Pre Cana

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Well, I promised a recap on Pre Cana, so here it is!

The fiance and I headed to Atlanta a few weeks ago to complete the course. Naturally, there was construction and traffic at 7:45 am on a Saturday {naturally.} so we were running a little late. We cut it close, but only ended up being about 5 minutes late to arrive at the Catholic Center...luckily another couple ran in right behind us, and the other future wife and I gave each other looks that said, "Thank goodness we are not the only ones late!"

We headed into a room that was filled with other couples at long rectangle tables, just in time to hear the introductions and say our first of many prayers throughout the day. {We later calculated just how much the Catholic Center made on the Pre Cana class that day at $110 per couple, but I digress.

Each couple was given a folder and pencils so that we could keep organized through our activities of the day. A deacon from Atlanta and a Catholic couple that had been married for 30 years and had 5 grown children were our primary facilitators for the morning. Coming from a student affairs profession and mindset I cringed a lot through the day during the moments where they would ask for participation and no one would volunteer, or there were activities that could have been done in a much better way.

First, as a group we set goals for our session {one couple's contribution "How to solve an argument" - really?}. Throughout the morning they would pretty much introduce us to a topic through role play or some other means and then have us turn and talk about it, or do a short activity, with our spouse...and then someone would be asked to share. All very routine, and I was at least glad that they didn't make us talk about it with any of the other couples {As we say in student affairs, it was all very "challenge by choice"}.

The topics ranged from household roles and responsibilities, to how many kids we wanted, communication and argument styles {which clearly should be retitled to the more appropriate conflict management and resolution}. The FH and I were of course willing to engage in these discussions, but have already had them many, many times. When you have been dating for almost nine years, and one spouse is being trained in a very counseling heavy field, these things come up. No new surprises, I am happy to report. It was kind of hilarious to overhear other couples in close range though; "FIVE kids?!?! You want to have FIVE KIDS?!"

Pretty soon we took a much needed lunch break off site, to any of the area restaurants {nope, that $110 did not include lunch}. After we headed back nice and sleepy from large lunches, they pulled out the big guns.

Natural Family Planning and Finances.

Our cute married couple and deacon left and they brought in an instructor in NFP. I thought that the information was great, and learning more about the process and procedure was super interesting, {much more scientific in approach than I had previously thought}but I just don't think it is for us. The men in the room, on the other hand, for the most part looked around at each other squirming in their seats when certain words were repeated over and over again.

The last woman was a CPA whose finance presentation really was great. She gave us great tips for laying out a family budget and saving for the future. She did bring in a whole part about tithing a third of our income, but other than that it was very straightforward and informative.

That was it.

Do either of us think that this was the greatest session ever? No. But, neither of us felt like it was a waste of time either. It was a good day for us to focus on the fact that we are getting married, and a lifelong relationship comes after the wedding, which is where - let's face it - a lot of our energy has been going lately.

All in all, it was a step in the right direction and a check in the box to get the necessities done.

Tonight we have our FOCCUS test and meeting with the Deacon here in Athens at St. Joeseph. We will let you know how it goes!


veganmegan April 16, 2009  

NFP is pretty intense. It is only effective if your cycles are regular and if you are really good and desiphering fluids and not being spontaneous. You might find this really gross or really intriging: Feel free to not look. The main page does't have any scary pictures. I feel like this would be really helpful for people planning to do NFP.

Kimberly and Shane April 16, 2009  

FOCCUS was the best part of the entire marriage prep process Shane and I had to do (meaning we got the most out of it over any other portion). I hope you and Austin find it as helpful as we did!

florest family April 16, 2009  

We never did FOCCUS but had a similar experience w. Pre Cana---not a total waste but not what I would do every day :) Our priest asked Steven straight out if he was impotent because we had to go forth and multiply. Still my favorite memory ever :) Good luck!

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