Post # 1
First thing we did after getting engaged was talk to our priest at the church I got baptized, had my first reconcilation and was confirmed at. The priest said he did not want to marry us unless my fiance became catholic. This wasn’t going to happen.
5 months later we went and talked to the priest at a church that I have gone to mostly within the past ten years, the priest said since I was never a member there (even though I went there for TEN years) I had to get a letter from the priest at the church I was confirmed at. Well he never wrote the letter.
We waited 6 months, contacted both churches…weren’t getting anywhere so we went to a church that we had only been to a couple times, but we decided to become members there. After about two months, I contacted the wedding cordinated who was EXTREMELY rude. Oh my gosh. She told me there was no reason for us to get married at this church because I got confirmed at another church but I explained our situation. She was very judgemental and rude but said she would ask father if marrying us would be an option.
Calls back. No. And then she said she couldn’t accept us to be members at the church until we are married for a few years. What??? I have never heard of that.
SO. After that ridiculous mess, I called the cathedral that is closest to us and explained what we have gone through and the wedding coordinator was super sweet. She just said we need to wait 6 months after becoming members. So we did, then we set our date.
We took the foccus test, had a review with another couple who have been married and it was a little awkward, then they were suppose to send our review in. We went on our retreat in October…before we got the okay to because knowing what we have been through we wanted to get it done.
Here we are now: the couple never sent in the review. Which prevented us from talking with father (the pastor of the cathedral)…and I’m not sure if we will get all of the wedding prep done in 3 months!
I’m sorry for this long post, but why does it seem like the catholic church doesn’t make marriage a priority? At times I’ve been ready to scream!! Has anyone else had a hard time with the church marrying them?
Post # 3
It’s a shame none of the people you’ve talked to have been very helpful . My own planning went really well, and they seemed to encourage us getting married, but every church is different in how helpful it is. I don’t know why they’re telling you so many weird rules- your FI definitely does not have to be Catholic for you to be married in the church (just have the nuptial ceremony), you don’t have to get married in the church you were confirmed in (I had a full Mass, and have never even been confirmed), and there is no reason to be rude to you.
Is there any way for you to contact the church or the couple you worked with, and explain the situation? Also, you say you went on your retreat- does this mean you did Engaged Encounter? If so, what else do they still need you to do? We did Engaged Encoutner and had one brief meeting with out priest. Maybe you could call the church and see if that’s enough?
Good luck! I hope you’re able to get everything sorted out!
Post # 4
I know, right? I was just disappointed with how this whole process has gone. But yes I meant the engaged encounter retreat (which was actually so great for the both of us). Since we are getting married in a cathedral, there is a little bit more prep needed so we have to meet with the priest a few times. Unfortunately, the church wedding cordinator has called and e-mailed this couple several times ever since november, nothing. I even tried spotting them out during mass for a few weeks (at different times), nothing! I don’t have their number so I can’t call them myself.
We have a few other people to meet with which I’m unclear about but we are meeting with the wedding cordinator next week so that should be a little more helpful.
Post # 5
Weird! You definitely don’t have to marry a Catholic or get married in the church you were confirmed at!
I would make it clear to the church (though as nice as possible) that this is on them now, and they need to follow up with the couple or reassign you. Or just let you meet with the priest without it the results. You’ve done everything right, so don’t stress!
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2011 - Catholic Church, Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa
My priest hasn’t even had us take the test…he said he’d email if there was anything we needed to do. I felt like I was off the hook until other people were like, yeah, we think it’s a requirement to take the test.
I’m sorry that stuff is happening, but really, it’s the priest’s job to help you guys along and get all that paperwork done.
Post # 7
@biscuit: Frustrating! Have you guys had to go on an engaged encounters retreat? or those 6 week classes?
each archdiocese is different though…
I guess a priest has the choice to refuse to marry someone if they haven’t been a part of their church, or if one of them isn’t catholic, at least from the research that I’ve done on it. I never thought it would be that hard to get married though…All I knew was that we would have to wait 6 months.
Post # 8
- Wedding: July 2011 - Catholic Church, Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa
@Heatherloveskenny: Nope. The priest said our church doesn’t have anything like that set up and he’d email things we could do if we wanted. It was very…weird. I mean, it’s cool and all, I don’t like going on retreats, but I’m afraid I’m going to hear that I can’t get married in the church because I didn’t do that stuff.
Post # 9
@Heatherloveskenny: The priest doesnt have to marry if someone isnt Catholic- And if one person is & one isnt & they want to marry inside the church it depends on if the Non-Catholic has been baptisted in the name of the Father, The Son, & Holy Spirit AND if one is and one isnt and you want to marry outside the churhc- you have to write alot of letters to the Bishop and get permission & all that fun stuff. Im facing alot of this right now because I’m the one that IS NOT Catholic & my fiance is. Hope it works out for you!
Post # 10
I think the particular parish can really affect the whole process. You expect every person that you meet with to be a representative of the Church and to be kind and welcoming, and, sadly, it’s not always that way.
Or even if the staff is helpful, sometimes the administrative side of a parish is just…lacking.
I had some bad experiences early on with wedding planning with a particular parish…it was just a nightmare and we should’ve walked away earlier. I live in another country and have a parish there that my fiance and I belong to, but I wanted to get married in my parents’ hometown because a lot of my family members wouldn’t be able to travel to the wedding. I should’ve just gone with my family’s church from the beginning–we know everyone there, I attend mass there whenever I’m in town, etc. But I was trying to make it easy on out-of-town guests and I really wanted to have the reception on-site. So there was one church in the same city that had a huge parish hall that could accommodate receptions. From the beginning, there were warning signs–their office was not terribly organized (the original date that we’d put a deposit on had been given away to parishioners) and staff members kept leaving and I kept getting emails from new people assigned to handle our wedding requesting paperwork that had already been sent. And, I dunno, the attitude I encountered with a couple of different people was like they were doing us a huge favor by letting us get married there (like it’s such an outlandish thing to be a young couple who really wants to get married in the Church, but have ailing grandparents that can’t travel to another country, so they want to have it at a place nearby!) The coordinator kept trying to pressure us into choosing Sept. 11th as our new wedding date, saying they’d give it to us for half price and that our wedding anniversary forever being on that date was “no big deal.” The last straw was when they rented out the parish hall for a convention on the morning of our wedding date and couldn’t guarantee that it would be vacated by the afternoon.
It just seemed like there were so many red flags. We got our deposit back and are now getting married at my family’s church (like we should’ve done from the get-go) and just holding the reception elsewhere. The process now has been like a dream comparatively. (And this is going between two Dioceses in two different countries–from our home parish here to my family’s church where we’ll be married)…and everyone at my family’s parish is so kind; the women at the office always ask how my parents are doing whenever I talk to them…so it really depends on the parish, how organized they are, and who is employed by them.
Post # 11
We had a nightmare of a time trying to get the Catholic side of things straightened out in the beginning. I was reduced to tears a couple times and at a certain point decided to end all hope that we could work it out. My issue was that I’m getting married out of state to a non-catholic but needed pre-cana done in my home parish except my home parish messed up and said my address really puts me in a different parish so I went there and that priest told me I had to pay to become a member and was really mean and kept telling me that I really should be getting married in his church not 14 hours away near FH’s family. He also refused to send the paper allowing me to become a parish member at “MY” church. Eventually I find out through a friend that my parents never removed my member status and that I am still technically considered a member at my original church. Yay! So it took a lot of extra effort but we are having a Catholic ceremony. We can’t do the full mass because the priest wouldn’t consent to that and therefore we are having the ceremony preformed by a Deacon.
Post # 12
@Heatherloveskenny: A priest cannot require someone to convert to marry you. That would be a grave error and grounds to have that priest removed from pastoral duty. Not only that but it would be a serious, serious problem to try to force someone to convert.
Please send me a private message with the name of the priest and the name of the church. The bishop in that area would be very interested to know if this is going on and to rectify the situation. We simply can’t have people like this in our Church.
Also, regarding the letter requirement from the confirmation parish – that cannot be required. What would be required is a baptismal certificate if you were baptized in that parish. That is required so that the priest can see if you’ve been married in the past (because that certificate is updated if you are married). You really shouldn’t have had a problem receiving that certificate.
Post # 13
@MrsPinkPeony: “I had to pay to become a member and was really mean and kept telling me that I really should be getting married in his church not 14 hours away near FH’s family.”
First, you can’t “pay” to become a member. Registering with a parish is always free. They can ask you to pay for the pre-cana. That covers books, the priest’s time, the wedding coordinator’s time, the FOCCUS test, etc.
As far as getting married away from home, it is tradition (and has always been tradition up until a few decades ago) that a couple was married in the brides’ home church. There was no such thing as a destination wedding. People from the older generation and those who are foreign have a hard time understanding why Americans like destination weddings so much (Americans really are the only culture that widely disperses family around a large geographical area).
Post # 14
@azure6700: That sounds awful. I would be so upset–I’m sorry you and your fiance went through that. It sounds like marriage is the last thing they want people to do. Even though, we aren’t suppose to have sex until we are married, are not suppose to live together and I get that there are high divorce rates–but at LEAST be considerate and prompt about to get back to couples about getting married and make it a priority like it should be.
@june42011: First off, date twin!
But, that is TERRIBLE. I can’t even comprehend why some people in the catholic church are mean about certain issues (I can understand being passionate about it but flat out mean? come on)…Anyway I’m sorry that has happened to you but completely glad that you can get married at a church that you feel comfortable at. The attitude I got from that third church we went to (from the wedding cordinator) was SO negative and hurtful. Most parishes that are in small towns/very involved with their school tend to be more unaccepting of new members. Where as the cathedral that we are getting married at is very laid back and I think it’s because it’s in such a huge city.
@CatholicBee: The priest said that if he didn’t become catholic the deacon could marry us (so he did give us that option)…this might sound rude, but the deacon is in his 80’s and he forgets prayers, names, and is kind of mean also. He forgot my nephews name during his baptism, called him a girl and was not very personal at all…
I wouldn’t feel like our wedding day would be special if he were to marry us. As for the letter, both of those priests said that was completely normal and it has been done quite a few times.
Post # 15
That’s weird. Aren’t there other preists that can marry at the same parish? Why is your fiance so adament about not becoming a catholic may I ask? If he marrys you he has to promise to raise the kids catholic anyway?
Post # 16
@Heatherloveskenny: I would still contact the bishop about that situation. A priest cannot force, pressure, or coerce a person into becoming Catholic. That is why it takes a year or so to become a Catholic – the Church makes sure the person completely understands the faith and is fully accepting of it first. A priest refusing to marry you (even if he did give another option) for lack of conversion is in grave error and needs to be disciplined.
As far as the “letter”, that is not required. The Catholic Church has rules are set in stone (since 1983 for the latest version) and published for anyone to read. Priests cannot make new rules or add or remove requirements at their whim. Again, they can ask for your baptismal certificate to validate that you are Catholic and that you have not been married in the past.