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.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1601
Matrimony is the sacrament in which a man and woman, in a permanent bond, are sealed together in the eyes of God.
A Guide to Planning for Marriage at St. Clare
Our Parish Family congratulates you on this important step in your life. We are aware of the enormous amount of time and energy you will put into planning for your wedding day. We are also concerned with your preparation for married life, and will assist you in preparing for this significant event of your lives.
The Roman Catholic Bishops of Michigan, as of January 1, 1981, stated that a couple wishing to marry in the Catholic Church must contact a priest at least six months prior to the wedding. This guideline was made to give the couple and the priest celebrating the wedding adequate time for preparation.
Weddings may be celebrated at St. Clare of Montefalco Church:
First Contact with the Parish
- Fridays anytime from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. or
- Saturdays between 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. or at 6:00 p.m.
The first contact is made with the Pastoral Associate, Janet Guensche 313.647-5015. Marriages at St. Clare begin with a “Profile” being mailed (or emailed) to the bride and groom. The couple will each complete and return his or her profile of general information, which will assist the priest in his preparation for the couple’s first visit. Once the profiles have been received, the priest will contact the couple to make the appointment. During this first meeting with the priest, any questions or concerns may be discussed, and a marriage date may be requested.
Documents Needed for Marriage
The Catholic bride and groom will be required to call his and her parish of Baptism to request a newly issued (within 6-months) Baptismal Certificate with parish seal. If possible, the couple should bring the Certificates with them for their first visit with the priest. If one of the parties is not Catholic, a copy of the Certificate issued at his or her Baptism will suffice. When a parish of Baptism has closed and/or no longer exists, Baptismal Certificates may often be obtained by calling the Diocesan Office of Archives. These newly issued certificates will be retained by our parish in the couple’s Marriage file. (If one of the parties has not been baptized, no certificate will be requested.)
Couples coming to St. Clare from out-of-state are required to have a Form B (Witness Sheet from the Archdiocese) completed by their parents or by someone who has known them for a reasonable amount of time. Once completed, the signatures on these forms must be witnessed by a Priest, Deacon, or Notary Public before they are mailed to St. Clare. They will be retained by the parish in the couple’s Marriage file.
Pre-Marital Inventory (Foccus)
All couples wishing to marry at St. Clare Church are required to take a pre-marital inventory entitled “Foccus.” This inventory is an aid for discussion with couples, surfacing strengths and weaknesses, common interests and concerns regarding communication, family, faith, finances, in-laws, etc. After your first visit with the priest, contact Janet Guensche (313.647.5015) to register for the “Foccus Inventory” which you will complete at the Parish Offices. Once completed, Mrs. Guensche will assign a mentor couple to discuss the results with you.
Couples are required to attend a Pre-Marriage Workshop or Seminar before their marriage. There are many different types such as: The Pre-Marriage Seminar, Marriage Preparation Programs, Covenant Love, Engaged Encounter, etc. Your priest, Fr. Andrew Kowalczyk, CSMA will give you the information at your first meeting with him. After you have taken the workshop, please give the certificate you received to Mrs. Guensche to be placed in your marriage file.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) will not be celebrated at the wedding rehearsal. You are asked to avail yourself of the weekend schedule for confessions (i.e. Saturdays from 2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. or by personal appointment).
At least three weeks before the wedding, the couple will call Fr. Andrew Kowalczyk, CSMA (313-647-5030) to make an appointment for a final meeting. Since the wedding ceremony involves both bride and groom, it is fitting that both of you participate actively in planning the details of your liturgical celebration of marriage. There are many options from which to choose, and Father Andrew will assist you with this part of your preparation. Please use the booklet TOGETHER FOR LIFE and the Wedding Ceremony Preparation Sheet (found in the back of the booklet) in preparing for your ceremony.
Wedding Rehearsal. Fr. Andrew will guide the wedding party through the rehearsal and wedding.
After your Wedding
After you have settled in your new home, please make an effort to register in a local parish. (This should be done even if you continue to worship at St. Clare Parish.) Join the parish and become actively involved; the faith community needs your presence and participation on a regular basis.