Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

November 23, 2009

Doing Pre-Cana

Hi Sisters! Sorry for the long absence from me - I spent the weekend (Friday evening-Saturday-Sunday) on a very intense, but very fruitful pre-Cana retreat with Peter called Engaged Encounter. The weekend was at first quite rough. We arrived Friday night and were thrown right into the rigorous retreat. The retreat consists of a presentation by one of two married couples, then the retreants are given questions to write out separate from their future spouse, and then they come back together and discuss their answers. And these are not easy questions. "What do you like and dislike about your future spouse?" "What are your doubts about your marriage?" Yeah, that was the first night...we got to go to bed on that. Peter and I seriously contemplating leaving.

But the next day it got was very intense. The questions got more and more in depth, as if you took it seriously, you really got a lot of it. Peter and I were able to openly discuss our fears and anxieties about marriage, we were able to pin point the strengths and weaknesses of the other and had no choice but to face each other and come up with concrete solutions on how to work them out. Many things we knew we had not discussed in depth as we should have - finances, debt management, etc. But we did during the weekend. We recognized the importance of time management to maximize our time together and our ability to truly minister to one another's needs. We also decided upon the importance of being surrounded by like-minded couples to strengthen our own relationship. We recognized in ourselves the areas of maturation needed, and saw that the other person is stronger in the areas where one personally needed some growth.

I will write more, but for now, I have to lesson plan for tomorrow -- but I'll give more thoughts and reflections on the wisdom of the Church's requirement on pre-Cana preparation!


Julian said...

Thank you for sharing the excitement and the difficulty of such a retreat. I'm sure that if it's used as it is pastorally intended, it will be wonderful. I imagine because it's difficult enough to take good, hard look at ourselves, it's also hard to look at another person and speak about him (or her) so candidly and honestly. However, charity and truth! Keep us posted!

Aaron said...

Thanks for the post! (I'm not quite sure how I missed this, except that I was leaving town the next day and was a little preoccupied with the ring in my bag.)

My fiancée and I are currently 1400 miles apart, and will be until the wedding in August. We've scheduled in a few visits to see one another and take care of wedding planning, of course, but it will be tricky. We'll do FOCCUS or some such (long distance) and discuss it with the priest when I'm in the Federal City, but I don't think we'll have time for a retreat. (Which, if the diocese requires it, the pastor is letting slide, a blessing when it comes to our complex schedules, but a curse in that we'll miss out on it.)

All of which was a very long-winded preface to ask... Do you have reading to recommend or other ways to suggest that couples might begin unpacking these kinds of questions? We've begun discussing some, and the FOCCUS will address others, but I was still wondering if you had any suggestions. Thanks!

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