Preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony
For couples discerning marriage in the Catholic Church, a preparation period of no less than six months is required and no date may be set until it is determined that both parties are free to marry.
For couples (engaged or soon to be engaged) who are interested in preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony at Saint Patrick Parish, please contact Kathy Wadowick or Fr. Gurnick for a preliminary appointment to discuss the pre-sacramental formation program.
On average, each couple invests a commitment of 20-24 hours to complete the preparation requirements. Core features of our preparation program include:
- An introductory meeting to get acquainted, obtain basic information, and conduct the Canonical Assessment to determine the couple’s freedom to marry;
- A Pre-Cana one-day retreat experience;
- “Prepare and Enrich”, an on-line assessment tool for couples;
- “Date with the Pastor” experience, which brings couples and the pastor together for a unique field trip experience;
- “Theology of Marriage” workshop, which explores the theology of marriage as it relates to the sacramental life of the Church; and
- At least four additional hours of couple-to-pastor conversations.
Due to the practical limitations on availability of our pastoral staff, we are only able to assist registered parishioners and those residing in the territorial boundaries of St. Patrick Parish. Non-parishioners are welcome, however, to work with a priest in good standing with the Catholic Church who agrees to prepare them and to officiate at their ceremony at Saint Patrick, provided the church itself is available for the couple’s requested date and time. Inquiries should be made to Kathy Wadowick regarding this possibility.
We look forward to working with our brothers and sisters who are discerning and preparing for Christian marriage.
Sustaining Healthy Marriages and Assisting Those Having Trouble
As Catholics, we take seriously the task of preparing couples for marriage. But what are we doing to sustain healthy marriages? What does the Church offer for our couples who are committed to living out this beautiful vocation?
These are just a few of the resources available:
www.marriageofgrace.org: recently endorsed and promoted by Bishop Perez
www.WWME.org: World Wide Marriage Encounter’s mission is to strengthen couples throughout their marriage
www.dioceseofcleveland.org: Diocese of Cleveland’s Office for Marriage offers helpful information and resources for couples and families
www.helpourmarriage.org: Retrouvaille is a program helping thousands of couples who are struggling
You are always welcome to contact Fr. Gurnick if you would like additional information or simply wish to talk.