About The Steps
When: BEFORE you set a wedding date.
After you become engaged, you should contact your pastor right away to set up a meeting. During this initial meeting,the pastor can discuss with you the marriage preparation process. He will also provide you with the information you need to complete Steps 2-6 of the process. Setting a schedule to complete the individual components during or shortly after this meeting is strongly advised.
When: As soon as possible after meeting with your pastor.
After meeting with your pastor, you will complete a marriage preparation inventory, which is a series of questions designed to assist dialogue with your fiance regarding goals, habits, expectations and values. Your answers are then assessed and provide you with a personalized profile of your relationship's strengths and weaknesses. The inventory is an important starting place for couple discussion and a map of what issues need affirmation, time and attention, and/or problem solving.
When: Seven to eight months before the wedding.
In addition to a marriage prep inventory, you will complete an educational component designed to fine tune practical skills such as conflict resolution, decision-making, financial management, and communication. This will build on the knowledge you gained from your marriage inventory. There are various educational programs available in the diocese, with formats varying from a weekend retreat to multiple evening meetings. Your priest or deacon can help you select the program that best fits your needs.
Options for this Step (each issues a completion certificate for your attendance):
1. Parish Program--ask your parish coordinator if you parish has a Married Life Skills Program
2. Catholic Engaged Encounter—A weekend retreat experience offering English and Spanish weekend options- (with optional overnight stay-English only)
Location: Mt. Claret Retreat CenterRegister on Website: http://arizonacee.org
3. Love for Life Engaged Weekend--Diocesan commuter weekend for engaged couples. Register on OurCovenantofLovePhx website.
4. Loving Anew: Remarrying Couples Seminar--Diocesan commuter weekend for couples seeking to remarry following annulment or death of spouse Register on www.OurCovenantofLovePHX.org
Step 4: God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage
When: Six to seven months before the wedding.
God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage is a program based on Scripture and John Paul II's "Theology of the Body," and it will teach you not only what the Church teaches about marriage and sexuality, but why she teaches it. A beautiful vision of the meaning of marriage.
Register at www.OurCovenantofLovePHX.org
When: Four to six months before the wedding.
To ensure you have the tools to plan your family effectively and in accord with God’s plan for marriage, you will have the opportunity to learn about Natural Family Planning by taking a full course in an approved NFP method. The diocese has classes scheduled in over 30 locations in the diocese. To search for classes by city, parish or NFP method and to register for classes on-line, please visit the Office of NFP website: www.phxnfp.org
When: Before the wedding, as necessary.
The Church invites all Catholics to prepare themselves spiritually prior to their marriage through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
When: Six to eight weeks before the wedding.
Those working with you in your parish will help you prepare the liturgy for your wedding day, which will start you on the road to a lifetime of marriage.