The Catholic Church considers marriage a sacrament, and therefore takes marriage and the preparation for marriage very seriously. The Catholic parishes in Waterloo welcome the opportunity to celebrate this important decision with the couple, their families and friends.
A couple should contact the parish as soon as they decide to be married in the Catholic Church. As a general rule, couples should contact the parish at least six months before the marriage.
The pastor, or a parish staff person designated by the pastor, will meet with the couple to explain the preparation process and the documents which will be necessary in order for the marriage to take place. (For baptized persons, this includes a copy of your Baptismal Certificate and a Statutory Declaration of Freedom.)
In most parishes, an engaged couple will be asked to complete the FOCCUS Inventory, which helps couples identify and discuss important issues and attitudes that contribute to the success of married life. In some parishes couples will also be asked to participate in a marriage preparation program such as Engaged Encounter and/or to meet with a “Sponsor Couple.”
According to Church law, any baptized Catholic has the right to be married in the Church as long as they are free to marry, are mature enough to enter into a marriage covenant, and are willing to accept responsibility for living in a sacramental marriage. Baptized persons (Catholic or non-Catholic) who have been previously married must obtain a Decree of Invalidity in order to be married in the Catholic Church. (See “How do I Petition for a Decree of Invalidity?”)
Catholics may be married in a Catholic Church where they do not attend with the permission of the local pastor and the pastor of the parish in which they do participate.
• For information about being married in the Catholic Church, contact the parish office in the parish where you participate or plan to participate.