John Paul II Center - Milwaukee
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Marriage Preparation

Congratulations On Your Engagement!

Getting married is one of the most thrilling and beautiful adventures. God has so much in store for you and the love of your life as you prepare to say "yes" to one another. The Office of Marriage and Family Life is here for you to help you grow more in love with one another and to remind you how good and powerful this sacrament is.

We know that preparing for your wedding can be a busy time so our marriage preparation opportunities provide a chance for engaged couples to take a step away from the planning and explore the meaning of a committed sacramental marriage, all the while learning more about one another and God’s incredible plan for marriage.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has set forth specific guidelines regarding marriage preparation programs, and the Wisconsin Catholic Conference has adapted those guidelines for particular use among the Dioceses of Wisconsin. The Office for Marriage and Family Life is responsible for ensuring that proximate preparation in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee meets these pastoral guidelinesA minimum of six months preparation is required for all marriages in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. 

Preparation Steps

Contact the Parish Where You Are Getting Married

  • This is essential to do as soon as possible to ensure that you have enough time to resolve any particular issues that may arise. Once you contact your parish, you will be invited to meet with a priest, deacon, or parish staff member to discuss the marriage preparation process.
  • You will also be invited to participate in a pre-marital inventory. This inventory is not a test, but rather a tool to help couples learn more about themselves and the manner in which they relate to their partner. FOCCUS and other similar inventories can be very useful for diagnosing areas of both strength and weakness in couple communication. You will be assigned a trained married couple to walk you through the responses from your inventory.​

Sign Up For a Marriage Preparation Experience

  • As part of the preparation process, engaged couples have the option of participating in a Marriage Preparation Conference, a Marriage Preparation Day, a Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend Retreat, or a Marriage Preparation Conference for Remarriage. Please choose one program that best fits your needs. See details below or view our 2018 Marriage Preparation Brochure. Register here.

Plan Your Wedding Liturgy 

  • Creating time to plan your wedding liturgy is a beautiful way to intentionally include the Lord in your wedding and ensure preparedness and peace on your big day. Click here for helpful resources.

Participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation 

  • The Church welcomes and encourages all Catholics to spiritually prepare themselves for marriage through participating in the sacrament of Reconciliation. We invite you to receive God's mercy even if you have not gone to confession for some time. Find confession times near you here!

Marriage Preparation Experience Options 

As part of the preparation process, engaged couples have the option of participating in a Marriage Preparation Conference, a Marriage Preparation Day, a Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend Retreat, or Marriage Preparation for Remarriage. Please choose one experience that best fits your needs.

 

MARRIAGE PREPARATION DAYS

Marriage Preparation Days take place on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and are hosted and planned by several of the Catholic parishes in the surrounding Milwaukee area. Marriage Preparation Days include large group presentations and time for interaction between couples. The Marriage Preparation Days are a great option for couples who prefer large group presentations, and like to connect with smaller groups of couples in a parish near them. If one of you is unbaptized, not Catholic, or has been away from the Church, you’ll find the Marriage Preparation Day to be a good fit.

Cost: $125 per couple

(includes breakfast, lunch and supplies)

 

MARRIAGE PREPARATION CONFERENCES

Marriage Preparation Conferences take place on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at sites throughout the greater Milwaukee area. This large venue, conference-style program includes keynote speakers and a variety of workshops. The Marriage Preparation Conferences are great option for couples who enjoy meeting other couples, and the experience of a large conference. If one of you is unbaptized, not Catholic, or has been away from the Church, you’ll find the Marriage Preparation Conference to be a good fit.

Cost: $125 per couple

(includes breakfast, lunch and all supplies)

 

MARRIAGE PREPARATION FOR REMARRIAGE

Marriage Preparation for Remarriage takes place on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and is designed for couples remarrying with the Church’s approval. Remarriage is a blessing, but can also be challenging! These days for remarrying couples are part of several of our Marriage Preparation Conferences, with special workshops offered by couples who have remarried and blended families.

Cost: $125 per couple

(includes breakfast, lunch and all supplies)

 

CATHOLIC ENGAGED ENCOUNTER WEEKEND RETREAT

Catholic Engaged Encounter is a weekend retreat away with other engaged couples with plenty of time alone together. An atmosphere is created for the two of you to concentrate exclusively on each other, free of the distractions of daily life and wedding preparations. There are few group dynamics. Instead, it is a quiet weekend designed to give the two of you the opportunity to talk honestly and intensively about your future together – an opportunity to discover a deeper appreciation of your relationship, and God’s call to unite in the Sacrament of Marriage. Interfaith couples are very welcome to attend this weekend. This weekend is especially recommended for couples who are looking for the greatest opportunity to take their relationship to a new level spiritually. 

Cost: $250 per couple

(Includes all materials, five meals and overnight lodging in shared rooms. Brides will share rooms with other brides, and grooms with other grooms.)

The retreat begins on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m., and concludes Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Sunday Mass will be celebrated. All retreats take place in Waukesha on the Schoenstatt Retreat Center. 

Contact John or Louise Vos (262-439-8559 or by email johnlouisevos@yahoo.com) if you have any particular questions regarding the Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend.

Catholic Engaged Encounter Retreat Promo Video

 

 

Financial Assistance and Payment Plans

Please contact Emily Burds, Associate Director of the Office for Marriage & Family Life, for more information. 414-758-2213 or burdse@archmil.org

 

Registration Questions (rescheduling, registration errors, etc.)

Please contact Annette Basaldua at 414-758-2201 or basalduaa@archmil.org

St. John Paul II Office for the New Evangelization

3501 South Lake Dr.
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

414-758-2201

© 2018 John Paul II Center • 3501 South Lake Dr. • PO Box 070912 • Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912 • 414-758-2201
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