Marriage Preparation

View or download our 2018 Couples' Guide to Marriage Preparation (PDF) 

Step One: Contact the Parish

The marriage formation process begins with your first call to the parish inquiring about being married in the Church. Call as soon as you get engaged!

A member of the parish staff will facilitate arrangements for you to meet with the pastoral minister (usually a priest or deacon of the parish) as soon as possible.

A date for your wedding may not be entered into the parish calendar until such a meeting takes place.

Step Two: Initial Meeting with Priest or Deacon

At the time of your first meeting, the pastoral minister will explain the marriage formation process and provide information about the available marriage preparation programs you are required to attend. You have the option of selecting the program best suited to your needs.

The pastoral minister will begin to fill out the necessary canonical forms and advise you as to what Church and civil documents are needed.

Step Three: Complete a F.O.C.C.U.S Pre-Marital Inventory
(Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study)

F.O.C.C.U.S. is a premarital inventory that provides a personalized profile of your relationship. The individualized couple feedback covers topic areas important to marriage: life-style expectations, friends, and interests, personality match, personal issues, problem solving, communication, dual careers, religion and values, etc.

Couples are encouraged to complete F.O.C.C.U.S. with their pastoral minister before attending the marriage preparation workshop of their choice. 

Please contact the priest/deacon witnessing your wedding to schedule an appointment.

Step Four: Register and Attend  



Engaged Encounter Weekend
"God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage" Session and Marriage Preparation Sessions (Pre-Cana)

A. Engaged Encounter Weekend





Engaged Encounter Weekend is a weekend retreat for engaged couples with plenty of time for each couple to dialogue honestly and intensively about their prospective lives together - their strengths and weaknesses, desires, ambitions, goals, their attitudes about money, sex, children, family, and their role in the church and society -- in a face to face way.

All weekends begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening with registration and close by 4:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Mass is celebrated on Saturday and/or Sunday (optional)

The cost of the entire weekend is $425.00 per couple including meals and individual overnight accommodations. 

Online registration is now available with a Credit Card. Engaged Encounter Weekends fill up quickly, often several months in advance. Please click on Engaged Encounter Weekends to register. Reservations by mail are not confirmed unless the registration form is accompanied by payment.

2018 Dates: April 28-29 at St. Magdalen de Pazzi church, Flemington, August 17-19 and September 28-30 at Loyola Jesuit Retreat Center in Morristown, NJ

April 28-29 a 2 full-day program at the Spirituality Formation Center in St. Magdalen Church, Flemington. Registration fee is $225.00 per couple.

B. God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage

"God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage" is designed to help engaged couples understand and embrace a Catholic vision of married love. The God's Plan session provides a full catechesis of the Church's teaching, in an uplifting manner that resonates within the human heart. Based on Pope John Paul II's "Theology of the Body", this session is intended to enhance a key component of marriage preparation: catechesis in the theology of marriage and the gift of human sexuality.

The registration fee of $75.00 per couple includes all materials and a light continental breakfast.  It is $100.00 if from outside the Diocese of Metuchen.

2018 Dates: January 13, March 10, April 21, May 12, June 23, July 14, September 15, October 13, November 10

Marriage Preparation Sessions (Pre-Cana)

The Marriage Preparation Sessions (i.e. Pre-Cana) offer practical insights and assistance in building a successful marriage. Topics covered include: communication, conflict resolution, family of origin, finances and more.

The registration fee is $75.00 per couple. For dates and registration, view the 2018 Schedule.

Both courses – "God's Plan for a Joy-filled Marriage" and "Pre-Cana" – OR the Engaged Encounter Weekend is required.

Step Five:  Natural Family Planning Courses

This is an optional course: NFP Reg. form 2018 (NFP) is an umbrella term for the natural, healthy, morally acceptable methods of family planning recommended by the Catholic Church to help couples space, achieve, or avoid pregnancy. These methods, also called Fertility Awareness methods, are based on the observation of the naturally occurring signs of the fertile and infertile phase of a woman's menstrual cycle.