The absolute tl;dr. 4 years ago I (Catholic, 30) am a coworker and roommate of a Catholic woman (27). We are both Church-every-Sunday-and-Holy-Day people. I was an alter boy; mother ran the CCD program at our local parish. We are very connected to our home parish communities.
3 years ago, we realize we want to date, so we move home with our parents’. 2 years ago while traveling we are offered an amazing opportunity the requires us to move 750 miles away. We do not share a bed, but we are all we know of this new area, and get a 2-bedroom apartment so we will be in safe company, but still have walls between us. We do well. She is promoted to management and has restrictive hours. We earn enough for me to open a business, even more restrictive hours.
We’re in a coastal community. Only 3 local parishes. We try one for a while, but services are not reverent seemingly in an effort to accommodate vacationers. Second parish is much the same. Third parish is just right, but within two months, we receive our business license. We are not registered there. I am the sole employee, 7 days/week, 6AM-7PM, and up to midnight on nights we host events. She is here to help in mornings, then off to work until 11PM-12AM, when I wake and we have dinner together, catch a small rest, and repeat. We will have to continue this routine for at least 9 months because of the tourism cycle, after which we will reduce our hours at both jobs, I will have at least one year-round employee (almost everyone is seasonal here), and begin to live a more traditional lifestyle. Eventually the goal is my business supports us; she can stay home and raise our family - a lofty goal these days for someone of my generation, but much better for the health of our children and family.
We are now engaged, and as I am in my 30s, not keen to wait long before marriage. I understand 1 year of Pre-cana, would do willingly. However, it’s 9 mo’s until I can regularly attend masses. The local parishes require at least 6 months of regular, charted attendance before Pre-cana can begin. Then 12 months of Pre-cana. Then planning and executing a wedding.
For those counting, that’s at least 27 months until I can be wed if I wish to do so in the Catholic tradition. I do so wish, but I also do not wish to wait for over two years to be wed. I am dangerously close to choosing a secular ceremony and trusting in God to know our hearts and intention, to see that we sacrifice everything for one another, love each other as ourselves and Him above all, and fully intend to live a Christian life.
But I have not been met with priests willing to discuss my particulars. Their general sentiment is “if you don’t have time for the classes, you don’t have time for the marriage.” The time we make is during work, or during hours no priest would be able to sit. Perhaps I missed the one priest willing to counsel at 1 AM, but I don’t believe he exists.
I will answer questions if you have any, but this is the most informative I can be in the allotted character limit. Does anybody have ideas for how to complete this given our circumstances?