The time of engagement is a privileged and grace filled
opportunity for you to prepare well for a life time of marriage. For Catholics,
faith is nourished and strengthened by means of daily prayer, weekly
participation in Sunday Mass, regular reception of the Sacrament of
Reconciliation and a renewed commitment to knowing and following the teachings
of Christ and His Church. It is our expectation as a parish family that couples
preparing to celebrate their marriage here at St. Mary of the Visitation Parish
participate each Sunday in the celebration of the Eucharist here among us.
Check out our Video
At St Mary’s Parish Marriage Preparation is made up of
INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS WITH THE PRIEST: Prior to
confirming a date for the celebration of Marriage, couples must meet with one
the Pastor at least once, only after this initial meeting will a date be
determined. Couples will them be asked to undertake a Marriage Preparation
Course. Following completion of a marriage preparation program, each couple is
asked to meet with the priest a second time to discuss any issues arising from
the preparation programs. Couples then meet a third time to plan the actual
marriage ceremony. A fourth and final get together takes place during the
MARRIAGE PREPARATION: Couples are required to participate
in a regionally based (Deanery) Marriage Preparation Course well before the wedding day. A number
of dates are offered and you are asked to register as soon as possible. A registration package
will be provided during your initial visit with the Pastor. Please book your marriage preparation
weekend early in order to avoid disappointment. The booking of your Marriage Preparation Course
should take place only after your have met with our Pastor and a marriage date has been finalized.
You are welcome to contact the Marriage
Preparation Program directly following your meeting with our Pastor. The
dates for this current year are found at this link.
BLESSING OF ENGAGED COUPLES: Couples are invited, along
with their parents and other family if possible, to participate in a Sunday
Eucharist during which the Blessing for engaged couples is given. The Blessing
of Engaged Couples will take place on Sunday February 12, 2017 at the 11:30am
Mass, an invitation letter will be sent to you. We look forward to having
all the couples who will be celebrating marriage at St Mary Parish present. This
is an important event, please ensure that it is clearly on your family calendar
and feel free to invite family and friends to attend.
GET INVOLVED: Our parish offers an extensive
Couples Ministry and
Young Adults Ministry. Check out the
opportunities. This is a great chance to get involved in the parish.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1. I was married before - what should I
If you are previously married, and have obtained a civil divorce, a Church
Annulment may be required. There are so many factors in this, lots of misunderstandings about the
process. Just contact our pastor in order to
set up an appointment. He will help you with it. You are also welcome to read over some
general information on annulments.
2. I was married by a Justice of the
Peace and now I wish my marriage to be blessed by the Catholic Church - what
should I do ?
One of the most common obstacles affecting a Catholic's
ability to receive Communion at Mass arises because a Catholic has been married
outside the Roman Catholic Church without previously obtaining the appropriate
dispensation from the Diocese. Often this obstacle can be overcome easily, by
simply meeting with a priest and working towards convalidation, which is simply
a "renewal of vows" within the Church. In some cases, when the civil
union is ecumenical and has taken place in a sacred place, a sanation (a
"retroactive" dispensation) can be granted if the non-Catholic spouse is unwilling to renew
consent before a priest and two witnesses. In other cases, more work may be necessary, but
generally something can be done. If you would like to discuss this further with the hope of
being able to return to the full practice of your Catholic faith, please contact
Father Freitas or through the parish office at
519 658 4443. The process is so simple, and the Grace of God so great - just contact our pastor
in order to set up an appointment. He will help you.