"The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution. God who created man out of love also calls him to love – the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1603, 1604
Congratulations on becoming engaged! The vocation of married love is a beautiful and challenging one that deserves special preparation. Your marriage will not only transform your own futures, but it will also have lasting effects on many others and on succeeding generations. As the great St. John Paul II would often say, "The future of humanity passes by way of the family."
The initial process begins at the parish and involves paperwork, such as producing affidavits of freedom to marry from parents or others close to the couple as well as baptismal certificates issued within the last six months. An engaged couple must also complete a questionnaire, often called a premarital inventory, which helps a priest or pastoral minister to identify areas of disagreement that require further discussion.
Unless you are participating in the new Two by Two pilot program, all engaged couples are expected to attend the daylong Conference for Engaged Couples, which in many parishes will be followed by one or more sessions with a priest, pastoral minister or mentor couple.
The diocesan conferences for engaged couples are daylong Saturday programs that feature dynamic presentations designed to provide a firm foundation for your future life together. The topics covered include the three essential characteristics of married love; communication and intimacy in marriage; the importance for a woman of being cherished and for a man of being respected; an introduction to St. John Paul II's theology of the body; sex, responsible parenthood and an introductory video on natural family planning; partnership in marriage; the spirituality of Christian marriage; and, the Christian family as the "domestic church" or church of the home. Folders with resource materials are also provided to facilitate ongoing reflection and discussion by the couple. While the conference is particularly geared to Catholic engaged couples, all engaged couples are welcome.
Conferences for Engaged Couples take place six times each year and run from 9 AM – 3:15 PM. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 AM. The fee for the day, including breakfast and materials, is $90 per couple. Please register ONLINE (see links below). Refunds for cancellations will be made up to one week before the date of the program.
Conferences for Engaged Couples
CLICK ON A DATE BELOW TO REGISTER FOR THAT CONFERENCE:
These conferences take place at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne or at the Century Center in South Bend. Addresses and directions to the venues are available on the registration page. For more information, please call TheaMarie Burns at (574) 234-0687 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck to you in the days ahead and may God bless you as you prepare for a lifetime together.
Director for Marriage and Family Ministry