Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Marriage Preparation Seminars

The wedding day is just the start of a couple's life together.  Thus, it is also important that ample time be invested in marriage preparation.  In fact, this is something that a couple seriously contemplating marriage must do.

My fiance and I went through a marriage discernment process with the guidance of the priest who was supposed to celebrate our wedding and some help from older married couples we know and look up to.  But even before we got engaged, we already used a very helpful tool used by Catholic churches in their Pre-Cana Seminars to help us see how compatible we were as a couple.

To help you prepare for your life together as man and wife, here are some seminars that I recommend you consider joining:

1. Pre-Cana Seminars are a must for Catholics in the Philippines.  It is usually scheduled after the canonical interview with the parish priest or the assistant parish priest of the church where the couple will wed.  Older married couples from the parish share their experiences and discuss various topics related to marriage and family life with the engaged couple during the seminar.  If you want to find out more about this seminar, just get in touch with your parish. 

Personally though, I would recommend that a soon-to-wed couple go through a marriage preparation or discernment process prior to reserving the church for their wedding or booking their reception venue.  Pre-Cana Seminars in parishes are usually done too close to the actual wedding (like around a month prior to the wedding date) and there are cases when these seminars are not enough to prepare soon-to-wed couples for the challenges and adjustments of married life.  So for those who want to invest more in their marriage preparation or those who want to discern if they should marry their current boyfriend or girlfriend before going ahead with their engagement, there are other helpful seminars and programs for you.

2. Marriage Preparation Workshop (Cana) of the Center for Family Ministries or CeFAM.  This is a two day, live-out seminar-workshop with psycho-spiritual approach for couples seriously contemplating marriage, for enganged couples, or for newly married couples who have not had the benefit of marriage preparation and are still adjusting to married life.  This was created by CeFAM to enable couples to know one another in depth and to understand the dynamics of their relationship; and to enable couples to discern their compatibility and preparedness for a lifetime.  The process and methodology used are lectures with focus on Human Maturity, Authentic Love and Value Clarification and one-on-one professionally facilitated couple dialogue on their Marriage Expectation Inventory, Interpersonal Comparison Test and Genogram (Psycho-Emotional Family Tree).  The couples’ readiness and non-readiness, compatibility and non-compatibility are highly brought to light with the use and interpretation of the counseling tools and other similar assessment instruments.  Couples who are seriously contemplating marriage are highly encouraged to attend this seminar-workshop at least 6 months to one year before their target date to marry. 

The next Marriage Preparation Workshop by CeFAM will be on July 21 and 22.  Check out the other schedules for 2012 here and the other topics covered in the workshop here.

You may get in touch with CeFAM at these numbers: 426-4289 to 92

3. The Discovery Weekend (DW) is a program designed to enrich and deepen the couple's relationship and prepare them better for the sacrament of marriage.   The Discovery Weekend aims to help couples to:

  • assess each one's relationship to oneself, to each other, to God and the community.
  • experience, develop and deepen their relationship through a method of communication and dialogue, which they can bring into their marriage.
  • witness to the many dimensions of marriage openly, honestly and realistically through a team of married couples and/or a priest.
  • plan their marriage and not just their wedding.

Any couple may join the program, regardless of the status of their relationship-as long as marriage is in their minds.  They can be engaged to marry in a week's time or going steady for a short period but contemplating marriage. The weekend is not necessarily for perfectly matched couples nor is it designed to help unstable relationships.

4. The Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) is a three-day live-in marriage preparation course held in different locations in Metro Manila several times a year.  The CEE is conducted in groups by a group of married couples and a priest but couples who join the marriage preparation course are given plenty of time to discuss important and sensitive topics that can impact their future life together as a married couple.  For more information, you may in touch with  Chin & Lorna Fernandez at

1 comment:

  1. Marriage preparation is an evening and full day seminar for engaged couples or couples thinking of getting married. The seminar is interactive and involves group input and interaction, worksheets, partner discussion and much more.
    Venues for marriage seminars