Post # 1
So as one of our obligations of getting married in the Roman Catholic Church, we have a weekend retreat. This is obligatory, not something we can get out of and that’s fine.
About two months ago, I requested two dates for our weekend retreat and paid upfront. My 2nd option was chosen, okay, I deal with it. I’m sent an email by a coordinator congratulating us on our marriage and then stating that details regarding our retreat would be sent approximately two weeks before the actual weekend.
Well our retreat is this coming weekend! I emailed the coordinator back last Monday requesting more information, then this past Friday I called her, got her voicemail, left a message and never received a response. I called again today and got her voicemail again. I called back and asked the main operator/receptionist if I could speak to somebody else, she abrupty transferrs me to another coordinator and get her voicemail so I leave a message with her.
I’m starting to get really concerned our weekend is cancelled. It’s not showing up on the diocesan website and two out of the next four retreats have been cancelled.
It took us 6 weeks to get our records from the parishes where we were baptized since this was required before we could even talk to our priest. He won’t even meet with us again until this retreat is completed. I’m getting really flustered and frustrated. Do you think this is irrational?
Post # 3
@beekiss: I’m not Catholic so I don’t know how this stuff works, but is there a church office you can go to in person and get the information you need?
Post # 4
@DJones69: +1. I’d go there in person too.
Post # 5
@DJones69: There probably is an office, but it isn’t advertised and if there is an office, it’s likely over an hour’s drive away in really heavy traffic. Plus, I’d probably have to have an appointment with them and I can’t seem to get a hold of anyone but the main receptionist of the entire diocese.
I just feel like the church has no problem taking money from parishioners but doesn’t live up to its end of the bargain. 🙁
Post # 6
@beekiss: Do you want the information or do you want to stand on principle? You already know they’re there during the day because they’re answering the phones. An hour drive or not, all you’re doing is stressing yourself out by not making the drive. They’re going about their day just fine and they don’t have any money to lose.
Post # 7
@DJones69: It’s more than an hours drive with everything. I’d have to either rent a car or drive my Fiance an hour in the opposite direction to drop him at work, then drive the two hours in the other direction, get the information (if they’ll even see me), then later pick him up from work. We have one vehicle. They don’t advertise where their office is.
Post # 8
@beekiss: Yikes. All these hoops to jump when you just want to get married!
This isn’t the first thread i’ve read of people having problems with this sort of thing. 🙁 I’d just keep calling and calling till you get someone! How stressful!
(totally not helpful, but man oh man, am i glad i’m not religious. this kind of stress is the last thing you need when planning a wedding!)
Post # 9
tell the receptionist that you need to speak to live person about the matter. anyone in the office can help and you don’t want to be transfered to a mailbox again since no one is returning your calls.
Post # 10
If all official channels have not been helpful, I would contact the archdiocese or diocese (not sure which SF has — I’m posting from my phone) and ask to speak with someone in the public relations office. That person likely will be able to help you to track down the information you need.
Post # 11
I’d be frustrated too, for sure. Make you you document all your attempts at contacting these people. Is there someone at the actual retreat center that you can contact? Can you try contacting the priest directly, given the situation? You might be able to do another retreat in another dioscese. Start researching your options now.
By The Way My fiance (who is not Catholic) and I LOVED our retreat weekend. If it all works out, I hope you have a great time there.
Post # 12
@beekiss: That would frustrate me too! I am really surprised your priest won’t even talk to you before you finish your retreat that doesn’t seem right. We actually finished ours right after we got engaged, but didn’t take our FOCCUS test/counseling until after a few meetings with our priest. He was thrilled we had gone to Pre-Cana prior to our meeting, but it wasn’t mandatory. Also, we did not have to provide our baptism records they just asked for the date we were baptized and the parish name. IMO it sounds like they are giving you the run around!
Luckily, if you are getting married in November you have plenty of time to complete the retreat! Good luck! 🙂
**Maybe try contacting the priest and voice your concerns about the retreat being cancelled?
Post # 13
Where is the retreat taking place? Can you call the location so they can at least confirm it’s on the books to happen?
Post # 14
@beekiss: Call the cathedral and ask to speak to the Rector, or the Vicar General. If you ask “who should I speak to about this?” they’ll say the lady who you already can’t get a hold of, most likely.
Post # 15
@beekiss: OK wait… the coordinator is with the Archdiocese, right? And your parish priest won’t meet with you until you’ve gone on the retreat? If that’s right, here’s what I would do…
Call your parish secretary and explain the situation. Ask her if she has an in at the Archdiocese. Otherwise, here is the info on that department. If Betty is the person you can’t get a hold of, try calling and asking for Deacon John Norris, who is in charge of Pastoral Ministry (and would therefore be above her).
The Archdiocesan offices are actually super easy to get to on public transit, if you wanted to show up in person. They’re right by New St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Post # 16
@MexiPino: I’m actually in the Diocese of Oakland so I’m not sure if the Archdioce of San Francisco will be able to help, I know technically they oversee the Diocese of Oakland.
Also, the secretary at our parish isn’t very helpful and so far our parish is very “hands off” and not willing to bend/help in any way. I’m trying to be patient but I can safely say that up to this point, the Church has been the biggest headache in the process of getting married.
Thanks guys, my Fiance called and left a message with the Director of Marriage and Family Life after he received the voicemail of the other two coordinators. If I don’t hear back by 1 or 2 pm tomorrow, I’m going to send another email, CCing the Director and the 2nd Coordinator. I’m hoping someone will reply.