Post # 1
- Wedding: February 2014 - Vintage Villas
Today we went in for our first meeting with the Church we’re planning on getting married in… I didn’t really know what to expect but I assumed they would ask us a few questions and fill out a few forms, I had no idea how wrong I was… it was like taking the SATs all over again! We had over 150 “statements” that we had to answer either “agree”, “disagree”, or “uncertain” and apparently our answers will determine whether or not we are compatible and if the church will allow us to get married!
Now I’m really freaking out! What do we do if they deny us? It’s extremely important to me to get married in the Catholic Church and I can’t imagine saying ‘I do’ anywhere else…
Has anyone else done the “FOCCUS” test? Did you pass? Fail? What happens if you fail? Am I freaking out over nothing?
Post # 3
I did it!! It is NOT a test to see if your compatible or not. It is a tool that is used to help you and your fiance focus on what “issues” or topics that haven’t been brought up in your relationship. If anyone told you that the church will not marry you based on your answers, they are WRONG
After you get your results, you go over the answers where you and your fiance didn’t agree and then you chat about it for a few mins. It is meant for you to talk about it openly with eachother. I know we BOMBED the financial part, and it was great talking about some of things that we never talked about before because they are important.
After that, you go to pre cana and then talk about some of those issue in furture depth. SOme of the questions are so weird that they are on there and others are a great way to open conversation.
There is NO pass or fail. Feel free to message me if you want to chat more about it, but don’t worry…its meant to be more of a tool to help your relationship and in no way will the chruch not marry you if your answers aren’t totally compatible!
Post # 5
Our priest let us talk about the questions while we took it if we were confused about how to interpret a question. Some are so odd. But it really isn’t a “test” at all. You can’t fail it. It was interesting to see the categories that we did or did not match up on. It gave us a place to start in discussing issues that we hadn’t thought of or encountered yet.
Post # 6
- Wedding: February 2014 - Vintage Villas
@andye_land: Thank you so much! I feel better knowing that they can’t deny us a church wedding based on our answers… The ladies in the church office wouldn’t even let us reserve our wedding date until after we go over our ‘test’ results next week at another meeting, it was so bizarre to be put in the back room, given a number 2 pencil and told ‘no talking’… I kept thinking I should have had breakfast first to help me focus… lol
Post # 7
It’s actually a good way to find out about each other. I enjoyed learning things that I nevnew knew about him.
Post # 8
Yeah – technically it should be called an “inventory” (i.e. a multi-question measuring tool) and not a “test,” and they definitely shouldn’t have sprung it on you like that, but it’s pretty much exactly as PPs have outlined. Areas on which one agrees but the other disagrees, or anything for which either of you marks “uncertain” … that isn’t a “wrong” answer, it just identifies something that you probably haven’t talked about in much depth yet, and you really should have a conversation about it before you get married.
FWIW: there’s no such thing as “passing” or “getting a perfect score” on the FOCCUS inventory, and answers are never set in stone – if you took the FOCCUS again a week or a month or a year from now, at least a handful of your answers would probably be different, because they reflect where you’re at as a couple right now, and that’s going to be growing and changing throughout life. There’s a version of the inventory (called REFOCCUS) available for already-marrieds to use to help identify and open up discussion about areas they could work on in their own marriages.
And that’s really the point: every couple, no matter how compatible, will always have areas of their relationship that they could work on, because that’s just how relationships are. No two human beings on the planet will ever be perfectly aligned in every aspect of their thinking, and everybody needs effective communication skills in order to help their relationship. The Church will marry you no matter what, no matter how the FOCCUS turns out; it wants to see your marriage succeed, though, and so it uses FOCCUS and the rest of the pre-Cana requirements to try to help boost your chances by giving you tools for strengthening your foundation.
Post # 9
@futuremrscortez: I totally agree with andye land. There is no right and wrong; your answers will serve a purpose: for the priest who is preparing you to know what things can become an issue in your marriage. Unless there is some severe cause (forcible marriage, bad addictions, severe mental problems or the like), they won’t deny you the chance to continue with your wedding plans.
Post # 10
@andye_land: What if one of us is catholic and the other is agnostic? Will they not even consider us? I am trying to find out more info about this posible issue.