  Sex, communication, family planning, etc.

We are doing that this week, but I am completely at ease with being 100% honest with him, because he makes us comfortable, and we feel that no matter what we discuss, we will not be judged, condemned to hell, or even would he consider NOT marrying us.  

Hopefully your experience is the same.  I know it took me 4 different Church’s to find a good fit!!

Post # 9
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Hopefully you’ll get to meet other couples that are in your age bracket with the setup your parish has! Honestly, I really don’t think that you’ll feel uncomfortable, especially not in the NFP classes. The whole mission of the church is to be teaching loving, never against people. If you feel like this is not what you’ve been exposed to, I’m sorry that you weren’t exposed to a good leader.

The classes are just designed to teach you why each method is helpful and why it fits in NFP’s mission. If anything, it’ll just teach you more about how conceiving and postponing pregnancy work in case you didn’t already know. I definitely enjoyed my classes but we attended the sympto-thermal class, so I’m not sure if that makes a difference.

Good luck! Can’t wait to hear how the first class goes! 🙂

Post # 10
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I think it all depends on the diocese and the leaders of your classes. Our requirements were to have 3 meetings with the priest, attend a weekend engaged encounter weekend retreat.

We personally really enjoyed everything but our facilitators were fairly open minded and spoke more about the aspects of marriage like love, communcation, finances, etc. There was a small part on NFP but they were not pushy. The lead couples discussed their experiences and they gave us a pamphlet with who to contact for more information. Other than that, it was more like the three lead couples told us about things they have experienced in their marriage and we broke off to reflect seperately about the topics and then met with our fiance to discuss our feelings/opinions. 

We also took the NFP class on our own through another parish because I do not want to take BC pills anymore, I just don’t like the mood swings and negative side effects I exeperienced. It was more instructional than anything. You can also order a intructional video online if you don’t want to take the class in person. 

Post # 11
90 posts
Worker bee

I truly hope your experience is better than ours. We wanted to do marriage prep through the church, have our civil ceremony, and then our convalidation a few months later. I also share your beliefs.

On day one, our deacon (they do prep in our parish) told us we are living in sin and forbade us to accept the eucharist any longer, then told us we’d go to hell if we died before our convalidation. WTF? Right then, I started to doubt our decision to go through the church for anything. I then explained that we shouldn’t have to take the NFP class becuase I cannot get pregnant- I have a medical condition that could likely make pregnancy very dangerous. FI and I have already decided to adopt or use a surrogate. That didn’t go over well either.

We opted to leave the prep class while only 30 minutes into it, and haven’t looked back. We also do not attend that church any longer. I know not all parishes are that conservative, and I sincerely hope your class is much more enjoyable 🙂

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