Ministry to Engaged Couples
A Letter from Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, D.D.
Ninth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington
Dear Couples, Congratulations!
At this time, your relationship is very private and very personal. On the day of your wedding, your relationship will be forever changed. Though it will remain personal, it will no longer be private. As wife and husband, you will be public persons.
Yours is a life of being genuinely human, a life raised up by Christ to reflect the Divine. I stand in awe as you take this step in your lives.
Your families helped prepare you for this journey. They taught you as mine taught me many of the really good things about married and family life. We learned a little more about life in classrooms and much more in social gatherings and while dating. And now, you are ready to begin a more formal preparation for Christian married and family life. This preparation includes: 1) sessions with your priest/deacon; 2) sessions with family life educators; and, 3) sessions with married couples.
As God graces your lives with children, learn to treasure them and to love them. Teach them to give and to love in return. Form them so they will love God and their neighbors as Christ loves them.
Christian marriage is your way of answering God?s call.
Again, I congratulate you.
In Our Lord,
Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington
Outline of Marriage Preparation in the Diocese of Wilmington
The Diocesan policy on marriage preparation requires that couples come to their parishes one year before they intend to marry. At this time, the parish priest or deacon explains the three-stage marriage preparation program outlined below:
? Stage I: Pastoral sessions with a parish priest, deacon, or pastoral minister. (Contact your parish for details.)
? Stage II: Information and skill-building sessions with family life specialists in one of the following regional marriage preparation programs: Pre-Cana, Engaged Encounter, or Remarriage Program. Couples choose the appropriate program at the time of registration. Programs are conducted at five locations around the Diocese. Contact the Office for Marriage and Family Life at (302) 295-0657 for more information. You will receive an information packet with all class dates and a registration form. (If leaving a voice mail, please spell your name and include your mailing address.)
? Stage III: Small group formational sessions, with a married couple at the couple’s parish. (Contact your parish for details.)
- 8 hours of marriage preparation held at five locations throughout the Diocese (Wilmington, DE; Dover, DE; Bethany Beach, DE; and Ridgely, MD).
- Topics include theology and spirituality of marriage; love; communication and conflict resolution; finances; Individual Couple Profiles; and Natural Family Planning (NFP).
- One weekend retreat for engaged couples (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) at the Jesus House in Wilmington, DE.
- Topics include those covered in Pre-Cana, as well as the following: Encounter with Me & We; communication; signs of a closed relationship; moral decision in marriage; planning a life-giving marriage; becoming family: our love reflected as life; sexual intimacy in marriage; wedding: the beginning of our Sacrament; sharing the vision; what Catholics promise in marriage; and Natural Family Planning (NFP).
- 8 hours of marriage preparation held in Wilmington, DE.
- Topics include those covered in Pre-Cana, as well as issues from previous marital relationships, including blended families.
Contact the Office for Marriage and Family Life at 302-295-0657 for more information about any of our programs.