Post # 1
I am getting married in May in Houston,TX and my priest just notified us today (the church has been booked since May but they don’t meet with couples until closer to the date of the wedding so we were not informed that this was required) that we need to attend the Diocese marriage encounter. Well, the Diocese says all of the marriage encoutners are filled between now and May. WHAT?!!
They can’t force us to cancel our wedding because of this, can they?
In the 4th largest city, you would think they would have more retreats available!!!
Post # 3
Does it have to be a retreat?
We ended up taking an online pre-cana, we asked before we signed up for it but they didn’t have a problem with it.
Post # 4
@evalague: There are options other than the retreat at most diocese. If they’re still full, ask your priest if he’ll accept a retreat offered at another diocese. Depending on where you live in the diocese, one of Victoria, Tyler, or Lake Charles should be within an hour of where you live.
Post # 5
If it’s filled up then you have to start looking into the neighboring dioceses for one that is available, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the encounter weekend. Different dioceses sometimes have different options for pre-cana. You might be asked to have your priest give written permission for you to go outside the diocese, but as long as you find a program that gives you a certificate of completion then you’re good to go. Easier said than done, though. That’s what we will have to do I suppose…we are in Houston, too. 🙁
Post # 6
It sounds like that diocese needs to offer more encounter retreats if it’s a requirement (which it is in my diocese and most). I’d probably submit a complaint to the Bishop’s office about it (not faulting your priest though) to have them offer more retreats or to take that into consideration in the future.
However, you should speak to your preist about other diocesan retreats/encounters/pre-cana.
Post # 7
Definitely talk with your priest for what he suggests/requires. Your priest is your guide on this one. Don’t worry too much, he will help you out!
Post # 8
Maybe they can put you on a waiting list if a couple cancels…?
Post # 9
Ok, aparently there was a slot in the April encounter. So, we are safe. San Antonio has 2 per month and has lots of availability…
Post # 10
Enjoy it! we had our pre cana class today…such an amazing experience!
Post # 11
Fiance and I filled out our FOCCUS tests and paperwork the other day, and the woman helping us looked up the dates for the Engaged Encounter weekends in the neighboring dioceses, but none of the dates work for us.
She did find an online marriage prep course that we can take. She looked into it while we were filling out our tests, and she said that the online course actually looked really good. It will work out best for us because of our work schedules. I haven’t registered for it yet, but if anyone is interested you can PM me and I’ll give you the website for it. It says the online marriage prep course is best for couples that are long-distance, military or have difficult work schedules and is completely legit (but check with the parish you’ll be married in first to make sure they will accept it).
Post # 12
We did our pre-cana through the Houston-Galveston archdiocese, and had a great experience, so I’m really glad you were able to get a spot in April.
They told us that they actually have been having trouble getting enough volunteer couples to lead the weekends, which is why they can only offer one a month. (Our weekend, one of the lead couples was actually from another diocese, and drove all the way to Houston so the weekend wouldn’t be cancelled). If you find that the weekend helps you, you might consider signing up to become a support couple (which is like training to someday become a lead couple). I ended up getting a job out of state, so we aren’t able to, but we definitely considered it.
Post # 13
My Fiance is gifted at many things but he is not called or gifted in the characteristics needed to lead a couples retreat. He’s not the best about talking about feelings or faith. If you have ever heard the song “The Box” by Randy Travis, that is him… He is NOT distant or cold. BUT, he shows his faith and his love in his own ways. But it sounds like a great volunteer ministry!