8 August 2017

Our Canonical Interview Experience

St. Benedict Wedding Silang Cavite

For the past few days, I have been trying to search what happens in canonical interviews just to prepare myself for ours. I found about three useful websites and that's it. No more, no less. That's why today, I'll be sharing our own.

Honestly, I shouldn't even be blogging about my wedding right now because I have hundreds and hundreds of beauty products waiting to be reviewed. I'm not kidding. The list is now at 200. But hey, I need to jot this down now because with the type of memory I have, this will all be forgotten in a week.

Anyway, our church of choice is St. Benedict in Ayala Westgrove Heights in Silang, Cavite. I swear they have one of the nicest and most helpful contact persons ever. I emailed months ago for interview and pre-cana seminar dates and ate Irene was very responsive and immediately scheduled us for August 5, 12 and 19. She said that we needed to be interviewed first by the parish priest before we can attend pre-cana seminars. Oddly enough, this isn't the case for every church. Some prefer pre-cana seminars first before canonical interviews.

Anyway, here's what happened...
We were scheduled for 9 a.m. and we arrived around 8:45 a.m. Since the office was still closed, we just decided to kill time by counting the rows for our florist, Amelia Blossoms, and tried to imagine how our P/V will utilize the space without getting banned in the church. Lol. They're pretty strict but I'm all up for the rules. 

Anyway, the office opened around 9:10 and immediately, ate Irene and ate Chie gave us questionnaires for the canonical interview. This was an exam guys! An essay-kind! I hate essays. I hate trying to explain stuff and expounding on things which is weird -- because you know, I blog... and I guess that's why my blog was noted for being straight to the point -- BUT ANYWAY, there was an exam! Haha. My fiance joked about how the questions were harder than his board exam. I begged to differ since I was kinda prepared. I researched! Remember? Special thanks to my fellow Wawies for answering my queries online .

So what's in the questionnaire?
It's a whole jumble about ourselves and the marriage that we're expecting. There was a when and how did we meet? What were the qualities that attracted you to your fiance? What are you expecting from a marriage? What are your apprehensions about marriage? How do you feel about secrets, past relationships, debts, etc.? Why did you decide to get married in a church?

It's really a whole mix of things and I decided to answer in bullet points. Also, I'm not an affectionate person. I have difficulty expressing my feelings whether it be by action or by words. I thought I was prepared, but somehow, Father always caught me off guard.

Now that we finished answering the questionnaire, we then went inside a small office where the words one-on-one meeting was given a whole new meaning. It was a small little square room with three chairs -- obviously one chair facing two, where my fiance and I would be sitting, and a table in the middle with a box of tissues. I jokingly said "So do people cry here? Because there's a box of tissues in the table" something I shouldn't have said because yes, I did cry during the interview.

One-on-One Interview
After a few minutes, the parish priest finally came into the room. He was nice, a little funny, but you can still feel the strictness and authority from him. We were glad to know that we had one thing in common which was we all studied at University of Santo Tomas. We had some small talk about the car park, how the heck it's been commercialized and how restaurants have been piling up around Dapitan. I felt like Father was almost the same age as my sisters because they both talked about the small canteen at the back of the main building.

Anyway, Father explained to us the documents we needed and the timelines. Along with that, he also made sure that our wedding suppliers weren't banned from St. Benedict. He asked about my dress and how it shouldn't be revealing, backless, high slits etc. I couldn't fully explain it yet because my first fitting is on October and I don't have any idea how my gown looks like right now... but it also gave me the notion that I should get tubes for the infinity dresses that my bridesmaids are going to wear. I can't let them run around the church backless as Father quietly implied. He also asked if we had a choir and how it wasn't necessary as there were only two or three songs needed to be sung. He asked how much we already spent and that we shouldn't bother hiring a choir anymore to at least save us a couple thousands. Aside from that, he told us what were the grounds for an invalid marriage such as being blood related, shot-gun weddings where grave threat was put on one of us, and full consent since we're of the right age.

So, how did our interview take two hours?
Father asked us how our relationship started. So we had to day dream and think all the way back to 2010 and how we met. Apparently, my fiance had a "love at first sight" thing for me mentioning how he felt something different and that he wanted to know all about me. BUT you can't just tell Father that it was love at first sight. Father was very specific on follow-up questions like how did you feel, what was it like, describe it more... like how am I even supposed to describe a feeling like that? I swear the explaining part is probably the most difficult. It's like explaining how magic feels, how love feels.

He then went on to ask about how I felt about my fiance during that time. I honestly told Father that I already knew that he had a crush on me. I mean, imagine college and some random guy gets introduced to you. The intention is already there. Father asked me if there was an attraction during that time etc., and I was like nope, Father, there's really none. Had I known that Father was looking for how that love-spark came about, I would've changed my answers. Lol. Kidding. I'm happy with how our interview went.

Anyway, going back, Father then asked like how did I have a "this is it" moment or how I fell for him. I told him when I introduced him to my sisters during 2010 is when I knew that something was different. Ooops, wait, Father asks again, how did I know that something was different and why would I introduce him to my sisters. So of course, we had to go to a side story of how I was doing a project for our Theology class -- because you know, UST -- and it was about marriage and how we were supposed to interview a married couple et cetera, et cetera -- Gosh, Father really wanted it in chronological order. Sigh. I should have been more prepared as my memory is rusty as heck.

He then asked if we ever broke up and why. I answered with tears because the reason that we broke up was that after six years of being together, I felt like he really wasn't ready for marriage. I was obviously eager for it because I had sick parents and I wanted them to be part of my day. There were times where I felt like I was actually begging my fiance to get married since I already knew that my mom wasn't going to be here for another two years. I don't know... I just felt like there was a clock ticking and that I wouldn't make it in time. It was also a little heartbreaking whenever my bed-ridden mom would mention that I'm getting married soon... which of course, wasn't true at that time. No proposal nor plans were made or even thought of during that time. So, there... I broke up with him.

Father asked how long our breakup was... we estimated it was about a month. He then asked what my fiance was feeling during that time. He answered like there was something missing in his life that a month was long enough to reflect on the things he wanted in life et cetera et cetera. Hmmm... I wonder why Father didn't bother to ask me. I guess my answer didn't matter anyway as I was just too busy with over time and work during that time.

It was also during the span of our breakup that my mom passed. We were still "civil" with each other and having petty talks, so he was still the first person I told. I still also remember what he said when I told him the news of my mom passing... he answered "sige, punta na ko jan." It was a nice gesture to hear, but I stopped him from going as he was all the way at work in Bataan and I was in Laguna. The next day, he was at the wake.

If it wasn't for my mom passing, I don't know if we would ever get back together. Like would we be able to really reflect if we didn't break up? Would we know that something was missing in our lives? Was that the realizations that Father wants to hear? Like something wasn't complete when we lost each other for that time?

Father was very specific with the dates. From the months to the years. He wanted our story to be told in chronological order and he kept pinpointing where did love start. Where did our love bloom? How did our love grow? How do you know that you love this person? What does love feel? Those were some of the questions he threw at us which was pretty hard to answer from a non-affectionate person like me.

I think he was really, really testing if love was present and if our love can still grow. There was an instance where he mentioned like after seven years of being together, do you think your love has grown? How? I swear he really did ask that question. Aside from finding a needle -- which is love -- in our haystack of seven years, there were questions basing off from our parents as role models like what were the attributes that we would want to have, what can we contribute to the world and to our own family? It's probably the most abstract morning I had this 2017. It was more difficult than a job interview and I can't move on from that day. Haha.

In the end, I think we passed? I think Father signed the paper... so, that's a good sign right? Haha! Did he really see how there was "love" between me and my fiance? I really hope so. Because there are couples who fail and they are endorsed to another priest and would have to go through the whole interview process again. I'm glad we passed even though I'm not the most expressive person and my answers were horrible. I'm glad that Father saw a little spark between my fiance and I.

It was quarter to 12 when we went back to the parish office to settle some papers and I can't believe the interview took about two hours. I was a little hungry, so off to Peri Peri Solenad we go.

Peri Peri Solenad Nuvali

Six months to go until #MajRegRoadToMarriage! Pre-cana seminars happening next week!

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