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DEAR FRIENDS:

Congratulations on your engagement!

We’re so glad that you’ve chosen to marry in the Catholic Church. We are privileged to accompany you on the Journey of Your Love, and honored that you have entrusted us with equipping you to traverse both the joys and the inevitable challenges that married life brings. Our great joy, above all, is to assist you in encountering Christ’s love and its power to nourish and transform relationships.

 

May the Holy Spirit guide and direct you on this journey of love for each other, for your families, and for your extended Family of Faith, the Church. May this process of marriage preparation be one of enrichment, formation, and growth in faith, hope, and love.

The Marriage Preparation Process

As soon your engagement is official, but before you set a date you should call your parish and schedule your first meeting with your pastoral minister (priest, deacon or lay minister), who may also serve as the celebrant for your wedding.

FOCCUS is meant to facilitate open, caring,communication, understanding, and study, encouraging couples to discuss a broad range of topics that can help them learn communication and conflict resolution skills. Provided to couples at their parishes, online, or at the Diocesan Retreat Day (Celebrating Your Love).

Couples will choose a mentor couple who can support, encourage, and pray for them throughout—and beyond— the marriage preparation process. Marriage preparation ministers can help engaged couples select a mentor couple. Parishes are encouraged to adopt Witness to Love as a way of guiding the couple-to-couple relationship.


1) Begin Mentoring Process (Witness to Love)
-- AND / OR --
Attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend:

A wonderful retreat experience of presentations and personal sharing related to marriage. An option for couples who , for practical or pastoral reasons, are not involved in the mentoring process. Go to engagedencountersd.org for dates and registration

2) Attend Celebrating Your Love: A Diocesan Retreat Day

A one-day retreat held on Saturdays at locations throughout the Diocese. The program presents a summary of Catholic teaching on marriage and an overview of life skills essential for marriage.
Go to sdcatholic.org/JOYL for dates and registration

What is Witness to Love?

Witness to Love is a virtue- and growthbased model of marriage renewal and preparation that integrates modern principles of psychology and the virtues to help couples facilitate an authentic dialogue about their relationship.



What makes Witness to Love Different

What makes Witness to Love unique is that the engaged couples choose their own mentor couple. This is a couple they both admire and see as source of faith formation. This mentor couple gives them a concrete connection and integration into the parish. Through the sharing of the mentor couples’ own journey of Love, the engaged couple inherits a “lifeline“ of support in their commitment to Jesus and His Church.

“Experience has proven the value of the witness of married couples, who live their vocation in light of the Gospel, in preparing couples for marriage. When married couples speak out of their own conviction, ...they offer a powerful witness. Married couples who serve in this capacity find that their encounter with the engaged enriches and strengthens their own marriages.” - Diocese of Trenton, NJ