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a bride's diary - hi-tech catholics
a new tool gauges couple's compatibility

by Laura Pazzaglia
(return to the Bride's Diary)

"If you'll follow me, please" the priest said as he led me down the dark hallway of the rectory. I glanced back and saw Roberto shrinking in the distance as we went further away. "We need you to fill these out separately so that the results can be accurate" continued the priest while he handed me the #2 pencil and the scantron sheet. Then, he gave me a booklet containing approximately 300 questions. "You can skip over the 'Divorced' module but be sure to fill out the 'Co-habitation' one" he said as he began closing the door.

"What happens if I don't pass the test? Can we still get married?" I asked. "It's not that kind of test ," Father Michael chuckled as he closed the door.

The whole situation had medieval quality about it -- a sharp contrast to the sheet of "bubbles" beckoning to be filled-in. I was in one "dungeon" while my fianc´┐Ż was in another! What room had Roberto been taken to? What if either of us was so nervous that we answered differently?

"What happens if I don't pass the test? Can we still get married?"
I asked.
Both Roberto and I are practicing Catholics. So, of course, we decided to have a Catholic wedding. Well, the Catholic church wants to ensure that when you get married you stay married. They do this in a variety of ways.

A Catholic couple needs to consult with their priest at least six months before the wedding. This gives them time to contemplate married life and make a series of declarations regarding their eligibility, and intentions to stay married.

We began with a compatibility test . The results would be represented by a series of bar graphs and percentages to evaluate whether the couple is compatible in financial issues, family matters, personality and devotion (to each other and the church). We learned the church would facilitate conversations on the results of the test and other important issues we may not have thought about.

a bride's
wedding diary

Diary Home
* The Battlefield
* Unintended Surprises
* Hi-tech Catholics
* Location, Location, Location!
*Flood, Plague, and Restaurant
*It's in the mail!
*A Perfect Fit
*The Bomboniera Competition
*Last-minute Tips

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After these conversations, we would each need to have a witness to vouch that we hadn't been excommunicated, married or a member of the priesthood. Finally, we both would have to attend a workshop, probably with other engaged couples, to prepare us for the adjustments to married life, communication, sexuality and the importance of this sacrament.

A couple of weeks later Roberto and I were back at the church's rectory, anxious to hear the results of our tests.

"We can usually take care of this in one session but... I think we'll have to meet twice" Father Michael said under his breath while scratching his head and looking at our scores.


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