12417975_970924322987502_8159937342309094885_nMarriage Preparation

The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, was founded and endowed by the Creator. By its very nature, it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as, to the generation and education of children. Christ raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament.

Contact the Parish Office, (904) 777-3168, at least eight (8) months in advance, before setting a date or reserving a venue for your reception.

As a life-long commitment between the husband and wife, marriage requires an extended period of preparation. A minimum of eight months notice is required by the Diocese of St. Augustine due to the sacredness and seriousness of this Sacrament. Preparation includes attending diocesan programs. To register for any of these programs, please www.dcfl.org.

Pre Cana is a one-day marriage preparation class offered by the Diocese of Saint Augustine. It follows a structured schedule and is presented to groups of engaged couples. It is designed to supplement, not to replace, the less structured, personal meetings that each couple should also have with the priest or deacon who is assisting them to prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony. The program provides both an overview of God’s design for joy in marriage and practical skills for bringing it about. Opportunities are provided for each couple to reflect and discuss privately the topics raised during the day.

Some priests administer FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study) to the couple prior to attending Pre Cana. Couples who have not had this opportunity, however, may take the FOCCUS immediately prior to the start of the Pre Cana day. The results are sent to the priest assisting the couple.

Priests, other professionals and married couples give presentations on topics which include:

  • Sacrament of Marriage
  • Communication
  • Long Term Commitment
  • Christian Family Values
  • Interfaith Marriage
  • Domestic Violence
  • Christian Stewardship
  • Catholic Perspective on Sexuality
  • Natural Family Planning

Engaged Encounter
The Engaged Encounter Community of the Diocesan Center for Family Life sponsors this marriage preparation. The encounter is a weekend experience that provides couples time to reflect upon their relationship in an atmosphere free of the pressures and distractions of everyday life.

Who is it for?
Although Catholic in origin, Engaged Encounter is open to any couple of any faith who are preparing for a marriage that would be recognized by the Catholic Church. Formal engagement is not necessary; a couple needs only to be seriously considering marriage.

What happens on the weekend?
Through a series of presentations by married couples and a priest, the engaged encounter couple is stimulated to discuss privately with each other all aspects of married life – always from the viewpoint of their own relationship. The emphasis is not on lectures or group discussions. This is a private experience in a quiet and informal setting. Personal reflection and couple dialogue are the main focus of the weekend.

Please visit the national website for Catholic Engaged Encounter for more details and for further information about the experience.

Engaged Encounter Executive Couple
Cecil and Marilyn Gibson
(904) 268-5425

Engaged Encounter Registration
Diocesan Center for Family Life
(904) 551-2619

Cana Again
Cana Again is a re-marriage preparation program for those persons who are considering marriage where either party was married previously. This program is a sponsor couple format. The engaged couple meets with a re-married couple that utilizes standardized materials for discussion and reflection.

FOCCUS is a self-diagnostic instrument designed to help couples learn more about themselves and their unique relationship. It is not a test nor meant as a predictor of success or failure in marriage. It is a tool to help couples name and work through issues before marriage.

FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study) provides individualized couple feedback on where each partner stands in regard to topic areas important to marriage. The results of the inventory point to issues or areas that may need to be addressed.

FOCCUS was developed to reflect the values and ideals of marriage as sacred. The marriage covenant questions in FOCCUS deal with permanency, fidelity, unconditional love, and openness to children and shared faith in God. The same items appear in modified wording appears in three editions: Catholic, Christian Non-Denominational and Non-Denominational.