To share insights and to offer personal experience about married life. To encourage engaged couples to participate in private and group conversations that will enrich their understanding of each other and open a continuous dialog on many aspects throughout their married lives.
When a couple decides to get married, it is a time of grace and growth. It is also a time of many details and some anxiety. The Church desires to help couples prepare themselves to live this sacrament and to celebrate their marriage with dignity and joy. This preparation is required for all Catholics who intend to get married, even if the marriage is at a non-Catholic church. The priests of the parish are happy to answer specific questions about Church theology, policies, and practices on marriage. The following is a summary of the specific steps of marriage preparation.
Marriage Prep Workshop Requirements
Marriage Prep is held at St. Joseph Church over one weekend. The session begins at 6:45pm Friday evening and continues at 8:45am Saturday morning. There is a break for lunch on Saturday and dinner is provided after the 5:00 Mass Saturday evening (both meals are included with your fee).
Marriage Prep is presented by married volunteers of the parish who share experiences from their marriages. They will lead you through exercises designed to generate discussion between you and your partner about subjects you may or may not have already discussed. Through these discussions we hope you will learn something new about each other and gain a greater appreciation of each other’s different attitudes and beliefs.
Marriage Prep covers seven topics: Communication, Past, Family Origins, Sexuality, Children, Finances/Friends/Work/Leisure Time, and Spirituality. Throughout the sessions, couples do workbook exercises that help them discover differences and similarities in their backgrounds. After discussing the exercises privately, you will participate in a small group discussion, facilitated by the married volunteers.
Marriage Prep Registration costs $100 per couple. Contact a priest or deacon to register; checks can be made payable to St. Joseph Church.
Registration for Couples
Contact for Marriage Prep: priest or deacon
Who is Eligible to Mentor Marriage Prep Couples?
Couples married at least five years.
Contact for Mentorship
Charlotte & Dave Bader
Online Marriage Prepartion
For engaged couples who are separated by distance (or for any other serious obstacle to in-person marriage prep), please note that our diocese accepts an online alternative, www.catholicmarriageprep.com. Available in English, Spanish, and French, this course includes 20 hours of active marriage preparation that is usually completed in 3-6 weeks. The cost is $175 per couple. Topics covered include: the Catholic view of the human person, MFP, the scrament of marriage, forgiveness, and life skills. This program satisfies all of the guidelines for marriage preparation in the Diocese of Harrisburg.