If you are planning to get married and would like to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage here at St. Joseph Catholic Church, please contact the Parish Office for more information (941.756.3732 or [email protected]).
Please see below for an overview of the Marriage Preparation process.
“Your wedding day is one day, but your marriage lasts a lifetime.”
Witness to Love (WTL) is a virtues-based model of marriage renewal and preparation that integrates modern principles of psychology and the virtues to help couples facilitate and talk about their relationship. All built on the rock of True Love, “God”.
What makes WTL unique is that the engaged couple chooses their own mentor couple. This is a couple they both admire and see as a source of faith formation. This mentor couple gives them a connection and integration into the parish. Through the sharing of the mentor couple’s own marriage journey, the engaged couple inherits a “lifeline” of support in their commitment to Jesus and His Church.
The Sacrament of Marriage Preparation Steps
- Contact the Parish Office Manager.
- Complete Parish and Diocese required paperwork.
- Engaged couple meets with Clergy (Priest/Deacon) and completes Premarital Inventory Questionnaire (or Prepare-Enrich or FOCCUS). Schedule a second meeting to review results of the pre-marital questionnaire.
- Engaged couple choses a mentor couple to work with for the WTL
- Engaged couple attends a coaching session with the WTL Parish Marriage Prep Coordinator and Mentor Couple.
- Engaged couple and mentor couple have monthly meetings using WTL Workbooks and Videos. (Completing all six WTL Chapters)
- Engaged couple attends a Parish or Diocesan Couples Retreat (Mentor Couples invited to attend).
- At WTL Chapter 5 dinner and meeting at the Mentor Couple’s home, the Deacon is invited to provide the Theology discussion.
- Natural Family Planning (NFP) on-line course is recommended.
- Both Couples welcomed to the Parish and invited to small groups/Parish ministry opportunities.
- Wedding Day!
- Continued accompaniment by Mentor Couple and Parish Community with newly married couple.
Theology meeting with Priest/Deacon
- Engaged Couple and Mentor Couple will meet with Priest/Deacon to discuss the Theology behind the Sacrament of Matrimony
- Purpose of this meeting is two-fold: 1) deepen the understanding of the Church’s theology of marriage for the engaged couple and 2) reawaken an appreciation for the Church’s understanding of marriage for the mentor couple.
- After the wedding, the now newly married couple and their mentor couple are urged to continue meeting at least once every two months at Sunday mass to continue their discussions of marriage and marital spirituality.
- The engaged couple is encouraged to turn to their mentor couple whenever the need arises to address any struggles or disagreements they may have.
- The relationship between the couples can continue indefinitely.
How Do I Obtain Materials?
Check with the Parish office to see if WTL materials are in stock. If they do not have materials on hand simply click on this link: “Couple’s Marriage Prep Bundle” and order a set of materials. Make sure to order them well before you schedule your first meeting with your Marriage Prep Coordinator to ensure that the materials arrive in time.
Marriage Prep Bundle:
More information about the WTL program:
Please contact the Diocese of Venice WTL coordinator, Carrie Harkey ([email protected] or 941.484.9543).