Dear Engaged Couple,
Congratulations on your decision to enter into the commitment of marriage. This is a time of special joy for you, your family and the whole Church community. You are coming together in Christian marriage is a response to a loving call from Almighty God.
Catholics understand that marriage is a sacrament – a living sign of Christ’s saving action in our lives. The bond of marriage, in which a man and woman are joined as husband and wife, is a sign of God’s love for the Church and the world. Our parish community prays with you and for you during this time of special preparation for marriage.
Remember that a Wedding is a day, a Marriage is a lifetime. Our goal is to work with you as you enhance the dispositions and skills needed for a happy, successful, and faith-filled married life.
With prayerful good wishes for both of you during this blessed time of anticipation.
Fr. Ross Campbell
Any Catholic who is free of a prior bond of marriage may marry another Catholic or someone of another church or faith who is also free of a prior bond of marriage.
This is a situation which will have to be discussed with the priest in the initial interview. No date, however, can be set until it has been established that both parties (Catholic or non-Catholic) are free to marry according the ecclesiastical laws of the Catholic Church.
When the couple is ready to arrange a date for marriage, the bride or groom personally contacts our parish office to arrange an appointment with one of the priests. Our parish staff will not discuss availability of dates by telephone, FAX or email. Both bride and groom are must attend all appointment and marriage preparation sessions.
Saturday weddings at St. Francis Xavier are booked for either 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. On weekdays, Marriages may be celebrated at a time that is convenient for both the couple and the Parish. Sunday weddings are not permitted in the Diocese of Hamilton.
Couples are required to participate in a program of marriage preparation to assist them in discerning their mutual call to the vocation of marriage.
One component of marriage preparation will be meetings with your priest, who will discuss the responsibilities involved in sacramental marriage. He will also administer the Prepare and Enrich questionnaire sent out by the Diocese, an instrument designed to help couples identify both strengths and issues for continued discussion and mutual growth.
Couples are required to enroll in a Marriage Preparation Program offered by the Diocese of Hamilton.
The period of marriage preparation is a very important time for both bride and groom. It is a time for growth in mutual love and your faith commitment in Jesus Christ. We encourage Catholics to a regular attendance at Sunday Mass during this time. Christians of other denominations are also welcome to worship with us.
We rejoice with you at this special time in your lives and pray that you will be open to all of the blessings and opportunities of this period of marriage preparation. We are here to help and guide you as you get ready for this most important day and relationship in your life.