Monday, December 3, 2012

Do I have to?

Some engaged couples are on fire with their faith and eager to learn what the Church teaches about marriage.  Some think of pre-Cana as just an item on their to-do list, along with applying for a marriage license and finding a copy of their baptismal certificate.  What would make pre-Cana exciting for engaged couples? 

1.  Give them a chance to get to know one another better.  Couples seem to really enjoy the FOCCUS questionnaire, which asks them questions about themselves and their relationship.  Perhaps giving the FOCCUS results could happen before any formal classes start.

2.  Welcome them into a community.  Sometimes when people get married, they don't relate as well to their single friends, and vice versa.  If they don't already have married friends, the change can be disorienting.  Meeting other newlyweds through pre-Cana provides a ready-made support structure.

3.  Remind them that pre-Cana prepares them for the long term.  Most wedding preparations -- finding the dress, choosing the reception hall, designing the invitations -- center on a single day, the wedding day.  Only pre-Cana focuses on the rest of the couple's married lives. 

I'm sure there are many more reasons, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. We are actually trying to get a new Questionairre /relationship test going right now at our parish because there has not been a great amount of success with FOCCUS. I encourage you to take a look at Prepare and Enrich . I do not have a web address for it offhand but if you cannot find it via google, I will find it and post it!

  2. Another alternative to FOCCUS is FACET, which is based on an educational rather than a psychological model. I have not used it myself, but apparently programs in the Hartford, Baltimore, and Wilmington dioceses use it. I'd be interested in knowing the specific problems you have had with FOCCUS.

  3. Mary H. posts:

    "I have introduced FACET to some of the parishes finding FOCCUS too unfriendly for the Spanish communities."

  4. A.R. posts:

    "I love the Focus to create a dialogue. So many young couples have not had the discussions that they need to have."