(Closed) Pre Cana: weekend retreat or just meet with priest?

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
  • poll: Is a longer Pre-Cana worth it?
    Yes! It's totally worth the extra time. : (16 votes)
    67 %
    No. If you can do it quicker through the priest, go for it. : (8 votes)
    33 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1580 posts
    Bumble bee

    Are you in the Arlington Diocese? I am and we actually just finished all of our marriage prep requirements for the church. We had to take the FOCCUS test, meet with our priest at least 6 times, and do either the one-day pre cana, or the weekend-long pre cana.

    First, I will say that I have loved our meetings with the priest. It may be just that my priest is awesome, but I really got a lot out of out meeting with him, so I would totally recommend meeting with your priest.

    We decided to do the one-day pre cana at one of the churches in the diocese (I think it was in Vienna). We chose this option because it was a lot cheaper than the overnight weekend program, and we are busy people and really only wanted to spend a day doing it. There were a bunch of topics that were covered by two couples, a priest, and a therapist/family counselor. The priest and the therapist were great. But most of the presentation was given by the two married couples. I had some issues with this because neither of the couples had any skill in public speaking (like none). Also, the one couple had been married for only 6 years and the other couple had only been married for 18 months. I wanted teachers who had been married long enough to have been through it all.

    I didn’t get anything out of my one-day pre-cana program, so I definitely would not recommend that. You might have better luck with the weekend retreat. But the best experience I had was with the meetings with my priest.

    But to calm your fears, there were a lot of interfaith couples at my pre-cana thing (myself and fiance included) and it wasn’t too religious and no one was treated differently.

    Post # 6
    Member
    269 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I went to the one that was 2 Saturdays in the Archdiocese of Washington. Most of the presenters were fine. We had different presentors for different topics. So its not like we had to listen to the same person all day.

    The day consisted of you listening to presentations and then you were given a booklet and you had 30 minutes to talk with your Fiance. We were never required to discuss topics with other couples. We wandered around outside (so we could get up and stretch our legs) and found a place to talk.

    We both found it to be a good experience and my Fiance is not Catholic. It’s not like we had never talked about kids, and financial things before, but it gave us the opportunity to really get into depth with the topics.

    We also did the FOCCUS test with our priest and it also provided some areas to talk about, but I found the class to be much more helpful.

    Post # 7
    Member
    42 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    We did the Engaged Encounter weekend retreat in Orange County, CA and we found it really useful (dare I say some what enjoyable?). While we had previously talked about the majority of the topics, it was great to spend a weekend away just focusing on our relationship. My fiancee isn’t Catholic, but never felt pressured to convert, etc. If you can, I say its definately worth it!

    Post # 8
    Member
    721 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We really enjoyed the Engaged Encounter retreat weekend.  I would HIGHLY recommend it!  Here is the review I wrote right after we went:

    We signed up for the engaged encounter weekend because it was the only pre-cana date we had available (out of all the Mass. programs) last summer.  We really enjoyed the weekend.  It’s led by two couples who kind of guide the discussion topics and inspire ideas.  Then you and your fiance separate and each write in notebooks, your thoughts about the topic.  Twenty minutes later, you meet up and discuss what you wrote.  It’s totally private…you meet just the two of you and no one knows whatyou write in the book.  Even after being together for 4+ years and living togehter almost all of that, we found out new things about each other and discussed really important topics.  We didn’t socialize much with the other couples, but you do have to bunk with the a same-sex roommate.  The first day ends in a group discussion and prayer service which I found really meaningful.  It was nice to hear other people’s thoughts on some topics.  This was the only time we actually had a group talk.  So if you’re worried about “public speaking” or your feelings being on display, don’t worry!  We would recommend this to any Catholic couple needing the pre-cana, and even for those that don’t need it!

    Post # 9
    Member
    573 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    Pre-cana is definitely worth the time!

    Post # 10
    Member
    1508 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    I did Engaged Encounter In the Arlington Diocese last May. I really liked it and I was afraid beforehand that I would hate it.

    Post # 11
    Member
    4123 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We did Engaged Encounter and it… was…. AWESOME. I highly rec. the weekend if you can. It was so wonderful! We even just talked about how we wished we could do it again, lol.

    Also, there’s a LOT of interfaith couples there and it’s more relationship focused than “faith”

    Post # 11
    Member
    4123 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We did Engaged Encounter and it… was…. AWESOME. I highly rec. the weekend if you can. It was so wonderful! We even just talked about how we wished we could do it again, lol.

    Also, there’s a LOT of interfaith couples there and it’s more relationship focused than “faith”

    Post # 12
    Member
    2004 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2008

    We took a Three to Get Married course in Bethesda, MD at the Center for Family Development. The course is two evenings and one weekend. It was excellent and I definitely recommend it. There were lots of couples where one partner was not Catholic and I did not find the presentations overly religious, though the Catholic perspective was certainly presented. I also liked that nearly all talks were by lay married couples, and discussions with your partner were generally just between the two of you, so no awkwardness of people listening in. 

    http://bethesdacfd.org/cfdmain.php?title=Three%20to%20get%20Married

     

    Post # 14
    Member
    445 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    We also did the Engaged Encounter weekend and I would recommend it. Especially with wedding planning craziness, it’s important to take a weekend out and focus on your relationship and on the MARRIAGE.

    Post # 15
    Member
    464 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We did Engaged Encounter in the Baltimore archdiocese and both loved it! Everyone was very nice, we got a lot out of it, and it was really great to have a whole weekend set aside ONLY for building our relationship and discussing our marriage. There were Catholics and non-Catholics at our weekend, people who had been together for longer amounts of time and shorter amounts of time, and people who were living together and not living together. Catholic teaching was definitely presented, but in a very friendly way. No push to convert, no huge emphasis on NFP (though they did talk about it and encourage us to check it out), or anything else I can think of that would make a non-Catholic feel too weird. There was a Mass at the end, but it was also quite casual. They even had sections of discussion that encouraged interfaith couples to talk about how their religions will both be respected in the marriage, and how that will affect things like children, etc. I would recommend it to anyone!

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