Congratulations on your Engagement! We look forward to assisting you in your preparation for the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Couples who wish to be married at St. Patrick Church should please follow the process below:
Make initial contact/meet with the Pastor: All couples planning to marry at St. Patrick Church must contact Fr. Mike Alber (517-647-6505 x 412) at least six months in advance.
Once you have met with the pastor, you will be contacted by Carolyn Heckman to be admitted to the Pre-Cana Program. This program has several parts:
- The “FOCCUS” Premarital Inventory: Carolyn will contact you to set up this online survey. There are no right or wrong answers. It is intended to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship to better assist you in your preparation.
- Attend an NFP Class: St. Patrick Church offers this one-evening class, four times per year. You may attend this class or choose to take a more in-depth study offered by the Couple-to-Couple League (please provide documentation of completion).
- Participate in “Beloved”: Twice a year, St. Patrick Church offers the “Beloved” program. “Beloved” explores the true meaning of marriage and how to live it out together. This program includes a group event, followed by six sessions that are scheduled at your convenience with a mentor couple. You will be assigned a mentor couple after completing the FOCCUS questionnaire. The mentor couple will contact you.
- Plan your Wedding Liturgy: Once you have completed all the above steps, please contact Carolyn. You will be referred to the Pastor to plan and finalize the wedding liturgy.
- Is there a cost to get married at St. Patrick Church?: There is a $100 fee to offset the cost of materials and instructors for the Pre-Cana program payable to St. Patrick Church. A second fee of $20 will be charged to access the online FOCCUS test, payable directly to FOCCUS International.
- Is there a dress code?: Yes. All bridal party attire, including the bride’s dress, should be modest and respectful. Shoulders must be covered. No plunging necklines or high-slit gowns. For specifics, contact Amy in the parish office.
- Can I have a pastor that is a family friend marry us at St. Patrick Church?: This is possible, but up to the discretion of the Pastor. Please discuss this at your initial meeting.
- Can I do my preparation at St. Patrick and marry elsewhere?: Most Catholic parishes will accept our Pre-Cana program as sufficient preparation. You will need to obtain permission from the parish in which you are marrying. Ordinarily, Catholic marriages must take place within a Catholic Church with a Catholic priest or deacon as presider. If you are not marrying in a Catholic Church (outdoor wedding, Protestant church, etc.), this circumstance would likely leave you, as a Catholic, invalidly married. If this describes your situation, please contact Carolyn to discuss the specifics.
- What if I was already married elsewhere?: If you have married outside the Catholic Church in a religious or civil ceremony and would like to discuss the possibility of con-validating that marriage in the Catholic Church, please contact Carolyn.