From the Catholic Catechism: The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.
God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.’
Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: “It is not good that the man should be alone.” The woman, “flesh of his flesh,” his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a “helpmate”; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been “in the beginning”: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
At St. John the Baptist Parish, assistance is provided to each couple through:
Personal preparation for entering the sacrament so that through such preparation, the couple may be pre-disposed toward the holiness and duties of their new state. A fruitful, liturgical celebration of marriage, clarifying that the spouses signify and in that mystery of unity and of fruitful love that exists between Christ and His Church (Canon 1063)
If they can do so without serious inconvenience, Catholics who have not been confirmed will receive the sacrament before being admitted to Marriage. It is strongly recommended that those to be married approach the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist so that they may fruitfully receive the sacrament of Matrimony/Marriage. (Canon 1065)
Requirements of Those Requesting To Be Married At St. John the Baptist Parish ~
At least six months in advance, a general introductory meeting must be scheduled with the pastor. Any issues that need to be addressed will be discussed at that time: previous marriages, marriages of mixed religion, etc. No wedding date is officially set prior to this meeting.
If you are a member of another parish, a letter from the pastor of that parish confirming your membership is required. Your Baptismal record is required and must be obtained from the parish church in which you were baptized. In requesting your Baptismal record, include the following information ~ your full name, names of your parents and date of your birth. Ask for the date of your Confirmation as well as it will be listed at that parish and is also required. If you have not been confirmed, arrangements can be made here at St. John’s.
Marriage preparation will include the attendance at a marriage retreat workshop, an online Marriage Inventory called FOCCUS, and a class discussing Natural Family Planning. Details regarding these requirements will be shared upon meeting with the pastor.
A marriage license issued by the state is required. These can be acquired at the Register of Deeds at any courthouse within the state of Wisconsin. Please check local guidance. In most counties the license cannot be obtained until 30 days prior to the date of the marriage. The license is to be brought to the church on the night of the rehearsal. The priest will make sure that the license is mailed/delivered to the courthouse following the wedding.
For those who are members of St John’s Parish, a charge of $150 is requested for the wedding. This will cover the cost for use of the church and a portion set aside for the Works of Charity account. The purpose of this account is to use the funds for people in need. A few additional costs, pertaining to the required retreat, the FOCCUS inventory and the Natural Family Class will be explained upon meeting with the pastor.
Because of the number of marriages to be arranged here at St. John the Baptist Parish, it is not always possible to have your preference. Your patience and understanding is asked so that other schedules may be met. To allow sufficient time for the coming and going of invited guests, if two marriages are on the same date, the times of the wedding celebrations will be at two-hour intervals, the latest being at 2:00 p.m. All music must be approved by a musician of the parish before making final preparations with the pastor.