CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!
The All Saints Catholic Newman Center can provide a place for you to get married and/or sacramental preparation for your marriage. After reading the following information about our marriage program, we invite you to contact our Marriage Preparation Office firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the process.
We are glad that you are considering preparing for the sacrament of marriage at the Newman Center! The All Saints Catholic Newman Center community has made a commitment to support you in your preparation for marriage by providing a comprehensive program that will guide you and your future spouse in strengthening your relationship with one another and with God. Responsible participation in this process is an indication of a serious understanding of the commitment underlying your relationship. After reading the following information about our marriage preparation program, we invite you to contact us to begin the process.
Catholic Understanding of Marriage
A wedding in the Catholic Church is a religious event, requiring a public act of faith by the couple who are asking the Church, the priest and the assembled community, to witness their exchange of vows and pray that their new covenant of mutual life and love will continue to be an enduring sign to others of Jesus' intimate and faithful covenant with the People of God.
Check out the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops marriage website. You will find great resources for preparing for and nurturing your marriage.
Marriage Preparation in the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church believes firmly in the importance of thoughtful and responsible preparation for the lifetime commitment of marriage. Research demonstrates the effectiveness of careful marriage preparation. Pope Francis recently had a few words of encouragement to share with engaged couples about marriage preparation. In order to be married in any Catholic church in the United States, a couple must first complete all steps of the marriage preparation process. The requirements for marriage preparation in the Diocese of Phoenix may be viewed on the Diocese's web site.
When should we begin the marriage preparation process?
The Diocese of Phoenix requires a minimum of nine months of preparation time before a wedding. However, because of the importance of this lifelong commitment and the challenge of carefully preparing for a marriage while simultaneously planning a wedding and juggling other day-to-day responsibilities, we encourage engaged couples to begin the preparation process even earlier.
At Least Nine Months Before the Wedding
Attend Prenuptial Meeting. At this meeting, you will have an opportunity to review the requirements of the marriage preparation program and begin the necessary paperwork. If you are being married at the Newman Center, no firm wedding date may be set until after you attend a seminar, so we recommend that you do NOT reserve a reception hall, caterer, and so forth until you fulfill this requirement. To schedule a prenuptial meeting contact Lisa Rich.
Take the FOCCUS Premarital Inventory. After registering to complete marriage preparation at the Newman Center you will be given pass codes to take the online version of the FOCCUS premarital inventory, a tool that aids couples in furthering dialogue about the issues pertinent to married life.
Complete the FOCCUS review. After completing the FOCCUS, you will be paired with a sponsor couple or Newman Center staff member to meet to discuss some of the areas from the FOCCUS inventory. Alternately, you may have the option to review the FOCCUS with a member of the marriage preparation team.
Eight to Nine Months Before the Wedding
Submit all necessary premarital documentation. The following items must be submitted to the Marriage Preparation Office:
Baptism Certificates: For Catholics, the baptism certificate must be issued within 6 months prior to the wedding date. You can request the certificate from the church where you were baptized and have it sent directly to you or to the Newman Center. Baptized non-Catholics may provide a copy of their baptism certificate. A new original is not required for non-Catholics.
Affidavits of Free Status: These are sworn sealed statements, usually by parents if they are living, that you have never been married before and have no impediments to marriage in the Catholic Church. Instructions for this form will be given to you at the marriage seminar.
Seven to Eight Months Before the Wedding
Couple Education and Enrichment
Marriage Preparation Classes: In addition to a marriage prep inventory, you will complete an educational component designed to fine tune practical skills such as conflict resolution, decision-making, financial management, and communication. There are various educational programs available in the diocese, with formats varying from a weekend retreat to multiple evening meetings. To view the options offered throughout the diocese click here.
God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage:This is a program designed to get everyone on the same page spiritually. It is based on John Paul II's Theology of the Body and it will teach you not only what the Church teaches about marriage and sexuality, but why she teaches it. To register for this course visit the diocesan website.
Natural Family Planning Course: To ensure that you have the tools to plan your family effectively and in accord with God's plan for marriage, you will have the opportunity to learn about Natural Family Planning, an effective and safe method of family planning supported by the Catholic Church. Class locations, dates, and times are available here.
Three Months Before the Wedding
Begin Planning your Liturgy: Together as a couple, begin thinking about the type of liturgy you would like to have, the Scripture passages you would like read, the vows you would like to say, and so forth. The Together for Life book given to you at your initial prenuptial meeting will guide you through this process.
Set up a Musician for your Wedding:The Newman Center's Music Director is Thomas Muglia. You can reach Thomas with questions regarding your music selections. However, we are also able to provide a list of musicians that have played regularly at the Newman Center. Please keep in mind that musicians are a separate fee from the wedding fee.
Two Months Before the Wedding
Obtain a Marriage License For Arizona weddings, a marriage license may be obtained at the Marriage License Office. Please plan ahead if you would like to apply for the Arizona Covenant Marriage License, which requires obtaining a notarized statement from us that you have participated in marriage preparation. If you are being married in another state, you must obtain your marriage license in that state.
Contact the Marriage Prep Office at 480-967-7823 to make sure your file is complete.
One Month Before the Wedding
Schedule a Meeting with your Celebrant to go over your plans for your liturgy and any last-minute details or concerns.
Take the Opportunity to Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliationif you are Catholic, as part of your preparation for the sacrament of matrimony.
What if we have not been attending Mass anywhere?
You are still welcome to prepare for marriage at the Newman Center. Many couples use this window of opportunity as a chance to begin practicing their faith once again. They find that they have been meaning to start going to Mass again, but for whatever reason have not done so. If you do not have a parish that you call "home," we welcome you to consider planting yourself at the Newman Center. We ask that you attend Mass for a few weeks to get a sense of our community. Then, complete a registration card or register online. Once you are a part of the community, then it would make sense to begin your marriage preparation here. Of course, couples enrolled in our program continue to attend Mass at the Newman Center throughout their marriage preparation and hopefully afterward as well.
What does the full marriage preparation process involve?
Preparation for marriage includes the following:
a marriage seminar
completing a premarital inventory to help you discuss your strengths and weaknesses as a couple
review the premarital inventory with a sponsor couple, priest or other delegate
attending marriage preparation classes or a weekend retreat
attending the diocesan workshop "God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage"
completing a Natural Family Planning course
attending Mass regularly and prayerfully considering other activities to deepen couple spirituality
planning your wedding liturgy
Please see the All Saints Marriage Preparation Program timeline for a detailed description of each of these steps. You are also encouraged to print a copy of the abbreviated checklist for your own records.
What does it cost?
The marriage preparation program is $100 per couple, due at initial meeting. Resource fees for classes vary based on location. Please contact us with any concerns.
The usage fee for the Main Chapel is $800 for active registered members of the Newman Center and $1,000 for non-registered members.
How do we go about arranging to be married in the Old Church?
Currently, the Old Church is not available to be reserved. ASU students, alumni, and Newman Center members are welcome to reserve the Main Chapel for a wedding. Contact Lisa Rich to schedule a wedding or to begin marriage preparation.
What if one of us has been married before?
If either of you have been married before, whether in the Church or by any other civil or religious authority, even if you are not Catholic, you will need to obtain an annulment before being married in the Catholic Church.
What if one of us isn't Catholic?
Only one person is required to be a baptized Catholic as long as both agree to raise any children in the Catholic faith. The marriage preparation office will assist you in completing the necessary paperwork. As part of your marriage preparation, you will also be invited to participate in specific activities or workshops that will allow you and your fiance to discuss your spiritual/religious beliefs and find the gifts in both your similarities and differences.
We both love nature and feel God's presence there. May we have a Catholic wedding outdoors?
God is certainly present in the beauty of creation. You and your fiancé may have found a beautiful location where you would like your family and friends to gather for an outdoor wedding. However, a Catholic wedding is not just a private affair affecting only your family and friends - it affects the entire community. The church building is an important symbol of your faith community - those who helped form your beliefs, those who will witness your vows, and those who will benefit from your service. You and your beloved will find spiritual strength in the people whom that church represents. For these reasons, a wedding between two Catholics is generally celebrated in a Catholic church. A wedding between a Catholic and another Christian should be held either in a Catholic church or another sacred location. Permission for this can be requested during the primary steps of marriage preparation. On rare occasions, such as when a Catholic marries a non-baptized person, a Catholic wedding may take place in a sacred location other than a church.
Can we have our civil union blessed by the Church?
You may have your union "validated." In most cases, the steps for this are similar to the full marriage preparation program. Please contact the front office at 480-967-7823 for more information.
Getting Married at Newman
The Main Chapel provides a beautiful and sacred location for the celebration of a Catholic wedding ceremony. Its 43 foot ceiling, surrounded by natural light and the ability to accommodate over 500 guests make it the perfect location for any wedding.
What do I need to do before I schedule my wedding?
If you will be doing marriage preparation at the Newman Center, you must first attend your initial prenuptial meetings with a member of the Marriage Ministry staff before reserving a date for your wedding ceremony.
Members of other parish communities are able to reserve the Main Chapel after providing a letter from the parish where their marriage preparation is being completed.
Is my date available?
We do not schedule weddings on ASU Football home game days and scheduling is restricted during Lent.
To inquire about a specific date and time, contact Lisa Rich.
How do I schedule my wedding?
To schedule a wedding you must have attended your initial prenuptial meeting or be able to provide a letter from the church where you're completing marriage preparation and turn in a signed contract and deposit. Only after we have received a signed contract and deposit will your wedding date become secure.
For more information contact Lisa Rich.
Below is a breakdown of fees for marriage preparation and wedding celebrations at the All Saints Catholic Newman Center.
Marriage Preparation Fee
For couples that choose to complete their marriage preparation at the All Saints Catholic Newman Center there is a $100.00 fee. This fee covers the cost of all the paperwork, administrative work, FOCCUS, etc. This is paid at the initial prenuptial meeting.
The rental fee for the Main Chapel is $1,000 for non-members and $800 for registered active members (involved in a ministry and/or tithing for 6 months or more). Half of the fee is due as a non-refundable deposit with your contract and the remaining balance is due one month before the wedding. Wedding fees cover the cost of a wedding coordinator, Church usage during rehearsal, Church usage during four-hour time block on wedding day, maintenance and utilities.
The Priest or Deacon
It is customary to give the priest or deacon a stipend for officiating at your wedding. The Diocese of Phoenix recommends $100, but the amount is left to your discretion and is considered a gift. If you choose to give your priest or deacon a gift, it must be written directly to him.
Fees vary. You will need to make arrangements for musicians to play at your wedding. However, a list of qualified musicians that have played at the All Saints Catholic Newman Center can be provided upon request.
"Love for Life"
For couples who are unable to attend our marriage preparation classes, "Love for Life" is the weekend marriage preparation program sponsored by the Diocese of Phoenix's Marriage and Respect Life Office. Engaged couples listen to presentations and insights from married couples on a variety of different topics. Registration is first come, first served. You can visit the Marriage and Family Life Office's Web site for more information.
“Catholic Engaged Encounter”
For couples who are unable to attend our marriage preparation classes, this group offers an over-night weekend retreat for engaged couples. For information, visit the Arizona Catholic Engaged Encounter website.
"Loving Anew" Remarrying Couples Seminar
This seminar is designed as a marriage preparation program for couples in which at least one individual had a previous marriage that ended in death or divorce. You can visit the Marriage and Family Life Office's website for more information.
St. Anne's Convalidation Class
This is an all-day class for couples who are already legally married and are seeking to have their union validated by the Church. It is also appropriate for adults who have been cohabiting for a significant length of time. For more information, please call Jean Estes Gonzales, Marriage Preparation Minister at St. Anne's (Gilbert), at 480-892-4970.
Diocese of Phoenix
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Catholic Marriage and Wedding Websites: Information, Advice, Ideas
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Free Liturgy Planning Tools, Marriage Preparation Ideas and Advice
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Everything You Wanted to Ask About Marriage (FAQs)
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