(Closed) Pre Cana Questions… Help

posted 5 years ago in Catholic
Post # 2
992 posts
Busy bee

ChrissyMary9515:  FI & I just started our pre-cana, but I can tell you that it’s different at every diocese, so while some parishes may have online classes, if your chuch is telling you no, then it’s probably a rule at your particular church. Ours has pre-cana set up as a once-a-week for five weeks (10 hours total) class that we attend and based just on our first session, it would be difficult to complete onine simply becuase it is structured as a diologe between a group of engaged couples which would be much more difficult to do without meeting in person.

As for what it is like….it’s actually not terrible. I think it all depends on who is leading it, but I have no real complaints. I posted a couple weeks ago after Fiance and I got our pre-cana book in the mail because the package it came in included a TON of pamphlets that seemed to proclaim, “you’re not Catholic enough!”

Okay, I kinda over-reacted, but there was just so much stuff they sent that all dealt with how the whole point of a marriage is to have kids and I was concerned that Fiance and I were going to have to sit through week after week of lectures on how we’re not good Catholics because we don’t want to start popping out babies 9 months after our wedding…or worse, that we would “fail” pre-cana and not be allowed to get married in the church.

So, just in case you have some of the same misconceptions…your pre-cana teachers don’t get a say in whether or not you get married and you can’t “fail” the class. You’ll get as much out of it as you let yourself get out of it, so just try to be open-minded.

Our first session dealt mainly with communication (i think most session will do the same)…it got kinda hokey when the lead couple basically took a “men are from mars” approach to couples communication, “ladies, your men are competitive, so they view all conversations in terms of winning and losing” or “men, your gals are much better at multi-tasking than you are…she’s not purpously trying to confuse you by switching topics in a conversation, she’s just wired to think that way”…. but its wasn’t terrible. (we basically just rolled our eyes and went with it)

Post # 3
1556 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

ChrissyMary9515:  In my parish, this is how it was done:

6+ months before our proposed wedding date: attend the 2 hour evening information session for engaged couples. This went over all of the options for taking courses, prep classes, what we would need, where to send it, etc. (other couples, us, and a leader)

– 4 hour morning class on marriage with the pastor (other couples, us, and pastor)

– 2 hour NFP class (1 of 3 sessions, but only the first was required) (other couples, us, and leader couple)

– Take Foccus quiz online to have sent to the priest who was marrying us

– Follow-up meetings with the priest to go over the answers we had and talk about our relationship as a couple. (the priest and us) we met about 3 times for an hour each time.

– Pre-Cana Options:

  • sponsor couple 6 weeks, once a week, just the sponsor couple and us (free)
  • Engaged Encounter weekend retreat ($100-$200) us, other couples, and leaders
  • Online (only in special circumstances where the couple is separated and/or cannot make any weekend retreats such as when one person is deployed, etc)

I think that was all that we needed to participate in. There might have been another thing, but I totally forget.

We chose the Engaged Encounter weekend retreat. It was intense, the format went like this:

– leadership talks on a subject

– couples separate to write their individual reflections on the subject

– couples unite to discuss their reflections and identify any topics they may need to address with each other either at the moment or in the future

– Everyone returns for the next session.

You never had to discuss your reflections with anyone other than your fiance/e unless you chose to do so. 

Post # 4
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I live in Canada, so again I’m sure it’s different.  But here we don’t have it on-line either.. ours will cost $240.00!! So your $100 is sounding pretty nice to me 😉

Post # 5
618 posts
Busy bee

ChrissyMary9515:  I’m not aware of online options around where I live, but it all depends on how the parish wants to offer it.  Our church gave us a few options – one being a 1-day conference nearby for $10, and another being a weekend-long conference for $100.  In addition to the 1-day conference, we’d have to have meetings about NFP with a local couple that teaches them.  We decided to go with that option, since it would still save time and money.

I agree that how it goes really depends on the couples leading it.  We had a good group of couples – some younger, some older, some in the middle.  They were really open and honest, and not pushy or judgemental at all.  Topics included communication, cycles you go through, money/budgeting, and of course contraception/family planning.  Overall we actually enjoyed it!

Added – I saw someone else mentioned the FOCUS test – we did this in separate meetings with our priest.  We took the assessment separately, and then met with the priest to go over our responses.  It went really well for us.  Basically it just helps you to discuss things you might not have before, and see what issues you may need to compromise on/work through.  It brought on a lot of good discussion for us.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  bridetobe24.
Post # 8
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Here is what my church requires:

– Engaged Encounter Retreat – The cost was $250 for the weekend. Even though my fiancé and I had discussed most of the topics it was still useful. I actually enjoyed the weekend much more than I exprated. 

– Gods Plan for a Joy Filled Marriage – This class was 5 hours over two days and $35. I really didn’t get anything out of it. 

– Foccus – Take questionnaire and meet with a couple a few time  

– Meetings with Priest

– 10 hours of service to Church 

I thought it was a lot too until I learned more about what the Sacrament of marriage means. Marriage in the church is so much more than just a legal union and I like knowing that my fiancé and I are on the same page. If you remember all of the work that went into first communion or confirmation it makes sense why the sacrament of marriage requires so much preparation. Try to keep an open mind about it and good luck!








Post # 9
618 posts
Busy bee

ChrissyMary9515:  NFP stands for Natural Family Planning – basically how to plan/space out your children without using birth control.  The focus is understanding the woman’s monthly cycle to know when we’re more or less likely to get pregnant, and using that to know when to have sex (or not) depending on if you want to have kids at that point.  I think some women on the Bee refer to it as charting.

They say it can really help with communication, to have both of you on the same page and understand your cycle.  I think most Pre Canas will include at least a mention of it, if not more.  Since we went to a short one day conference, they didn’t go into it as much as our parish would like – thus the extra meetings.

Post # 10
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Oh – you should do engaged encounter! It was such a great experience! And I’m not even Catholic (only Darling Husband is). We’re part of the Diocese of Metuchen so we spent the weekend down the shore at the Stella Maris Retreat Center in Elberon, NJ. So gorgeous. The leaders of the weekend were awesome. We talked about sooooo many topics in one weekend. It was really intense but so worth it. I felt so much more prepared for marriage.

It does cost over $400 – but they feed you! Pretty nice food too.

You should sign up through your parish if you do it. I recommend it if it fits in your schedule. http://diometuchen.org/offices-and-ministries/pastoral-life/family-life/marriage-preparation/engaged-encounter-weekend/

Post # 11
3470 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

ChrissyMary9515:  I was raised catholic, but didn’t marry a catholic, so I never went through it, but the main question you have to ask is if your parish will accept you going through an online source, or even a different course than the one they teach.  I had a few friends who got married in the church, and they had to take the course offered by our diocese I know they charged for it, but I don’t know how much it was.  

Post # 12
1612 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

ChrissyMary9515:  I’m in eastern Canada. The fee here was $100 for the course. It was done on a Friday evening and all day on Saturday. There is no online option here.

Post # 15
5 posts

ChrissyMary9515:  In Chicago PreCana’s cost $195 for a one day class. Our Archdiocese in collaboration with The Marriage Group from Michigan developed an online PreCana that is also $195 that you can take online on-demand at http://www.catholicmarriageprepclass.com. There’s also http://www.learnNFPonline.com if your diocese requires Natural Family Planning class.

It’s also available in captioning for deaf and hard of hearing. Enjoy your PreCana, most couples like having the time to think about their marriage, not just the wedding!

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