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Office for Marriage and Family Life

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"The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, '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.' (CCC 1604) Thank you to your "yes" to this vocation, this call from God to form a family, a domestic Church, that will be a witness to our world of communion and self-gift and truly a reflection of the communion and self-gift of God. I pray that this time of preparation will be fruitful and blessed!"

PreCana Dates

Marriage prep programs may be a one-day PreCana program, a Weekend for the Engage experience or another approved marriage preparation program. Upcoming dates for programs in the diocese are listed below.

FOCCUS Marriage Inventory Registration Only
Do you need to register for just your FOCCUS id? If so, please click here.

Date
Location
Registration

April 23, 2022

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 3850 Lourdes Drive, Decatur, Illinois 62526

August 21, 2022

Ss. Peter & Paul Parish 301 Vandalia, Collinsville, IL 62234

August 13, 2022

St. Joseph the Worker Parish 700 E Spruce St, Chatham, IL 62629

Interfaith and Interchurch Marriages

Couples often wonder how the Catholic Church will respond to their desire to marry if they do not share the same faith background. When one of the engaged is baptized but not Catholic that is known as an “interfaith” or “mixed” marriage. If one of the engaged is not baptized that is called an “interchurch” marriage. Please be assured that the Catholic Church is just as interested in helping you to thoroughly prepare for this sacred commitment as She is in helping couples prepare for Catholic marriages.

In addition to regular marriage preparation, the priest/deacon should help you as a couple discuss and explore your respective religious traditions and explain the overall importance of remaining faithful to the vows you will make on your wedding day. If you are preparing for an interfaith/interchurch marriage, it is extremely important that both of you invest time in understanding your own and each other’s religious background.

Your research will indeed bring up very important questions such as,

  • How important is my faith to me?
  • I haven’t practiced my faith before, but once we’re married I will want to practice my faith daily, weekly.
  • Am I required, do I want to raise our kids in my faith?
  • Where can we go to Church?
  • What holidays and traditions will we celebrate?

It is advisable that you as a couple consult with the minister, rabbi, or religious leader of the non-Catholic faith so as to completely understand the requirements of each faith tradition. Convalidation: Couples seeking Catholic convalidation (Church recognition) of their union, (i.e. civil union or previous nonCatholic wedding) are encouraged to consult with a priest for assistance appropriate to their unique circumstances.