Congratulations on Your Engagement!

The ASU Catholic Newman Center can provide a place for you to get married and/or sacramental preparation for your marriage. After reading the following information about our marriage program, we invite you to contact our Marriage Preparation Office to begin the process or fill out the form below.

Marriage Preparation Inquiry Form

We are glad that you are considering preparing for the sacrament of marriage at the ASU Catholic Newman Center! The ASU Catholic Newman Center community has made a commitment to support you in your preparation for marriage by providing a comprehensive program that will guide you and your future spouse in strengthening your relationship with one another and with God. Responsible participation in this process is an indication of a serious understanding of the commitment underlying your relationship. After reading the following information about our marriage preparation program, we invite you to contact us to begin the process.

Catholic Understanding of Marriage

A wedding in the Catholic Church is a religious event, requiring a public act of faith by the couple who are asking the Church, the priest and the assembled community, to witness their exchange of vows and pray that their new covenant of mutual life and love will continue to be an enduring sign to others of Jesus' intimate and faithful covenant with the People of God.

Check out the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops marriage website. You will find great resources for preparing for and nurturing your marriage.

Marriage Preparation in the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church believes firmly in the importance of thoughtful and responsible preparation for the lifetime commitment of marriage. Research demonstrates the effectiveness of careful marriage preparation. Pope Francis recently had a few words of encouragement to share with engaged couples about marriage preparation. In order to be married in any Catholic church in the United States, a couple must first complete all steps of the marriage preparation process. The requirements for marriage preparation in the Diocese of Phoenix may be viewed on the Diocese's web site.

When Should we Begin the Marriage Preparation Process?

The Diocese of Phoenix requires a minimum of nine months of preparation time before a wedding. However, because of the importance of this lifelong commitment and the challenge of carefully preparing for a marriage while simultaneously planning a wedding and juggling other day-to-day responsibilities, we encourage engaged couples to begin the preparation process even earlier.

Timeline—At Least Nine Months Before the Wedding

  1. Attend Prenuptial Meeting. At this meeting, you will have an opportunity to review the requirements of the marriage preparation program and begin the necessary paperwork. If you are being married at the ASU Catholic Newman Center, no firm wedding date may be set until after you attend a seminar, so we recommend that you do NOT reserve a reception hall, caterer, and so forth until you fulfill this requirement. To schedule a prenuptial meeting contact Lisa Rich.
  2. Take the FOCCUS Premarital Inventory. After registering to complete marriage preparation at the ASU Catholic Newman Center you will be given pass codes to take the online version of the FOCCUS premarital inventory, a tool that aids couples in furthering dialogue about the issues pertinent to married life.
  3. Complete the FOCCUS review. After completing the FOCCUS, you will be paired with a sponsor couple or ASU Catholic Newman Center staff member to meet to discuss some of the areas from the FOCCUS inventory. Alternately, you may have the option to review the FOCCUS with a member of the marriage preparation team.

Timeline—Eight to Nine Months Before the Wedding

Submit all necessary premarital documentation. The following items must be submitted to the Marriage Preparation Office:

  1. Baptism Certificates: For Catholics, the baptism certificate must be issued within 6 months prior to the wedding date. You can request the certificate from the church where you were baptized and have it sent directly to you or to the ASU Catholic Newman Center. Baptized non-Catholics may provide a copy of their baptism certificate. A new original is not required for non-Catholics.
  2. Affidavits of Free Status: These are sworn sealed statements, usually by parents if they are living, that you have never been married before and have no impediments to marriage in the Catholic Church. Instructions for this form will be given to you at the marriage seminar.

Timeline—Seven to Eight Months Before the Wedding

Couple Education and Enrichment:

  1. Marriage Preparation Classes: In addition to a marriage prep inventory, you will complete an educational component designed to fine tune practical skills such as conflict resolution, decision-making, financial management, and communication. There are various educational programs available in the diocese, with formats varying from a weekend retreat to multiple evening meetings.
  2. God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage: This is a program designed to get everyone on the same page spiritually. It is based on John Paul II's Theology of the Body and it will teach you not only what the Church teaches about marriage and sexuality, but why she teaches it. To register for this course visit the diocesan website.
  3. Natural Family Planning Course: To ensure that you have the tools to plan your family effectively and in accord with God's plan for marriage, you will have the opportunity to learn about Natural Family Planning, an effective and safe method of family planning supported by the Catholic Church. Class locations, dates, and times are available here.

Timeline—Three Months Before the Wedding

  1. Begin Planning your Liturgy: Together as a couple, begin thinking about the type of liturgy you would like to have, the Scripture passages you would like read, the vows you would like to say, and so forth. The Together for Life book given to you at your initial prenuptial meeting will guide you through this process.
  2. Set up a Musician for your Wedding: The ASU Catholic Newman Center's Music Director is Thomas Muglia. You can reach Thomas with questions regarding your music selections. However, we are also able to provide a list of musicians that have played regularly at the ASU Catholic Newman Center. Please keep in mind that musicians are a separate fee from the wedding fee.

Timeline—Two Months Before the Wedding

  1. Obtain a Marriage License: For Arizona weddings, a marriage license may be obtained at the Marriage License Office. Please plan ahead if you would like to apply for the Arizona Covenant Marriage License, which requires obtaining a notarized statement from us that you have participated in marriage preparation. If you are being married in another state, you must obtain your marriage license in that state.
  2. Contact the Marriage Prep Office at 480-967-7823 to make sure your file is complete.

Timeline—One Month Before the Wedding

  1. Schedule a Meeting with your Celebrant to go over your plans for your liturgy and any last-minute details or concerns.
  2. Take the Opportunity to Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation if you are Catholic, as part of your preparation for the sacrament of matrimony.