MARRIAGE PREPARATION IN THREE EASY STEPS – Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Office for Marriage and Family Life
 
STEP ONE – couple should contact parish/pastor or marrying clergy
Couples should contact their pastor, priest or deacon as soon as possible to assist with marriage preparation.  If they are not parishioners in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, they should reach out to the pastor of the parish in which they are preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage.  The couple should communicate with their marrying clergy regularly to ensure that everything is in order concerning the sacrament.  Couples are encouraged to speak with their pastor, priest or deacon to learn more about how to get involved in the parish community.  Marrying clergy should then connect them with the Diocesan Office for Marriage and Family Life to begin the process of registering for the approved Pre-Cana program requirement in the Diocese of Wilmington.
 
STEP TWO – speak with representative in the Office for Marriage and Family Life
 The Diocese of Wilmington provides an excellent educational component, Life Skills for Couples, through Ascension Press, as the required marriage preparation course in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.  Life Skills for Couples is specifically designed to introduce the couple to the rich and engaging teachings of the Catholic faith and the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Throughout this process, the couple will gain insight into themselves as individuals and as part of a couple. Practical advice and spiritual resources will be shared with the couple that will support a life-long and joyful Catholic marriage.  
 
After the couple registers for the online Pre-Cana course, materials will be sent to them via mail for the self-completion part of the Diocesan approved program.  After the completion of the 90 minute virtual session, the couples will complete an evaluation of the program and receive their certificates via email.  Those certificates should then be presented to the marrying clergy as recognition of the completion of the Diocese of Wilmington Pre-Cana program.
 
STEP THREE – participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation
 The Office for Marriage and Family Life encourage all couples to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation since the Church invites all Catholics to prepare themselves spiritually prior to their marriage by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The regular practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation keeps marriages healthy and strong.
 
**All Parishes are asked to update their websites with the above information.  While the parish can still offer the Engage Marriage Encounter as an option, the Diocese does not currently offer that as an option and it would be in addition to the approved Life Skills for Couples program that the Diocese of Wilmington has to offer.
 
Friendly Reminder:
There are only 1-2 virtual Pre-Cana sessions per month with a limited number of participants per class.  With that said, we ask that all those in charge of marriage preparation in the parishes understand that couples should be registering for Pre-Cana at least 3-4 months BEFORE they are getting married.  We have had several instances when couples are calling the office a week before the class or 2-3 weeks before their wedding and classes are already closed.
 
-There will be NO Pre-Cana Virtual Sessions during the month of July.  
-August there is one session on August 22 (6:30-8:00pm) and this class is almost full.  
-September has two courses on September 9 (8:30-10:00am) and September 21 (6:30-8:00pm).
 
All course registrations are closed two weeks before the class OR once a course has 15 couples registered.   Because of the self-completion part of the program, couples must register for the Pre-Cana courses at least 3-4 months before the date.  All information for the Diocesan requirement for Pre- Cana can be found on our website - https://www.cdow.org/religious-education/office-for-marriage-and-family-life/precana/
 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Office for Marriage and Family Life via phone or email.
God Bless!
Peg Tillinghast
Secretary
St. Dennis Church
Galena, MD 21635
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