Congratulations! To become married is one of, if not, the most important endeavor of a couple’s life. The Catholic Church considers this so important that we want couples well-prepared and ready for this vocation. For a Catholic to get married, even when it occurs with a non-Catholic and/or at a non-Catholic church, there are three basic requirements:
- PAPER WORK This includes filling out forms and obtaining recent baptismal certificates. Did you know that individual Catholic parishes always retain the original baptismal certificate and then dispenses copies as needed? The use of these copies expire, hence “fresh” copies always need to be obtained for each new sacrament.
- WORKSHOP/RETREAT Attending a Pre-Cana Day or Pre-Marriage Retreat (e.g. Engaged Encounter). Both options are offered through Archdiocese of Dubuque and couples may attend those offered through other Dioceses. In my opinion, the retreat option is preferred to the workshop option.
- PRE-MARITAL INVENTORY The bride and groom separately fill out a Pre-Marital Inventory Survey and the results are discussed with a sponsor couple from the parish. This aspect is commonly referred to as “the test.” It’s not a test, it’s a compatibility survey. It’s an instrument to gauge where the couple’s strengths and weaknesses lay. At St. Anthony’s, we use the FOCCUS inventory and the results are discussed with a married couple from the parish who meet with the engaged couple privately for three evenings.
- Setting a wedding date needs to allow adequate time for all this preparation. The Archdiocesan minimum is three months. At St. Anthony’s our recommendation is at least 6 months to one year.
For any questions and/or to get started in the preparation process contact Fr. Steve Rosonke at 563-588-0571