Post # 1
Boyfriend and I finally got engaged! (I suppose I should call him Fiancee now). Here’s the thing – he’s not Catholic, I am, and this has been an issue in the past. Though he’s a lapsed Protestant, he’s still emotionally tied to his religion. He initially wanted me to convert, and I refused. I’m not a strict practicing Catholic, but I went to Catholic school (in Italy, no less!), was confirmed, and though I don’t go to church as often as I should nowadays – I enjoy being Catholic, I enjoy attending Mass, and am generally unwilling to give it up. We’ve worked it out and it hasn’t been an issue for the past year. He’s been to Mass with me, and besides saying that he felt it was a bit boring – he’s okay with it. That being said… now that we’re engaged, I’m a little nervous about bringing it up again and possibly restirring the pot. He’s agreed to attend Pre Cana and is okay with being married in a Catholic church, both of which are important to me. I sent him the little blurb at
to reassure him that it’s not as scary as he thinks and that the priest isn’t going to make him give up his home religion.
Let me disclose that 1) we cohabitate 2) I take birth control pills and 3) though we haven’t discussed definitively what religion our children will be – he’s open to having them attend Mass with me in the future, though I’m not certain he’s willing to PROMISE at this point that he’ll raise the kids in the Catholic tradition. I’d like to try to make this experience as supportive, positive, and unintimidating for him as possible. Basically, I want him to see that the Catholic church is not the big bad monster that he’s imagined in his head. He’s pretty protective of me and our relationship and I don’t want him to perceive the Church as rejecting of us if we end up with an uber-conservative priest directing our pre cana.
Anyone know of any NYC churches that may fit the bill? We live in the East Village but are willing to travel in order to have a positive experience that strengthens our relationship with each other and with the Church.
Thanks in advance for any insight offered!
Edit: Let me add that our current parish seems to have an older congregation and I’m nervous their precana might be very forbidding.
Post # 3
First of all, congratulations!
I don’t have any recommendations in NYC, but I want to mention two things. First, your fiance doesn’t need to promise anything to the Catholic Church, you do. Second, pre-cana is usually done on a diocese basis, not in a parish, so you’d attend the same pre-cana in the Archdiocese of New York regardless of the parish at which you’re married. The Family Life Office has the options here: http://flrl.org/MarriagePreparation.htm#Marriage_Preparation_Workshop_
If you’re concerned about a conservative priest giving you some trouble about cohabitation and birth control, maybe you should meet with a priest by yourself at first before bringing him in. Remember, a deacon can also marry you. Good luck.
Post # 4
I don’t have a recommendation for a church. But, to help with pre-cana in NYC, you have to do it in the diocese of the church where you are getting married, not where you live. As an example, we live in Queens and are having our cermemony in Brooklyn, so we had to do our pre-cana in Brooklyn. You also don’t have to do your pre-cana at the church where you are getting married, just in the same diocese. If you decide to get married in a different borough than Manhattan, you will need to get a letter of permission from your parish to marry in a different diocese.
Hope this helps, and good luck
Post # 5
I’m getting married in Central Jersey (around Trenton), so I have to do my pre-cana there? What do people do if they’re planning a wedding from far away? My fiancee and I are both surgical residents so we work a lot of hours. It’s going to be hard for us to travel down to trenton for our precana.
Anyone been in this situation before? Is it okay to do my precana somewhere else and just bring a letter?
Post # 6
@Beluga Whale:My husband I did our pre-Cana at the church we go to in Montana, but we got married at my parents’ church in Virginia. It was fine! The church just faxes over your certification to where you are getting married. I would think its better, even, to do it at the church you will be going to, not just the one you are getting married at.
I think there are even on-line versions for people who really don’t have other options.
Post # 7
@Beluga Whale: When you’re doing a destination wedding, your local parish calls the wedding parish to coordinate the pre-cana with them. Then you do all of your wedding prep at your local parish who approves you to be married (you understand the importance of marriage, it’s been verified that you’ve never been married, etc).
“Behind the scenes” the local parish sends their approval to the local bishop’s office, who certifies the approval and sends it to the wedding parish’s bishop. The wedding parish’s bishop then sends the approval to the wedding parish who marries you.
I’ve seen a case before where the groom was outside the US (without a visa), the bride was in California, and the wedding was in New Jersey. The groom’s non-US priest did some prep for the groom, the bride’s priest in California did the prep for the bride, and both priests and the couple did skype pre-cana, which was then approved by the California priests’ bishop and the certification was sent to New Jersey for the wedding.