First, let us say: congratulations on your engagement! We are happy that you want to be prepared for marriage at the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica, and we look forward to working with you. Below we have laid out what our program entails. Please feel free to contact us with any questions!
The Church asks every couple seeking to get married to have a minimum of six months of engagement before their wedding day. Our marriage preparation process (Witness to Love) is designed to be completed over this time period, so please know that we schedule wedding dates six months out (or longer) from when you begin your preparation, not six months from the date you first got engaged! Our goal in this is to ensure that the marriage preparation – one of the most vital aspects of preparing for the sacrament – is taken seriously. We also ask that one of you be a registered parishioner of the Basilica.
Contact one of the priests of the parish to make an appointment to see him.
When you come to your meeting with Father, please bring with you a new copy of your baptismal record. To request a copy, simply call up the parishes where each of you was baptized and ask the parish to send you a new copy of your “baptismal certificate with notations”.
At this first meeting, you will get to know Father, and he will ask you a few questions and take down some initial information. At the end of the meeting he will assign you a marriage preparation coordinator. This is a person, or couple, from the parish who will assist you along the way to complete the marriage preparation program.
After meeting with Father, you will register for FOCCUS and a Natural Family Planning class with our secretary.
At this point, we also ask that you choose a mentor couple. We want you to pick a mentor couple who will accompany you during your engagement period. They will be expected to meet with you six times to go over the materials in the Witness to Loveworkbooks as well as be a support for you. The criteria we ask you to use when you pick a mentor couple are simple:
The couple must be married in the Catholic Church for at least five (5) years.
The couple must attend church regularly.
The couple must have a marriage you admire!
Please note: It is only once you have chosen a mentor couple that the date for your wedding will be confirmed on the parish calendar; keep this in mind and don’t delay
Meet with your marriage preparation coordinator. Once you have completed step two, contact the coordinator to set up a time to meet. The marriage coordinate will invite you and your mentor couple over to their house or the church to go over the Witness to Love program.
The next day, the coordinator couple will email you a “Scavenger Hunt”; this is a check list of sorts which includes some fun activities for you to do with your mentor couple during the marriage preparation process (ex: go on a double date planned by the guys.)
Attend The Pre-Marriage Seminar
Plan the wedding ceremony with Father. One month before your wedding date, sit down with Father to go over the readings you have chosen, let him know how many people are in the wedding party, decide whether or not there will be a presentation of flowers to Mary, etc.
Most importantly, be assured of our prayers for you both during this exciting time of preparation for marriage! May God bless you along the journey!
The National Shrine of the Little Flower’s Marriage Preparation Team
FOR MARRIAGE COUNSELING AND SUPPORT GROUP RESOURCES CLICK Here