Catholic Weddings


We're taking ours next weekend, and I'm curious -- what's it like? What do they ask you about? What happens if your answers don't match up with your fiance's? (Not too worried about that part for myself, but I'm really curious what happens when it does!)

Re: FOCCUS test

  • lisa89760lisa89760 member
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    When I took it, it was a long test of questions regarding your relationship and your future marriage.  Questions about are you on the same page about kids, arguements, etc. 

    I would be surprised if all 144 or whatever questions of you and FI's matched up, but the next steps are you sit down with our priest (in our case, I dunno if that's everywhere) but you discuss the questions.  We haven't done this part yet but I already talked to my uncle (our priest) and he said that is what we are going to do. 
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  • carmen9311carmen9311 member
    edited December 2011
    Here's a link to sample questions:

    It's 156 questions. Nothing happens if you have different answers. You will go over it with the priest or your sponsor couple... they usually leave the room and allow you and your FI to go over the questions together and discuss any differences. Afterwards, the results are shredded because they don't want you ruminating over the questions... it's more of a questionnaire that opens up conversation about expectations in your marriage. 
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  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    The Deacon administered our test.  They separated us and we spent probably 45 minutes filling it out.

    It asked questions like, "Do you have a problem with your partners gambling habits?"
    "Do you agree on the number of children you want to have?"

    The point is to flush out potential issues *NOW* before you're married, so you're not getting a divorce later when you find out you can't handle your husband's gambling addiction, or you want 1 kid and your H wants 17.

    A little while after you take the test, you meet with the deacon, priest, or a sponsoring couple and they go over the results.  They have a chart that says what typical answers "should" be and if deviate from the typical answer, they ask you questions about it.  We had things that were flagged for discussion.  But we had already talked about most of those things -- heck, some of them we talked about before we even started dating.

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  • edited December 2011
    A couple of things in addition to what the others have said.

    1. The responses are "agree" "disagree" and "unsure." Just so you are prepared when you take it.

    2. It should really not be called a "Test" because you cannot really fail it. It is an assessment to see where you are in terms of preparedness for marriage. Have you had the tough conversations? If not, can we facilitate having them so that any problems are solved now rather than becoming issues during the marriage.

    3. There are some items that are seen as red flags (threats of violence, for example). These might not prevent you from marrying, but they may prompt encouragement of more counseling sessions or private questioning.

    4. Be prepared to read carefully! Some of the items are worded in ways to really make you think about what they are saying.
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  • edited December 2011
    wow, you ladies are all way ahead of me.  I just have the priest and chruch set. My Fi and I are going to do all the focus stuff  either after he goes through RCIA or before he leaves for the Army.
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  • clearheavensclearheavens member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    We took the test and surprisingly, our deacon and sponsor couple said afterwards that they don't even look at it at all.  It was just a conversation starter for me and FI!  And it was true, when we got in the car, I asked him, "What did you put for ______?"  It wasn't a waste of time because if there were any issues that we didn't happen to think about, it wasn't too late to talk about it.

    A couple issues I can see a few couples not having talked about much are:

    how you'd divide your holiday to visit in-laws
    who are going to take care of aging parents
    how are you saving for retirement, and for mixed marriages
    who is going to be responsible for the religious upbringing of future children
    how that religious education will be implemented (Catholic school is not enough, the home is the primary place and "domestic church")
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  • edited December 2011
    Our priest actually allowed us to take the FOCCUS test at home and on our own time. Then we brought them back, he scored them and we discussed some of the issues he thought we might have down the road.

    And ditto the others on what it is used for. Not a big deal. Just answer the questions honestly and you will be fine.
  • newlyseliskinewlyseliski member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    We discussed ours with our deacon when we were done with it!  He gave us some feedback and guidance, but mostly just wanted us to communicate with one another about the areas that we answered differently on.

    Ditto PP's about reading over questions carefully :)  A few were awkwardly worded and we understood them differently from one another, so our answers didn't accurately reflect how we really would have answered.
  • alliesonoalliesono member
    edited December 2011
    We took ours a while back and there are a LOT of questions! Not hard ones, though, so don't be worried.

    Our priest has the policy that if you match up on <75% of the answers any section, then you have to discuss it with him. We only had to do this for one section. We actually discussed in the same meeting that we took it. The whole thing (taking the test, having it scored, and talking to the priest) probably took about an hour. Ours was a scantron-style answer sheet, so they just feed it into the machine.

    Bibliophile is right - read carefully. FI almost told the priest that I'm a drug addict or something (sooo not true, but kind of funny!)
  • edited December 2011
    hey there,

    we did our marriage prep class a couple of weeks ago. We did the Focus test in a group setting. There were at least 50 couples in the room and my FI and I were next to each other when we did it. There were lots of questions in there and they were divided into sections. You get a scantron and there were 189 questions in total but you skip the last few parts which they called 'special parts'.  They were sections on interfaith marriage, second marriage then cohabiting couples. We only did the cohabiting  and interfaith marriage. 

    The last day of the course we got a print out of the results which were broken down in sections of Life style expectation, friends and interest, personality match etc. These were in a bar graph showing percentages and there are asterisk in each sections so the more asterisk you get the better.

    You can't really fail it so even if you have areas that are a flag for concern this means that these are areas you need to working on together as a couple. 
    I hope this helps. Honestly, I am very happy that my FI and I are getting married in a religious setting because without this we would not have been thinking through a lot of issues we have and what we need to 'fix' to make a marriage a long lasting one. Good Luck
  • edited December 2011
    Don't be worried! Just answer honestly. It's a really good tool.

    We went over our results with our mentor couple. We went over questions we disagreed on. Some we just read the question wrong. Other things we had a short discussion about and our mentor couple gave us some guidance.

    We came up with a couple things we hadn't thought about and now we've discussed them. It was painless.
  • edited December 2011

    There is a special section at the end for "cohabitation couples" don't even bother trying to lie and say you don't live together.  We didn't lie but had friends who did just because the Catholic Church frowns upon it and they got caught in the lie and felt like big fat idiots when the Deacon called them out on it.

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