"The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissouluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1661).
At St. Mary’s Church, we seek to help all married couples live out the sacrament of marriage to its fullest dignity. We recognize that one of the keys to a Christ-centered, strong, and healthy marriage is adequate preparation and formation for what is a life-long sacrament. This preparation is accomplished through the St. Mary’s Marriage Preparation program in conjunction with mandatory participation as a couple in one Engaged Encounter weekend or a four-session mentoring program.
Tragically, the institution of marriage is under full frontal attack in our culture, with at least one-half of all marriages ending in civil divorce. Acknowledging the great stresses that every marriage faces, we encourage married couples to nurture their marriage covenant through programs like Marriage Encounter. For those couples who are enduring severe crisis in their relationship, we recommend participating in the Retrouvaille program which is offered in the neighboring Diocese of Charlotte.