>Services & Agencies
Marriage is the bedrock of a healthy society and family life. It is not only good for the couple themselves, bringing joy and fulfilment to their lives, but it is their particular path to holiness.
The Renaissance of Marriage – 2016 National Marriage Conference
Hosted by Francine and Byron Pirola, the National Marriage Conference will be held on 21-22 October 2016 at UTS in Sydney. Speakers include Christopher West (USA), Archbishop Anthony Fisher, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Dr Ron & Mavis Pirola, Peter Shakhovskoy, and Karen & Jonathan Doyle.
For further details, please visit www.rom.org.au
St Valentine's Day 2016
Below is the resource for St Valentine's Day, 14 February 2016.
National Marriage Day
National Marriage Day is celebrated annually on 13 August.
Marriage Week is celebrated annually and will be celebrated from 11 – 17 September 2016.
For information and resources, please visit marriageweek.org.au
- Download additional Resource Kit
Vocation of Marriage and Parenthood
The vocation to which every Christian person is called is the call to love. The call to love is ultimately what God asks from each of us. One way we can choose to live out our call to love is through the vocation of marriage.
- "Married Life is Beautiful and Must be Protected" by Janette Davidson (Broken Bay News Aug 2014) [PDF/220KB]
- "Vocation of Marriage and Parenting" by Janette Davidson (Broken Bay News Aug 2013) [PDF/260KB]
- "A Calling Amidst the Stuff ... the Vocation of Marriage and Parenting" by Janette Davidson (Broken Bay News Aug 2012) [PDF/920KB]
- "Reflections on the Vocation of Marriage and Parenting" by Janette Davidson (Broken Bay News Aug 2007) [PDF/2.3MB]
Preparing for a Catholic Marriage
Catholics are requested to give the officiating priest at least six months’ notice of their intention to marry. While one month’s notice is obligatory by law, the advanced notice requested allows time for serious marriage preparation.
Documents Required for Marriage in the Catholic Church
The Notification of Intention to Marry Form, available from your parish priest, must be signed no more than three months and no less than one month prior to the wedding day.
Place of Marriage
Since the celebration of the sacrament of marriage has an important religious meaning it is celebrated in the Catholic Church.
Where one of the partners is not a Catholic and has a strong connection to his or her own Church, the Bishop may give permission for the marriage to take place in the other Church.
Only in very exceptional circumstances will permission be given for a marriage to take place elsewhere than in a Church.
Couples marrying in the Diocese are required to attend a Catholic marriage preparation course. This is to ensure that they have understood and agreed to the solemn promises that they will both be making before God, and to equip them to grow in their love and commitment to each other in spite of challenges they may encounter.
A Marriage Preparation Resource Pack containing information about recommended Marriage Preparation Courses is provided by parishes to engaged couples and some of the content can be downloaded from the CatholicCare website.
Courses Provided by CatholicCare Broken Bay
A couple program. FOCCUS is an in-depth user-friendly questionnaire designed to help you and your partner learn more about yourselves and your unique relationship. The sessions are facilitated by an accredited Relationship Educator in a confidential environment - available by appointment only.
Cost: $300 per couple (as at 2015, may vary from year to year).
Partners for Life
A group program. This Friday evening/Saturday program, conducted by CatholicCare Broken Bay, is designed to assist couples to build and sustain a meaningful relationship in your marriage.
Cost: $300 per couple (as at 2015, may vary from year to year).
Cost includes course materials, light dinner, lunch, morning and afternoon tea.
Download course brochure [PDF/790KB]
For more information or program bookings please contact: (02) 9488 2400.
FOCCUS – Parish Based
In some parishes the FOCCUS program is parish based and facilitated by trained members of the parish community. Sessions are usually held in homes or in the parish precincts.
SmartLoving - Engaged (Embrace)
Embrace is a parish-based mentoring system that provides comprehensive formation for couples preparing for marriage. Each couple is ‘matched’ with a trained married mentor couple who facilitates the multimedia course which is run over a number of weeks. For more information see website www.smartloving.org or contact the Parish and Marriage Resource Centre (02) 93191111.
Catholic Engaged Encounter
Held over a Saturday and Sunday this non-residential marriage preparation experience is presented by married couples and a priest when available. The weekend is designed as a private experience appealing to couples from a wide variety of experiences. For more information see website www.engagedencounter.org.au or call Engaged Encounter (02) 99903212.
Natural Family Planning
All married couples, whether married for 2, 20 or 60+ years have an opportunity to deepen their understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of their marriage through a variety of experiences.
Each day presents opportunities to do something positive for one’s marriage.
Ways to nurture and sustain your marriage include:
- Finding time, making time, creating time to be with each other and to talk about how you feel and what you feel towards each other;
- Involvement as a couple in parish ministries;
- Taking time out to enrich your marriage by participating in programs which can help deepen your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of your marriage. The Diocese of Broken Bay recommends two programs i.e. Marriage Encounter and SmartLoving-Marriage, see details following;
- Reading and discussing articles on marriage in the Broken Bay News and other Christian journals;
- Accessing suitable websites such as “For your marriage” www.foryourmarriage.org
- Accessing resources and information from the Catholic Society for Marriage Education. The aim of the Society is to promote and support marriage and family life in the Catholic vision by encouraging marriage and relationship education for couples considering marriage and for married couples, throughout Australia. The site also contains links to other marriage sites in Australia and overseas. Catholic Society for Marriage Education
Marriage Enrichment Programs supported by the Diocese
A Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a weekend away, offering married couples a special kind of "time out", a different kind of "weekend getaway". It is an opportunity to recharge your relationship batteries and more deeply explore the precious nature of your marriage. It offers a gentle, nurturing environment, away from the pressures and distractions of daily living. Thus, it allows you both to share your feelings, hopes and dreams with each other in ways that normal, daily living tends to inhibit. For more information see website www.wwme.org.au
SmartLoving – Marriage (Celebrate Love)
SmartLoving Marriage is a solution-focussed seminar that will equip you and your spouse to identify your unique love profile and learn practical ways to love more effectively. For more information see website www.smartloving.org
Couples for Christ Australia (Global)
Couples for Christ (CFC) Australia is a Catholic renewal community, whose goal is to strengthen the Christian family. Support extends to the families of members, youth, singles, the divorced and separated. For more information see website www.cfcaustralia.org
The official Diocesan Catholic welfare agency, CatholicCare Broken Bay, is accredited by the Australian Attorney-General under the provision of the Family Law Act, to assist couples when a marital relationship is at risk, and to help in the resolution of custody and maintenance questions when a separation is inevitable.
CatholicCare employs staff who are well skilled in the counselling process and who are familiar with the Catholic teachings and traditions about marriage and divorce. They are able to be of significant help in times of marital disharmony and imminent separation.
CatholicCare marriage counselling programs are available to couples or individuals, Catholics and non-Catholics. For further information CatholicCare Counselling Services
Separated, Divorced and Widowed
At different stages in married life challenges can come along that put pressure on the relationship between husband and wife. In a healthy relationship these can be times of change and growth but if the relationship is facing difficulties, or the couple lack the skills to deal with the situation, these can cause conflict and even the breakdown of marriages.
During these times the Church can offer support in many ways:
Beginning Experience is an invitation to growth. It is a weekend for separated, divorced or widowed people who have worked through the initial phase of grief and are looking toward a new beginning. For more information please contact Lee (02) 9449 5317, Lynne (02) 4627 2084 or Kevin (02) 4981 0626
Seasons for Growth is a program for children, young people or adults who have experienced significant change or loss.
Seasons for Growth is based on the belief that change, loss and grief are a normal and valuable part of life. We examine the impact of changes such as death, separation, divorce, and natural disaster upon our lives, and explore how we can learn to live with and grow from these experiences. For further information see website Seasons for Growth
Church law about the annulment of marriages can sometimes be complex and specialist advice may be required. For further information, please contact your local parish priest or the Marriage Tribunal.
Diocese of Broken Bay
Caroline Chisholm Centre
Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120
Mail: PO Box 340 Pennant Hills NSW 1715
Telephone: 02 9847 0458
Fax: 02 9847 0221
Marriage Resources and Websites
The Goodness of Sexuality Brochure [PDF/1.3MB]
Making Sense of Cohabitation Brochure [PDF/2.3MB]
Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council - www.acmfc.org.au
Catholic Society for Marriage Education - www.csme.catholic.org.au
Couples for Christ Australia (Global) - cfcaustralia.org
For Your Marriage (US Bishops) - www.foryourmarriage.org
Marriage Resource Centre - www.marriageresourcecentre.org
SmartLoving - www.smartloving.org
Worldwide Marriage Encounter - www.wwme.org.au
“The Marriage God Wants for You: Why the Sacrament Makes All the Difference" book by Cardinal Donald Wuerl
Church Documents on Marriage and Family
Parish Marriage and Family Network Contacts / Teams
The role of the Network Contacts/Teams is to support Marriage & Family Life and Respect Life ministries in parishes in consultation with the Parish Priest and parish leadership. Network Contacts assist in the distribution and raising awareness of information and resources and communicating and promoting marriage and family life events. For more information on the Network Contacts/Teams contact Janette Davidson.
For more information please contact:
Phone: 0409 074 908
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