You are here

The importance of marriage preparation


PRE-SESSION SCHEDULE:

At those meetings, couples planning to be married complete a FOCCUS inventory, hear speakers on communication and natural family planning, and register for one of the required educational programs.

For couples looking ahead and trying to decide when and where to attend a pre-session, here is the schedule for the rest of 2006.

April: 2nd "“ 1:30 p.m., St. Stephen the Martyr Dining Room, Omaha; 2nd "“ 2 p.m., St. Patrick, Delaney Hall, Fremont; 9th "“ 1 p.m., Guardian Angels Cafeteria, West Point; 11th "“ 7 p.m., St. Cecilia School Cafeteria, Omaha.

May: 4th "“ 6:30 p.m., St. Thomas More Cafeteria, Omaha; 7th "“ 1 p.m., Holy Family School Cafeteria, Lindsay; 21st "“ 2 p.m., St. Patrick Parish Center, O'Neill; 21st "“ 1 p.m., St Pius X Parish Center, Omaha.

June: 4th "“ 1 p.m., Immaculata Monastery Rec Room, Norfolk; 6th "“ 6:30 p.m., St. Gerald, New Church, Ralston; 11th "“ 1 p.m., St. Anthony Social Hall, Columbus; 25th "“ 6:30 p.m., St. Columbkille Social Hall, Papillion; 25th "“ 1 p.m., St. Michael Parish Office, South Sioux City.

July: 9th "“ 2 p.m., St. Patrick Parish Center, O'Neill; 9th "“ 1 p.m., St Pius X Parish Center, Omaha; 11th "“ 7 p.m., St. Cecilia School Cafeteria, Omaha; 13th "“ 6:30 p.m., St. Thomas More Cafeteria, Omaha; 16th "“ 1 p.m., Holy Family School Cafeteria, Lindsay.

August: 13th "“ 1 p.m., St. Anthony Social Hall, Columbus; 13th "“ 1:15 p.m., St. Vincent de Paul Cafeteria, Omaha; 13th "“ 1:30 p.m., St. Stephen the Martyr Dining Room, Omaha; 20th "“ 1 p.m., Guardian Angels Cafeteria, West Point.

September: 5th "“ 6:30 p.m., St. Gerald, New Church, Ralston; 10th "“ 6:30 p.m., St. Columbkille Social Hall, Papillion; 10th "“ 1 p.m., Holy Family School Cafeteria, Lindsay; 17th "“ 2 p.m., St. Patrick, Delaney Hall, Fremont; 24th "“ 1 p.m., Immaculata Monastery Rec Room, Norfolk.

October: 1st "“ 1 p.m., Guardian Angels Cafeteria, West Point; 3rd "“ 7 p.m., St. Cecilia School Cafeteria, Omaha; 8th "“ l p.m., St. Anthony Social Hall , Columbus; 12th "“ 6:30 p.m., St. Thomas More Cafeteria, Omaha; 22nd "“ 2 p.m., St. Patrick Parish Center, O'Neill.

November: 5th "“ 1:15 p.m., St. Vincent de Paul Cafeteria, Omaha; 5th "“ 2 p.m., St. Patrick Community Room, Fremont; 12th "“ 1 p.m., St. Michael Parish Office, South Sioux City; 12th "“ 1:30 p.m., St. Stephen the Martyr Dining Room, Omaha; 19th "“ 6:30 p.m., St. Columbkille Social Hall, Papillion.

December: 3rd "“ 1 p.m., Immaculata Monastery Rec Room, Norfolk; 5th "“ 7 p.m., St. Cecilia School Cafeteria, Omaha; 7th "“ 6:30 p.m., St. Gerald, New Church, Ralston.

Faith in terms of marriage preparation might often be associated with the Sacrament of Marriage or planning the wedding liturgy.

Marriage preparation in the Archdiocese of Omaha also looks at faith from another perspective "“ individual faith, and while that's important in all marriages, it's especially important in mixed faith marriages, Stan Isham, director of marriage preparation and enrichment programs for the archdiocesan Family Life Office, told The Catholic Voice.

Four of every 10 couples married in the Archdiocese of Omaha are of different faiths, Isham said. That's about 475 of the 1,222 marriages in the Family Life Office's most recent 12-month reporting cycle.

Almost all of those mixed faith marriages are what Isham's office calls inter-church marriages "“ a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian. A very small number fall into what he called the inter-faith category "“ a Catholic and a non-Christian.

Regardless of the category, marriage preparation programs look at ways to address faith issues. The FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study) includes a special section of questions for mixed-faith couples, and the educational options include a program called Bridges to help couples look at their faith "“ individually and as a couple.

'Through FOCCUS, we just want to get the couple talking about the issues they'll face," Isham said, noting that faith-related questions are among those issues that can challenge couples during their early years of marriage.

'Bridges helps couples find ways to integrate their faith lives into their marriage," he said. The program was originally designed for mixed-faith couples only, but now is offered to all couples.

Two Catholics can be as different in their faith as a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian, he said. 'Bridges helps them talk about the issues applicable to where they are in their faith, no matter which faith it might be."

The importance of the faith discussion is dictated, at least in part, by the changing face of marriage, Isham said. Couples are older "“ average age is 27 for men and 26 for women "“ and more mature in many ways, including in their faith.

Regardless of the situation with their faith, couples in the archdiocese begin their marriage preparation by meeting with a priest or deacon and attending a Pre-Session.

The Catholic Voice

The Archdiocese of Omaha • Catholic Voice
402-558-6611 • Fax 402 558-6614 •
E-mail Us

Copyright 2018 - All Rights Reserved.
This information may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

Comment Here