Marriage Matters at Holy Faith Parish

This website page will look at Matters of Marriage across many age groups.  Our marriage changes and evolves as we move through various developmental life stages.  Addressing marriage as followers of Jesus Christ and members of the Catholic Church offers us unique opportunities to grow in love and compassion in our marriages.

Let's Start At The Very Beginning

Let’s Start At The Very Beginning

Where to begin about marriage?
What is the purpose of marriage?

The variety of topics, from choice of marriage partner, issues of communication, family-of-origin influence upon marriage, finances, and dealing with anger are topics for complete books on marriage.  Check the aisles of local bookstores, and you’ll find large sections devoted to relationships and topics associated with marriage.  Many of us like being married.  Many more of us want to be married more happily and with greater fulfillment.  Yet, there are personal, cultural, and social pressures which make this goal difficult to achieve. Jesus, according to the Gospel of St. John, chose to perform his first public miracle at a wedding.  He did not heal a crippled person or bring sight to the blind.  Rather, at the Wedding Feast of Cana (John 2:1-12,), Jesus came to the rescue of his friends and family by turning water into wine.  Jesus continues to offer help and assistance to married couples by his teachings on love and forgiveness, and this teaching continues through the Church.

The Catholic Church emphasizes marriage as sacrament and covenant, in contrast with the societal perspective of romance and contract.  Within the Catholic perspective, marriage and families are viewed not as isolated experiences, but as small, sacramental and grace-filled communities.  These communities then are connected to the larger world through service and care of one another.  Pope John Paul II worked to elevate married life within the Church to its place of sacrament and vocation.  For him, the sacrament of marriage is the specific source and original means of sanctification for Christian married couples and families.  (It) is in itself a liturgical action, glorifying God.  (It) gives couples the grace and obligation of transforming their whole lives into a spiritual sacrifice.*

*John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, #56

The sacrament of marriage is the grace of God’s love poured out on us.  We experience love in friendship and marriage is the utmost of friendships, wherein God communicates himself to us through the love of the other.  The commitment of the couple is to the growth of each individual and to the good of the family as a whole.  Deepening this commitment is hard work and, in the exacting rush of contemporary family life, difficult to attain.  There is much to occupy a couple’s daily life, and intimacy is often not sought out or protected.  At times, it may be easier to walk through busy lives filled with children, career building, and retirement planning and fail to look into each other’s eyes.

Let’s return to Cana.  What does this miracle say to you about marriage?
Invite Jesus to join you in your marriage.
Jesus will take what is good and filled with love and life-giving, the “water,” and transform it into choice wine, delectable and enjoyable for the community, and pleasing to God.
Love like Jesus.

He came when invited to the wedding feast, then, proceeded on a difficult journey of sacrificing his life for the sake of love.  We are not loved by Jesus or by our spouse because of who we are today, but for who we can become through God’s grace.  Jesus loved us that we might become more fully the sons and daughters of God, our Father.  We are called to lay down our lives for each other so that the goodness we see in each other can be transformed into choice wine, into lives filled with love and grace and mercy.  With God’s grace, this is choice wine that will never run out, and only increase in value to those who are nourished by drinking at the feast.

The website: For Your Marriage offers excellent and current articles on marriage from a Catholic Christian perspective.  Please check out the website and a few articles.
Summary of the Pastoral Initiative for Marriage –
“Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan –

A Pastoral letter by the Catholic Bishops of the United States”

Stages of Marriage

Friendship and Marriage

Tip of the Month:
“Yes, we do marry our soul mates,” one wise couple said.
“But it’s at the end of the marriage and not the beginning that we discover this.”
What have you discovered recently about your spouse that reminds you of the blessing he or she is to your life?
How did you see this gift when you married?
How has it developed over the years and stages of your marriage?

A useful site for those Planning a Catholic wedding

The USCCB website on marriage

Steps of Marriage Preparation

Steps of Marriage Preparation at Holy Faith: Preparation for a Lifetime

Step One (1 hour): Preliminary meeting with the Pastor

To discuss documents
To discuss Marriage Preparation Fees
To discuss Financial Management

Step Two: Parish Resources

Marriage Spirituality Seminar (2 hours)
FOCCUS survey and Review (1 hour + 2-3 hours)
Natural Family Planning (5 sessions)

Step Three: Other Resources

Engaged Encounter (a weekend) or
PreCana (a day) or
Marriage Preparation online (5 sessions)

Step Four: Preparing the Wedding Liturgy
This step is done when the wedding is at Holy Faith

Liturgical Preparation (45 minutes)
Music preparation (45 minutes)

Step Five: Obtain Wedding License

Saturday Wedding Times at Holy Faith:
Morning: 11am    Afternoon: From 12pm to 2:30pm    Evening: 7pm

Click here for a PDF version of the 2019 Marriage Steps for complete details and fees.



(1) Baptismal Certificates.  Catholics must furnish a Baptism certificate recently issued by contacting the church in which you were baptized. Other Christians can present a copy of a certificate from their church of baptism.

(2) Freedom to Marry Affidavits.  These affidavits testify that you have never been married before. They are to be signed by two witnesses (usually parents, relatives or friends). The two witnesses can sign separately if necessary. Your witnesses may either sign their affidavit in the presence of a priest or deacon who seals it or use a notary.

(3) Dispensations.  The Pastor will arrange for permissions from the Bishop if these are needed. When marrying someone who is not Catholic, the Catholic reaffirms that he or she will continue to attend Mass and practice the Catholic Faith and to share this Faith with their children, usually raising them as Catholic.

Marriage Spirituality Seminar

Marriage Spirituality Seminar

The Catholic Church has a very exalted and spiritual view of marriage and sees Christian marriage as a public ministry as well as a personal, faithful and life-long relationship between a man and a woman.

You will learn about God’s blessing of your marriage and its nature as a public covenant of love.

Contact: Deacon Michael Demers

FOCCUS Survey and Review

FOCCUS Survey and Review

This is a communications survey which can deepen your knowledge of one another.

Contact: Deacon Michael Demers

Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning

This is a method that helps a couple plan a pregnancy or delay it through natural means (5 sessions $185).

Contact: Chris Pampo at 352-246-7155

Other Resources

Other Resources

The Diocese requires additional preparation to that of the parish.

There are three options of which you choose one:

Engaged Encounter (a weekend) see ($280)

PreCana (a day) see ($79)

Marriage Preparation online (8 hours) see Catholic Marriage Prep ($195)

Note: If you choose the Marriage Preparation online, you do not take FOCCUS. Instead, through this option you take a different premarital inventory called Couple Checkup which is discussed with you by Deacon Mike. Be sure to have the results emailed to him at: Deacon

Financial Planning

Statistics indicate that many couples divorce because of tensions over finances. Don’t become a statistic! The management of finances can be learned, and the earlier the better. You will receive for your reference the book, “Financial Peace Revisited,” by Dave Ramsey. Mr. Ramsey also has a helpful website.

Preparing The Wedding Ceremony

Preparing The Wedding Ceremony

This step is done when the wedding is at Holy Faith. The Liturgy is the Church’s public worship. The Catholic Church has a specific ceremony for weddings.

Liturgical Preparation (45 minutes): Contact Letty Valentin, Liturgy Director   at Email or 352-376-5405 extension: 118
Music preparation (45 minutes): Contact Christina Logan, Music Director at 352-256-9365

It is required that you meet with the Liturgy Director before meeting with the Music Director, photographer and florist and before making any other plans for decorations or church ceremony.

Also see the brochure: “Practical Considerations for Marrying at Holy Faith”

If you are getting married elsewhere:
Contact the parish priest who is doing your wedding and ask for directions about preparing the wedding ceremony and music at your chosen church.

Obtaining Your Wedding License

Obtaining Your Wedding License

If marrying in Florida, you may obtain your wedding license at any County Courthouse.

Before getting your license go to:
Marriage License
for very important information.

You will receive a Certificate of Marriage Preparation from the parish before getting your license.

A Certificate of Marriage Preparation will qualify you for a reduced license fee and no waiting period for the time of issue. The parish can give you a Certificate. Pre-Cana and Engaged Encounter, and Marriage Preparation online also issue Certificates of Completion.

Your wedding license is only valid for 60 day from time it is issued.