The first step in preparing for marriage is to contact the parish office and set up your first meeting to begin the official process. It's best not to book your wedding or reception until you've had this initial meeting, where you will be given information about the general requirements of Catholic marriage, guidelines for Catholic marriage in New Jersey and specific instructions from our parish.
You will meet with the Director of Pastoral Outreach, who will conduct an initial pre-nuptial interview. This is an important step to confirm your freedom to marry in the Church, or discover any special circumstances that may need to be dealt with before you may set your wedding date. In the event that special circumstances exist, you may need to complete additional forms and resolve those circumstances before your wedding. Your priest, deacon, or pastoral minister will guide you through the forms and steps.
FOCCUS (Facilitiating Open Couple Communication, Understanding & Study) is a self-diagnostic instrument designed to help couples learn more about themselves and their relationship. It is not a "pass or fail" test, nor is it meant as a predictor of success or failure in marriage. It is a tool, based on data from successful marriages, which helps couples examine potential issues before marriage. The priest, deacon, or pastoral minister preparing you will discuss the results with you. (For more information, visit www.foccusinc.com.)
Meetings required in Stage III of the preparation process should be scheduled. Your priest, deacon, or pastoral minister may also recommend further meetings for catechesis, and they should also be scheduled at this time.