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St. Christopher the Martyr Catholic Church
309  Manson Avenue, Metairie, Louisiana 70001
Phone:  504-837-8214
Sacrament of Marriage

                                                 

Congratulations on your engagement!  The goal of our parish is to help enrich your relationship
with one another and with the Church.

To schedule a wedding, the bride and groom must:
1.      

2.


3.




To make an appointment with a priest to discuss available dates and to obtain guidelines, contact
the rectory.  
At this appointment, you may place a nonrefundable deposit of $200.00 to
secure your wedding date.
 There is an additional fee of $200.00 for St. Christopher parishioners
or $300.00 for those who are out of parish, which must be paid one month before the wedding.

For a comprehensive discussion of the civil and church requirements in order for a marriage to
take place, as well as the four-phase process mandated by the Archdiocese of New Orleans, please
refer to "Steps To The Altar" at
https://fla.arch-no.org/steps_to_the_altar.

Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage involves participation in programs for the couple to
grow in understanding of the sacrament.  Information about all preparation programs can be
obtained from the Archdiocese of New Orleans Office of Family Life, 504-861-6243 or
https://fla.arch-no.org/preparation, but a brief description is as follows:
   Day for the Engaged is held on a Saturday, 9:00-4:00, and enables couples, neither of whom have
           been previously married, to spend time in thought, conversation, writing, and prayer in
           the company of other couples preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Couples should
           attend at least five months before their marriage.
   Engaged Encounter is a weekend retreat recommended to take place three to six months before
           the wedding of couples, neither of whom has been married before.  Married couples and a
           priest make presentations, followed by writing and sharing exercises that offer couples a
           unique opportunity to share honestly with each other about their future lives together and
           to question, examine, and deepen their relationship with each other.
   Evening for the Engaged is offered to engaged couples seeking to marry for the first time.  It
           consists of six sessions that take place in presentors' homes with one or more engaged
           couples participating.  Themes include:  communication, marriage in God's way, sex in a
           love relationship, and living the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Sessions are designed to include
           brief presentations by a married couple, quiet written exercises, sharing with one's partner,
           and sharing exercises to be done outside the sessions.
   The Re-Marriage Preparation Program is nine hours in length, and attendance is recommended
           six months before the wedding.  It is designed specifically for all couples wherein one or
           both parties have been previously married to someone else and is limited to marriages
           wherein stepfamilies are involved.  Couples anticipating annulments should wait for a
           final decision before registering for this program.
   The Special Marriage Preparation Program is a marriage enrichment program established to
           serve couples in special circumstances, such as couples who are civilly married seeking
           church validation of their marriages and couples in long-term relationships.  This
           program will highlight the strengths and weaknesses within the couple's relationship.

The laws of the Catholic Church regarding the recording of sacraments are the same worldwide.
We have a directory of churches throughout the world and can provide addresses, phone numbers,
and fax numbers to help you in your request.  It may take a longer time to receive the information,
so please allow sufficient time for mailing when scheduling your appointment.  The fact that someone
was baptized in another country is not an exemption of this requirement.

A Catholic may marry a non-Catholic in a Catholic Church ceremony provided there are no
impediments (previous marriages, etc.).  The Catholic Church does not deny the existence of a civil
marriage.  This should be discussed when you meet with the priest.

Catholics married in a non-Catholic or civil ceremony may have their marriage blessed in the
Catholic Church.  This church blessing is called a “Convalidation.”  The ceremony consists of a Liturgy
of the Word, a homily, a renewal of vows, and a blessing of rings.  Two people will be needed to act as
witnesses, and you may invite other family members and friends to be present.

In addition to the marriage preparation programs, the Archdiocese of New Orleans Office of Family
Life also offers programs that support existing marriages.  For more information, please contact
504-861-6243 or
https://fla.arch-no.org/enrichment:
   Marriage Encounter is offered to couples seeking a richer, fuller life together.  The weekend is
           Catholic in orientation but is open to couples of other faiths.
   Marriage Enrichment is a ministry intended for engaged and married couples seeking a fuller
           life together (but not for hurting marriages).  Designed to give married couples the
           opportunity to examine their lives together, Marriage Encounter is a time to share feelings,
           hopes, disappointments, joys, and frustrations openly and honestly with one's spouse.  The
           weekend is Catholic in orientation but is open to couples of other faiths; it takes place from
           Friday evening to Sunday afternoon at a local motel or retreat facility.  For more
           information, contact Jason and Stacy Verret, 800-586-5469.
   Retrouvaille/Rediscovery for Hurting Marriages consists of a weekend experience and a
           series of 12 presentations offered within the following three months.  This program is a
           ministry serving couples with troubled marriages and helps them to reestablish
           communication and gain new insights into themselves as individuals and as a couple,
           helping them to discover how listening, forgiveness, communication, and the dialogue
           process are powerful aids for building a loving and lasting relationship.
   Catholic Counseling Service provides quality counseling and psychotherapy through a unique
           perspective that upholds the richness of our Catholic faith.  The South Shore office is
           located at 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 420, Metairie, LA 70005.  For further
           details, please see
https://fla.arch-no.org/counseling.
         
The Sacrament of Marriage
Make an appointment with one of our priests or deacons at least six months in
advance of the date chosen for their wedding.
Produce an original of their Baptismal Certificates
dated within six months of the
date of the wedding
.  The Baptismal Certificate will include notations of the confirm-
ation of the party and any marriage in the Catholic Church.
If either party has been previously married, the nature of the marriage will determine the
requirements necessary to proceed with this marriage.  
No arrangements for the
wedding or reception should be contracted before the freedom of the parties
to marry is determined and a date is set with the parish.