• Six months advance notice required. Preparation session is OBLIGATORY, as is a pre-nuptial interview with the parish priest. For further information call the Parish office: 709-754-0170


    Q    :What does the Catholic Church believe about Marriage?

    A:     The Catholic Church believes that Christian marriage is so sacred and holy a bond that we call it a “Sacrament.” A Sacrament is a sign, instituted by Christ, to show God’s love to the world and bring grace, joy and comfort to us. The Sacrament of Marriage (also known as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony) is intended by Christ to be a life-long commitment.

    Marriage is a great sign of God’s love. The love of a married couple like a letter to us all from God, a sign to the world that God loves us all with a deep, abiding and boundless love.

    Q:     Who is the “minister” in the Sacrament of Matrimony?

    A:     Good question! In this Sacrament, it is the couple who are the ministers of the Sacrament, and the priest or deacon who presides is the Church’s witness to the Sacrament.

    Q:     What are the purposes of marriage?

    A:     Marriage is showing to the world that God’s love is real, and present and transformative. Married love is meant to bear fruit in the lives of the couple, the community and the world. Children are one obvious fruit of marriage. Other fruits include a growing love for one another, an ability to pray together, the strength to reach out in love and charity to others—the list goes on an on! The growing and fruitful love of a couple is the best picture that we have of God’s love for us. When couples enter into the Sacrament of Matrimony, they receive the grace of that Sacrament. It is the grace to remain faithful and loving, even in the face of difficulty. Beyond that, God’s grace is never “one size fits all,” and so the grace that each couple receives is in accord with the graces that they need.

    Marriage Preparation is a mandatory course required of couples preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Roman Catholic Tradition. Couples are asked to give six months notice to their parish priest in order to ensure that the church and the pastor is available for the date of their choosing.

    The course includes the following topics:

    • Communications & Conflict Resolution
    • Financial Planning
    • Healthy Sexuality and Intimacy
    • Sacrament of Marriage
    • Couple Spirituality
    • Liturgy Planning

    The Archdiocesan Co-ordinators for the Marriage Preparation Program are Christopher and Coleen Pickard. They sometimes alternate with Rick and Linda Maher when work or family life schedules over–lap.


    Even though we find that there is some resistance to the fact that this course is mandatory before marriage, more often than not on the evaluation forms we are told by the participants that they are so happy that we require this course. They go on to say that the marriage preparation course should be opened up to all couples preparing for marriage no matter what their religious denomination.