"Christ not only restored the original order of matrimony but raised it to the dignity of a sacrament, giving spouses a special grace to live out their marriage as a symbol of Christ's love for his bride the Church: 'Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church' (Ephesians 5:25). (
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 341)
I am engaged - where do I begin? The first thing to do is schedule an appointment for you and your finace' to meet with the Pastoral Associate. At this initial meeting, some of the required papwork will be filled out and a packet of marriage preparation options will be given to you. Generally your wedding date is scheduled at this time. Contact Debbie Vanelli at 361-573-5304 ex 211 or
I have been married before, is the process the same? Yes, in many ways it is, still the first step is to meet with the Pastoral Associate. At the initial meeting we will focus more on any prior marriages. We believe that all marriages are valid unless the church has determined they are not valid. Before another marriage can be entered into, we must look at the validity all prior marriages. No date may be scheduled until all prior marriages are declared null. Contact Debbie Vanelli at 361-573-5304 ex 211 or
How long does the marriage preparation process take? You must have your initial meeting at least 6 months before your wedding date.
The wedding preparation process involves three types of preparation.
1. The Engaged Encounter Weekend Retreat - Engaged Encounter is meant to help prepare couples to enter into the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church. Couples will leave with a renewed spiritual perspective of their chosen vocation. These weekend retreats are held at the Spiritual Renewal Center and are open to all Catholics preparing for marriage.
Or Theology of the Body online Pre-Cana - Through CatholicMarriagePrep.com, this class invites couples to a deeper relationship with each other and with Christ. Online, on-demand instruction rooted in Saint John Paul II's Theology of the Body, combined with personalized mentoring from a trained married couple, builds a foundation for a strong, healthy, Christ-centered marriage between a man and a woman. Christ himself said, “Without me you can do nothing..." John 15:5
3. Natural Family Planning These classes not only teach couples the only Church-approved method of spacing out births, they foster valuable communication skills and seek to "divorce-proof" marriages in a society where divorce has become way too common. Couples who use NFP in their marriages have a divorce rate between 2 and 4%, rather than the 50-55% we tend to see even among Christians. This class is so important for young couples going through marriage preparation. For more information, contact David or Annie Coffey at (361) 579-8464.
These classes are informative, personal, and discreet. Whether achieving, spacing, or avoiding a pregnancy, NFP is a highly effective method. More and more couples are discovering the joy of NFP, and in response, we now offer our course online. Purchase of our online course includes lifetime support from your Northwest NFP Provider at no extra charge as well as our new free web charting App that can be used to share your charts with your instructor for quick review.