For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God's values.

Congratulations! You are engaged and are considering marriage in the Catholic Church. The months preceding your wedding will be filled with hectic planning, financial concerns, and stressful decision-making. The community of St. Katharine Drexel will assist you as you prepare not only for the wedding celebration but for a lifelong commitment. In choosing a church wedding you are expressing your Catholic faith. God's love for all people is faithful and everlasting. The sacrament of Christian Marriage reflects this love. Together, you will serve as reminders to the world of God's concern for and attention to humanity.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • When should we contact the parish regarding our

marriage?

Please notify us at least six months in advance of your preferred wedding date. Please do not reserve your reception hall or photographer, etc., until after the date is set at a church. Until our building is completed we will assist you in securing a church. Do not hesitate to contact the parish office prior to the six month requirement.

  • How do we establish a time for our wedding?

A lot will depend upon the church selected for your wedding. Generally most weddings are held on Saturday afternoons as most churches reserve Saturday mornings for funerals. Exceptions to this general policy can only be made by the Pastor of St. Katharine Drexel and the Pastor of the host church. No weddings are celebrated during the season of Lent.

  • What initiates the marriage preparation process?

When you call the parish office you will schedule an appointment to meet with the Pastor. At that time you will also be given information about
meeting with the ministers of the parish marriage ministry. In addition you will be encouraged to attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend and required to attend a Natural Family Planning seminar.

  • What happens at the initial interview with the Pastor?

The interview provides the priest and the couple an opportunity to get to know one another and to discuss any questions regarding the marriage preparation program.

  • What is the Engaged Encounter Weekend?

This gathering invites you to address important questions and to make mutual decisions regarding your life together.

  • What is the Natural Family Planning Seminar?

The Natural Family Planning Seminar is an opportunity for engaged couples to gain a meaningful insight into the church teaching on
marriage and family, with an emphasis on family planning. Married couples give personal witness to the value and benefits of following church teachings. Certified NFP instructors introduce couples to NFP in this three hour seminar.

  • What documents do we need to provide?

1. A newly issued baptismal certificate from the parish of baptism issued no earlier than six months prior to the wedding. All other sacramental information should be notated on the certificate. If the parish of baptism does not have record of confirmation please contact the parish of confirmation for a current
certificate.

2. If one party is non-Catholic, it will be required of the Catholic party to sign a document promising that the children will be raised Catholic as prescribed by the Code of Canon Law 1136.

3. Witness affidavits will be required as requested by the Pastor.

4. A civil marriage license must be obtained from the county where the church is located and is only valid for 60 days.

5. Other documents may be needed.

  • What fees or stipends are requested?

Each parish has their own requirements for use of the church. Please contact the parish directly The priest performing the marriage and altar servers customarily receive a donation. The stipends for any
professional contracted independently are agreed upon with the parties concerned.

The Church desires that your marriage genuinely reflects God's love for the world and Christ's love for the Church. The community of St. Katharine Drexel believes in the grace of God freely offered through the celebration of the Sacraments. May these days of preparation begin to lay a firm foundation for your married life together.