Holy Matrimony

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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)

Policy For All Catholics In The State Of Wisconsin ~ Before a wedding date can be set, contact with the pastor is to be made at least six months prior to the proposed date of marriage. A pre-marriage inventory is to be taken to assess and evaluate the relationship. Discussion and follow-up will be scheduled as indicated in the evaluation. Whenever possible, arrangements are to be made to attend the deanery-wide marriage program.

Policy For Implementation at St. John the Baptist Parish ~ For all couples of mixed religion, a series of instructions in the Faith are required to help in the mutual understanding of religious obligations. A time line of activities needed to complete your marriage preparations will be set.

Requirements of Those Requesting To Be Married At St. John the Baptist Parish ~ Parish membership is required. If you are a member of another parish, a letter from the pastor of that parish confirming your membership is required. If it is the Church that you are asking to bless and support this marriage, then you as the Catholic party, must be active in its practice. Your Baptismal record is required and must be obtained from the parish church in which you were baptized, and it must be a recent record. 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. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

A marriage license issued by the state is required and is good for thirty days. MA forms are to be filled out at the rectory. This is a freedom to marry statement. Also, any dispensations needed, will be requested at the same time. Preparations for the liturgical celebration will be handled by the priest assigned to witness your wedding.

Financial Obligations To The Parish ~ Because you are using the facilities and the personnel of the parish, you have an obligation in justice to share in the financial costs and upkeep. There is a charge for deanery-wide sacramental preparation of $110, of which the parish pays one half. Your responsibility will be $55.

The following guidelines are established:

The bishops of the five Catholic dioceses of the state of Wisconsin have set the amounts for Wedding Stole fees at $75.00.

In the diocese of La Crosse, the priests assigned to the institutions they serve do not keep the stole fees. The fee is deposited into what is entitled the “Custodial Account”. The purpose of this account is to use the funds for works of charity rather than parish funds. Any amount over the set amount of $75.00 can be given by the couple as a gift to the parish priest. If another priest is asked to perform the ceremony, it is left to the discretion of the pastor to determine whether it is to be given to the parish custodial account or to the guest priest.

General Notes ~ 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, 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.