Holy Matrimony

Fr. VanDenBroeke explains the meaning of Christian Marriage

Divine Mercy welcomes you into the journey toward celebrating the love you have discovered for each other.

The Catholic Church does not take lightly the vows you are preparing to take, but hopefully we can help you grow, not only in your love for each other, but in your faith in the blessings you will receive on coming to your nuptials at one with God, the Church, your families and each other.

Following is an outline of the path you will follow and the steps you will take toward your happy day:

  1. Couples must be registered and active for six months before a date can be set. In the case of inter-denominational marriage, the Catholic is expected to be active in the Church.

  2. Couples should schedule an appointment with the parish office at least six months prior to the wedding date. 

  3. Reserve your date with the parish office. The date will be confirmed once the preparation work is under way.

  4. If you are not a parishioner (nor a son or daughter of a parishioner), a letter from your pastor telling us that you are a registered member of a local Catholic community needs to be presented to the parish office.

  5. Enroll in the diocesan Marriage Course or a diocesan Engaged Encounter. After the weekend, you will be given a certificate that must be presented to the parish office. Contact the Office of Marriage and Family at 320-252-4721 for dates and availability.

  6. Begin Natural Family Planning (NFP) instruction or continue with NFP instruction. (A first instruction class is included in the diocesan marriage course.)

  7. Call or write the parish of your baptism and request that a baptism certificate be sent to you.

  8. If the priest witnessing your marriage does not personally know you, a "Freedom to Marry" form shall be completed by someone who knows you well, in the presence of the priest of his designate.

  9. Procure your wedding license from the State of Minnesota. It is valid for six months, but takes five days to be processed. The license should be provided to the parish office prior to your wedding.

  10. Study and select Scripture readings for your wedding liturgy. A selection of Scripture suggestions will be provided.

  11. Your wedding is a personal event and a public liturgy of the Church. You will receive guidelines and ideas for liturgy planning, music, decorating, and photography.

  12. ​If you have been previously married, a "Declaration of Nullity" is required. More information about annulments is available from the diocesan Tribunal Office at 320-251-6557.

  13. Make a great confession!  (Examine Your Conscience)

Marriage Encounter
Marriage Encounter is designed to give married couples the opportunity to examine their lives together. The emphasis on Marriage Encounter is on communication between husband and wife, who spend a weekend together away from the distractions and tensions of everyday life, to concentrate on each other. It allows couples to rediscover each other and together focus on their marriage relationship for an entire weekend. What a great gift! ​

Retrouvaille (pronounced "ret-tro-vy")
A lifeline for troubled marriages. It is a weekend experience with six follow-up sessions and is designed to provide tools to help put one's marriage in order again. The main emphasis is on communication. 

There are a few forms to complete, including...

  1. Pre-marriage inventory, to be completed with the wedding coordinator. This is a tool to aid discussion that focuses on various aspects of married life. Expect this to involve three to six meetings, with completion at least one month prior to your wedding.

  2. Pre-nuptial investigation, which is required by the diocese. This process gathers basic information and inquires about your freedom to marry in the Church.


Fast, easy & secure.


We look forward to hearing from you!


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