MARRIAGE PREPARATION Congratulations on your engagement! The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ loves his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1661)
When both spouses are baptized, they, as ministers of Christ’s grace, mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church.
The Church in Western Oregon requires that couples take at least six months to prepare for their lifelong journey as a married couple. This period allows them to grow in an understanding of what they are undertaking, through careful discussions with a minister of the church and other married couples.
Eligibility You are eligible for marriage preparation through St. Thomas More University Parish if you and/or your fiancé are Catholic and
1) you or your parents are a registered, active member of the Newman Center, or 2) the Catholic party is a student, faculty, or an employee of the University of Oregon.
Otherwise, please first contact the local Catholic parish in which you reside.
Preparation Process Here is a basic overview of the preparation process. Although it may vary, this gives a general idea of what to expect.
1. Marriage preparation begins with making an appointment to meet with a priest. This first appointment should be made at least six months before you plan to get married. Together a review of the sacrament, paperwork, and a FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study) inventory will be conducted. The initial meeting generally takes about one hour. Please don’t put down deposits on reception venues until you have met with the priest to establish the date of your marriage.
2. The engaged couple will meet with the Priest and/or FOCCUS couple to review their FOCCUS results. The inventory is not a test. This helps to open dialogue on areas of agreement and disagreement surrounding many different aspects of the married life.
3. Attend the Engaged Encounter Weekend Retreat with the Archdiocese of Portland, or another approved marriage preparation retreat.
4. The Wedding Coordinator will meet with the couple to plan the actual wedding ceremony and other details of the wedding day.