The Church takes marriage seriously and invites couples to prepare adequately for the dignity of marriage. Just as one must prepare for any profession by attending college or some type of technical school, so too the Church asks for marriage preparation to assist couples to live out marriage as a faithful, loving indissoluble union open to children. It stands to reason that the more effort and participation both partners put into the preparation, the better off they are, and the more meaningful experience they will have.
Pope John Paul II wrote: “The Church must therefore promote better and more intensive programs of marriage preparation, in order to eliminate as far as possible the difficulties that many married couples find themselves in, and even more in order to favor positively the establishing and maturing of successful marriages.” Thus, the Co-Cathedral commits itself to foster loving and healthy marriages at their beginning and thereafter.
Registration/Payment: All couples MUST be pre-registered to begin attending Marriage Preparation prior to attending the first class. Pre-registration means that the registration forms have been completed and acknowledged by the parish prior to the first class. Walk-ins are not permitted.
Fee Schedule: All fees are due, as indicated below in exact cash or check. We do not keep cash on hand and checks that are returned for insufficient funds do incur a penalty fee.
- For couples marrying at the Co-Cathedral, a $40.00 processing fee is due for the FOCCUS tool at that class.
Marriage Preparation: All of the sessions are provided by qualified, experienced instructors with an advanced knowledge of the topic they present. Below are listed the sessions, times, and descriptions of all required marriage preparation sessions. Couples must complete all preparation sessions by the deadline established for their wedding (See "Frequently Asked Questions.") Failure to complete all required sessions, or any approved archdiocesan marriage preparation program, may result in the postponement of your wedding.
- For couples not marrying at Co-Cathedral, but taking classes, a $300.00 fee is required to be paid in full at/before the first class. This includes the $40.00 FOCCUS fee.
Days/Time: The six scheduled Marriage preparation sessions are held on Sunday afternoons at Cathedral Centre. Sign-in is 12:00-12:25pm, with the instruction occurring 12:30-2:30. Couples are strongly encouraged to attend Mass at the Co-Cathedral. There is much information to be shared at all sessions, therefore punctuality is expected. Please plan accordingly so as not to run late.
Schedule: The Initial Couples and FOCCUS sessions typically occur on the first two Sundays of the month and must be taken in that order. Sessions A-D rotate throughout the year, with a total of 3 occurrences for each. Couples should check the schedule regularly, as some classes will be cancelled or moved to accommodate holidays or special events in the parish. The classes are listed below:
- Initial Couples: This class is the first of the sessions and must be taken before any others. The focus of this class is on the theology of marriage and review of wedding requirements & expectations at the Co-Cathedral.
- FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couples Communication, Understanding, and Study): FOCCUS is an inventory tool to help the church and the engaged couples identify areas in the couple's relationship that may need further development, understanding, and resolution. This session must follow the Initial Couples class. Each individual completes the tool without the aid or input of their partner. The completed tool results are shared only with the couple by the clergy that is preparing them.
- Finance (A): The focus of this class is on communication and planning for financial health. Couples receive helpful tools for budgeting, establishing realistic expectations of living expenses, and communicating on issues of credit, insurance, and so forth.
- Communication (B): This class focuses on the tools for effective and healthy marital communication, within the Catholic framework of marriage.
- Prayer & Spirituality (C): Couples in this session will learn to integrate a prayer and spiritual life into their relationship, as well as a way of holding each other accountable to their vows from the actual readings and prayers they choose for their nuptials.
- Sexuality & Natural Family Planning (D): Within the Catholic theology on human sexuality and reproduction, this class provides the couple with the Church's teaching on healthy sexuality within marriage, and safe, acceptable and viable practice of family planning. Natural Family Planning is a national program used by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Office of Family Life. This particular session is only an introduction to the methods used in N.F.P. Couples that desire further study of N.F.P. should inquire with the N.F.P. instructors.
- The Music/Liturgy Preparation session occurs 5-6 times every year, usually on a weekday evening. This seminar is for couples only, attendance is limited and ALL couples must meet certain requirements and be pre-approved before attending. Once approved, any couples able to attend will be sent a notice of confirmation for their assigned class. You must use the parish organist and cantor. Outside musicians cannot be used without the permission of the Director of Music. all classes are held in the Cathedral Centre. Coup ddw 77
Individual preparation sessions with the clergy (priest or deacon) will be scheduled according to agreed upon times/days, and will occur based on the needs of each couple as determined by the clergy. Typically, these sessions will occur closer to the time of the wedding with a review of the results from the FOCCUS tool.