Marriage Preparation Process

Proceso de Preparación Matrimonial

 A Message from Bishop Carl A. Kemme

Congratulations on being called to the Sacrament of Marriage! Marriage is the center of Catholic family life and the vocation through which most people live out their baptismal commitment. The Church rejoices with you as you approach the sacrament of marriage and wishes to support you in living your married life to the fullest.

 Cultural influences today can work against personal development for healthy Christian marriage and a lifetime commitment. At times today’s culture can work against your commitment to a healthy, lifelong Christian marriage. But the Catholic Church wants yours to succeed and offers you the building blocks with which to build a solid foundation for your marriage. The cornerstones begin now, your engagement period.

Our diocese offers key steps of proven, effective and successful marriage preparation to engaged couples in order to prepare them as well as possible for entering and living out the sacrament of marriage. Among the key elements are an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, both as individuals and as a couple, and good formation based on strong educational programs on the sacrament of matrimony.

I believe our diocesan marriage preparation process, the steps of which are outlined in this brochure, will provide you with the spiritual resources and practical tools you need for a strong and healthy marriage, not only as newly married, but for a lifetime.

Yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Carl A. Kemme, D.D.
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita

Marriage Preparation Process Brochure (English)

Step One: Meet with your Parish Priest

After you become engaged, you should contact your parish as soon as possible and set up a meeting with the priest to assist you with your marriage preparation. During this initial meeting, ideally, nine months before the wedding date, the priest will:
  1. Help you complete the form to determine if you and your fiancé are free to marry in the Church. He will also explain to you any additional considerations which may require further attention.
  2. Schedule other meeting times with you.
  3. Provide you with the information you need to complete the rest of the steps of the marriage preparation process, as detailed in this brochure. Establishing a schedule for the completion of all the steps during or shortly after this meeting is advised.
  4. Explain other documentation needed in the process (e.g., official record of your Baptism and Confirmation, a marriage license).
  5. Assign a well-trained mentor couple, if available, to accompany you during the preparation process. The mentor couple is to be a support and guide to you before and after the wedding.

 

Step Two: Marriage Preparation Inventory

Shortly after the meeting with your priest, most parishes will ask both of you to complete a marriage preparation inventory, which is a series of questions designed to assess individual habits, expectations, and values (the Prepare/Enrich Assessment Tool is the preferred inventory of the diocese). This inventory will provide you with a personalized profile of your relationship’s strengths and growth areas. It is an important starting point for identifying and discussing any areas that need attention. The review of the results may be done by the priest or a well-trained mentor couple.

PREPARE/ENRICH is a customized couple assessment completed online that identifies a couple’s strength and growth areas. It is one of the most widely used programs for premarital counseling and premarital education.

Step Three: Christian Marriage Life Skills

 You will greatly benefit by learning about the everyday tools needed to have a great marriage. This step is designed to fine tune "life skills," both as individuals and as a couple, and to help you grow in areas needed for a joyful and holy married life.

Attendance at a Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend retreat fulfills this step. Your priest may fulfill this step by way of another parish-based opportunity.

The Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend is intended to address important topics such as: self-knowledge, familial background, an active faith life, communication skills, handling conflict, decision-making, among other things. For additional information click here and to register go to ceewichita.com.

Step Four: Evangelization & Instruction on Marriage

Because marriage is a vocation which requires sacrifice and making a "gift of self," discovering what it means to live a Christian lifestyle is essential for a Christian marriage to thrive, especially in this challenging age.

Attendance at the Marriage Preparation Seminar fulfills this step. Your priest may fulfill this step by meeting with you personally or by way of another parish-based opportunity.

The one day Marriage Preparation Seminar offers a great educational opportunity designed to assist you to gain a greater awareness of your faith, as well as essential aspects of Christian discipleship. Additionally, it will also introduce you to the rich teachings of the Church on the Sacrament of Matrimony, including the truth and meaning of human sexuality. For information, call (316) 685-5240 or to register click here.

2017 Seminar Saturday dates are:   July 8, September 23, and November 11. From 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM>

Step Five: Natural Family Planning

NFP respects the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, and enriches the bond between husband and wife. Within marriage, the couple can utilize the knowledge gained through NFP to either achieve or postpone pregnancies. When a couple begins to start a family, some may discover difficulties in trying to conceive. NFP is not only effective for organically postponing pregnancy; it is also highly effective in overcoming obstacles that compromise the ability to become parents. To ensure you have the tools to plan your family effectively and in accord with God’s plan for marriage, you will learn an approved NFP method.

You can learn more information on the different methods, schedules and availability of classes in your area by calling (316) 685-5240 or click here.

Step Six: Final Steps

You will now return to the priest for final interviews to discuss the knowledge and experience you have gained from the entire marriage preparation process. This is a time to ensure that everything is in order concerning the wedding day. You will begin to prepare the liturgy for your wedding day, also have time for prayer and an opportunity to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Talk to your priest or mentor couple about getting involved in your parish community so that the Church can continue to support you throughout your married life.