The Marriage Preparation Ministry has been at St. Mary’s since 1976 and is presented each February. During the life of the program, it is estimated that approximately 1,300 engaged couples from St. Mary’s and surrounding communities have attended.
1. To present a catechesis on church teaching concerning marriage;
2. To share married life experiences;
3. To enable engaged couples to reflect on their current relationship;
4. To evangelize those who do not regularly attend Mass.
During the lifetime of the program, the format has changed almost annually based on feedback from the attendees. However, the underlying purposes of the program have remained constant. The program currently consists of two sessions of four hour each.
The topics presented are:
- Expectations and adjustments in marriage;
- Communications and communication barriers;
- Stress management;
- Family life issues; and
- Marriage in the Church.
The format includes brief talks and role-playing by the team couples, discussion groups, private couple time exploring presented topics and how they may relate to their own situation, and a dinner.
Engaged couples interested in attending this program should discuss it with the priest or deacon that will witness their marriage. This should take place at least six months prior to the wedding.
Those who are interested in volunteering to help with this ministry should be married at least a year and should be willing to share their faith and marriage stories with the engaged couples.
To register for St. Mary’s Marriage Preparation, or to volunteer to assist with this ministry, please call St. Mary’s Parish at 508-429-4427.
The Ministry is headed by Ken and Mary Hammond, and Joe and Trish Texeira.