In the Catholic Church, a Catholic may marry a non-Catholic (with written dispensation from the local bishop). The non-Catholic is not required to become Catholic. We honor the religious freedom of each individual person and do not expect, guilt, or otherwise manipulate a non-Catholic person to enter the Church in order to be married.
However, many non-Catholics (baptized or not) have discerned a desire to learn more about the Catholic Church, with the possibility of becoming Catholic. The process we use to help individuals discern more fully is with R.C.I.A., Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Each parish operates the RCIA on their own schedule, with different start times, and different lengths of time for readiness.
The Co-Cathedral offers Year-Round R.C.I.A., which means a person (adult) may begin the process at any time of the year. The un-baptized and baptized, but un-catechized will have a fuller process, lasting possibly from 1 1/2 to 2 years (or more, if necessary). The baptized that are well catechized will enjoy a more thorough process as well, but the duration of their formation is based on their specific needs so it may be shortened. Because this process involves multi-layers of formation and movement through each phase is based on individual progress, the date of reception into the Church cannot be pre-determined. See the section "Adult Education - Becoming Catholic" for more information.
What to do if you or your fiance are interested in the RCIA process?
Go to the tab "Adult Education" - then "Becoming Catholic/RCIA" to learn about the process, schedule, requirements and schedule an interview based on the information provided.
What if the marriage is to take place before the RCIA process is completed?
We take the discernment process very seriously; it includes learning about the teachings, but must also include integrating oneself into the community, experiencing a sincere conversion and embracing the whole of the faith. This takes time. Therefore, we do not short-cut the process for the purpose of weddings. One may still marry in the Church while in R.C.I.A., by having a Liturgy of the Word.
If you are thinking of getting married and learning more about the Catholic Church, inquire immediately into the R.C.I.A. prior to setting a wedding date.