Alternative to Marriage Foccus Program


#1

Hi everyone,

I am marriage prep coordinator at my Parish and my pastor and I are getting frustrated with the Foccus relationship inventory that is pretty much standard around the country. I was wondering if there are any marriage prep people out there that are using different relationship inventories other than Foccus that are faithful to the Catholic faith. Looking forward to hearing what you might have!

Ken


#2

[quote="Carmeliteman, post:1, topic:215323"]
Hi everyone,

I am marriage prep coordinator at my Parish and my pastor and I are getting frustrated with the Foccus relationship inventory that is pretty much standard around the country. I was wondering if there are any marriage prep people out there that are using different relationship inventories other than Foccus that are faithful to the Catholic faith. Looking forward to hearing what you might have!

Ken

[/quote]

I have no suggestions, but my husband and I did the foccus, and I'm just curious, why are you frustrated with it?


#3

I've read about the FOCUS but my DH and I were never give it before our wedding (married last spring). We met with the priest who said the Mass, the deacon who presided over the vows (my spiritual director from college) and just talked. Our Pre-Cana weekend included a bunch of different worksheets, but nothing standardized, just jumping off points for conversations between the two of us.

I think, depending on the pastoral counseling style of the priest or deacon, no formal assessment is absolutely needed.


#4

My husband and I had to take the Focus test before marriage, and the marriage prep counselor said that unless a couple gave answers indicating they were living together, had same-sex attractions, or a couple of other red flags, there was really not much to talk about during the post-test meeting. :shrug: As a result, it was a pretty useless test for us. It seemed like it was mostly meant to identify couples that could face major issues down the road, which has it's place, but for a couple without such problems it does not help. I would have appreciated a test that would have told us how our personalities could impact our relationship or something along those lines.


#5

I think the FOCCUS test has it's place, but I agree that for some it's unnecessary. We got married a week and a half ago, and so we recently took the test. Well, we had been dating for almost 6 years, and we talk a lot, so we knew the answers to everything. In fact, our foccus couple didn't even want to meet with us a second time since we did so well.

However, for my sister (non-Catholic) who is recently divorced, I saw how that would have been a great tool for her prior to their marriage. It would have opened a lot of issues that they hadn't talked about.

So really, I think there should be more consideration taken into account like how long you've dated and just asking whether or not you've actually talked about the issues.

Personally, I see NFP as a bigger issue with people, so I wish more people talked about that. It also would have been nice to learn more about Love Languages and how to show each other that you care in a way that will make sense to your spouse.


#6

My fiance and I took it the first time we met with our priest, and he's going to talk about it with us next time we see him in December. It seemed like it was meant to help the couple know what types of things to talk about, in case they haven't yet, and lets the priest determine if there are things that he ought to address with them. For instance, if they put that they don't want children, or something that is contrary to the Catholic teaching on marriage. And there are additional questions for couples who are not both Catholic, and I think for couples who are already living together also. We thought it seemed to have a practical purpose, especially useful for couples who may not be clear on the Catholic teachings on marriage. Just in case there are certain topics that the couples really need to discuss with the priest, I think it seems like a pretty good tool to use.


#7

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