Marriage

Preparation

 
 

Congratulations on Your Engagement!

We’re so glad that you’ve chosen to marry in the Catholic Church. We are privileged to accompany you on the Journey of Your Love, and honored that you have entrusted us with equipping you to traverse both the joys and the inevitable challenges that married life brings. Our great joy, above all, is to assist you in encountering Christ’s love and its power to nourish and transform relationships.

Fr. Jay

 

 

1. MEET WITH CLERGY PRIEST OR DEACON
 
Please call the parish office and schedule your first meeting with a clergy (priest or deacon), who may also serve as the celebrant for your wedding.

 

2. TAKE THE FOCCUS INVENTORY
 

FOCCUS (Facilitate Open Caring Communication Understanding & Study) is meant to facilitate communication and conflict resolution skills before marriage. A REFOCCUS inventory is available to couples who have been civilly married for at least a few years.

 

2. CHOOSE A MENTOR COUPLE

Couples will choose a mentor couple who can support, encourage, and pray for them throughout—and beyond— the marriage preparation process. Marriage formation ministers can help engaged couples select a mentor couple. Witness to Love is the recommended diocesan process for guiding the couple-to-couple encounter.

WITNESS TO LOVE IS A VIRTUE- AND GROWTH BASED MODEL OF MARRIAGE RENEWAL AND PREPARATION
INTEGRATING MODERN PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY AND THE VIRTUES
HELPING COUPLES FACILITATE AN AUTHENTIC DIALOGUE ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP.

WHAT MAKES WITNESS TO LOVE UNIQUE IS THAT THE ENGAGED COUPLES CHOOSE THEIR OWN MENTOR COUPLE. THIS IS A COUPLE THEY BOTH ADMIRE AND SEE AS A SOURCE OF FAITH FORMATION. THIS MENTOR COUPLE GIVES THEM A CONCRETE CONNECTION AND INTEGRATION INTO THE PARISH. THROUGH THE SHARING OF THE MENTOR COUPLES’ OWN JOURNEY OF LOVE, THE ENGAGED COUPLE INHERITS A “LIFELINE“ OF SUPPORT IN THEIR COMMITMENT TO JESUS AND HIS CHURCH.

 

4. PARTICIPATE IN ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING FORMATION PROGRAMS/RETREATS:
 
  1. Celebrating Your Love (CYL) Diocesan Day

    A one-day retreat held on Saturdays at locations throughout the Diocese. The program presents a summary of Catholic teaching on marriage and an overview of life skills essential for marriage.

    RESOURCES: Go to sdcatholic.org/JOYL for dates and registration

  2. Engaged Encounter Weekend

    A weekend experience starting on Friday evening and concluding late Sunday afternoon with the celebration of Mass. A priest and two trained team couples will present a selected number of presentations and personal sharing related to their vocation and experiences. Civilly married couples married less than two years are welcome. Provides time for couples to engage honestly and intensively about their future lives together.

    RESOURCES: Go to engagedencountersd.org for dates and registration

  3. A New Beginning

    For couples entering a second marriage after the divorce or death of a former spouse (only one party needs to have been previously married). Topics of discussion are geared towards blended families, children of a previous marriage and grieving loss.

    RESOURCES: For retreat dates and locations, visit sdcatholic.org/joyl

  4. Marriage Encounter Weekend

    Similar to Engaged Encounter, but for couples who have already been civilly married for at least a few years

    RESOURCES: Go to engagedencountersd.org for dates and registration

  5. Online "Pre-Cana" Program

    Intended for couples for whom it is impossible to attend a marriage preparation program in person (ie. living in different states or countries).

    RESOURCES: Go to catholicmarriageprepclass.com

  6. Parish-Based Program

    Parishes may offer local and applicable parish-based formation programming for couples. Check with your marriage formation minister.

 

Celebrating Your Love (CYL) Diocesan Day

Celebrating Your Love (Pre-Cana) is a Saturday retreat for engaged couples from around the Diocese to learn more about what makes Catholic marriage unique and how to renew their vows daily after the wedding ceremony.

 
 
 

Married life is a process of growth in which each spouse is God’s means of helping the other to mature. Change, improvement, the flowering of the good qualities present in each person—all these are possible. Each marriage is a kind of ‘salvation history,’ which from fragile beginnings—thanks to God’s gift and creative and generous response on our part—grows over time into something precious and enduring.” – Pope Francis, The Joy of Love

 

Getting Married Catholic

The Catholic Church has a long history of helping couples to prepare for marriage. It has learned a great deal that can benefit any couple, regardless of religion.

Because the Catholic Church wants couples to form strong, lasting marriages, couples who wish to marry in the Catholic Church are asked to take at least six months to intensively prepare for your marriage. This goes beyond choosing a date and church, reserving a place for the reception, and picking out dresses. It means using this time to delve more deeply into your relationship and approach this momentous day with prayer and reflection.

Most importantly at the time of your engagement, the Church welcomes you to this sacrament of Marriage in the spirit of Jesus who said, "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." (John 15:12-13)

"A wedding is day, a marriage is a lifetime."