Diocesan Marriage Preparation Process

Dear Engaged Couple:  

Congratulations on your decision to marry!

You soon will be spending considerable amounts of time, effort, and energy in order to celebrate your wedding appropriately.  This day and the honeymoon that most likely will follow are important.  Together they mark the beginning of a publicly proclaimed life-long journey; they mark an acceptance to love one another as Christ loves us all. 

The “real” journey begins after the wedding – after the honeymoon.  Like a successful wedding, a successful marriage takes preparation.  The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, as explained to you by your parish priest or deacon, has designed a three stage, year-long process to assist couples in this preparation.  This process is outlined below:

 Organization Chart






Contacting your marrying clergy/parish is always the first step of the marriage preparation process and part of Stage 1.

This letter talks about Stage 2.


Locations in New Castle County, DE; Dover, DE; Bethany Beach, DE; and Ridgely, MD

 Pre-Cana groups meet on specific Sunday afternoons, or Wednesday evenings or an Annual Engaged Enrichment Day Conference in April.  Engaged couples meet in a group setting with family life educators, and in some cases, others who have some specialty in matters relating to marriage and the family.    

 Engaged Encounter Weekend

Jesus House Retreat Center, Wilmington DE

Engaged Encounter is one weekend in November for engaged couples with married couples which starts on a Friday evening through noon on Sunday at the Jesus House in Wilmington.  Mass is celebrated on Saturday evening.   


Wilmington DE

This program is for couples in which one or both persons were previously married, that marriage having ended in divorce/annulment or death of one of the partners.  The program is held on 3 Wednesday evenings in January, June and October. 

With God’s grace manifested in your love for one another and with the support of family, friends, church and community, may your hopes for a happy and holy married and family life become a reality.  If you have any further questions, please call the Office for Marriage and Family Life at 302-295-0657.


Nancy C. Burke

Director, Office for Marriage and Family Life