Marriage Preparation

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You will begin preparing for marriage as a couple with your presiding priest. These preparation sessions will be arranged with your priest. In addition to meeting with your priest, you will also participate in our FOCCUS program and the Archdiocese’s Joy-Filled Marriage program.

Printable Wedding Checklist

Click the button below to view a printable checklist to assist you in your planning.

FOCCUS Program

You and your intended spouse will meet several times with a married couple from the parish. Your FOCCUS couple will facilitate free and open discussion between you and your fiancé about various topics pertaining to marriage. A couple trained in this process will call you a few months before your wedding to schedule a meeting. Your FOCCUS couple will inform the parish coordinator when you have completed the process so that we can update our records. If you have any questions about the FOCCUS process or have not been contacted at least 3 months before your wedding date, please contact your presiding priest.

Archdiocesan Joy-Filled Marriage Program

A key component of marriage preparation is building the skills necessary for a successful marriage, as well as learning about the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage. To accomplish this, all couples participate in the Joy-Filled Marriage program. Please return the certificate you receive at completion to the parish office so it can be added to your marriage file. Participation in this program is mandatory. You must participate in person or request permission from the priest to do it online if you live out of state. You can register on the following website: https://www.archmil.org/MarriagePreparation.

Necessary Paperwork

Submitted by you:

  1. Baptismal Certificates: Please present a newly issued certificate of Baptism to the parish office. Simply call or write the church where you were baptized and ask them to send the newly issued certificate to the presiding priest you are working with. If you are Christian but not Catholic, then present a photocopy of an original baptismal certificate to the parish office.
  2. Joy-Filled Marriage Certificate of Completion: Please submit this certificate to the parish office.
  3. Marriage License: Your marriage license is obtained from the office of the Milwaukee County Clerk and should be brought to your wedding rehearsal. Please see the following link for information about Wisconsin’s laws regarding marriage and the timeline and fees associated with obtaining your marriage license: https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/County-Clerk/Marriage-License. Remember to bring your marriage license to the rehearsal — the wedding cannot take place without it!

Submitted on your behalf:

  1. Completion of FOCCUS Program: Submitted by your FOCCUS couple
  2. Preparation Paperwork: Submitted by your priest preparing you for marriage

Before the Wedding

All Catholics being married in the church are strongly encouraged to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation before their wedding celebration. You can discuss this with your presiding priest.

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