“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601)
Preparation For Marriage
Married couples, in virtue of their Sacrament of Matrimony, express and share in the mystery of marital love that exists between Christ and the Church. Through your preparation and entering into this holy vocation as married persons you are a symbol of unconditional love and intimate communion between Jesus, (the Groom) and the Church (His bride).
To witness the love of a man and woman made holy in the Sacrament of Matrimony is to see concretely the love between Christ and His Church. Marriage fills us with great joy and gratitude. That is why we take the preparation and celebration of this sacrament seriously.
As you consider the possibility of celebrating your wedding at Saint Gabriel Catholic Church, you will want to consider these guidelines. If you have any questions, you are welcome to call us at 353-6303.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Priests of Saint Gabriel the Archangel
Engaged couples planning to be married at St. Gabriel should make contact with one of the priests at least SIX MONTHS in advance. To ensure a particular date, at least a year in advance of their preferred date is advised. Definite plans for this date should not be made until such contact has been made. Marriages are celebrated on Friday evenings, at 11:30 am and 2:00 pm on Saturday.
Preparation for marriage involves the couple taking and reviewing the FOCCUS inventory of communication and compatibility, participating in any one of several Marriage Preparation Programs, and planning the wedding ceremony with the presiding priest.
For Your Marriage Website
Did you know that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a website called For Your Marriage? The site includes information on what the Church teaches about marriage, daily tips for your marriage, a parenting and family section, a dating & engaged section, and does answer many questions about Catholics and divorce.
Often individuals are not fully participating in the life of the church because of divorce and remarriage. Others, civilly divorced, have questions regarding the previous marriage. In conjunction with the Catholics Come Home campaign, anyone who is divorced and would like to learn more about the annulment process can contact the rectory or one of our three parish advocates directly. All three of these parishioners have completed Tribunal Advocacy Training and are happy to answer any questions or help begin the annulment process for anyone from St. Gabriel Parish who is interested.
FAQs about Annulments
If a marriage is annulled, are the children considered illegitimate?
No. A declaration of nullity has no effect on the legitimacy of children, since the child’s mother and father were presumed to be married at the time that the child was born. Legitimacy depends on civil law.
Are divorced people excommunicated from the Catholic Church?
No. Divorced people are full members of the Church and are encouraged to participate in its activities.
May a divorced Catholic receive Holy Communion?
Yes. Divorced Catholics in good standing with the Church, who have not remarried or who have remarried following an annulment, may receive the sacraments.
How much does the Tribunal process cost?
In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, a formal Tribunal investigation is assessed a fee of $650, which is the responsibility of the Petitioner. Declarations of nullity cannot be purchased. This fee is payment for the Church's legal services and yet, does not cover the entire cost of the process. The remainder of the actual cost is subsidized by the Archdiocese. At no time is anyone denied a Tribunal process because of financial hardship. All billing is handled by the Archdiocesan Finance Office, not the Tribunal.
Why would a non-Catholic need a decree of nullity from the Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church recognizes all marriages between non-Catholics to be valid and binding as long as they meet civil requirements about the way consent is to be exchanged. A divorced non-Catholic, in order to seek marriage with a Catholic in the Catholic Church, must be considered free to marry. This requires that the whole of his or her life and marital history be brought into harmony with the teaching of the Catholic faith to which the Catholic intended spouse adheres. Hence, if the non-Catholic has previously been married, that first marital bond must be proven null before he or she can be considered free to marry anew.
If you have questions about the annulment process, please contact:
Aaron Weishaar – 314‐606‐4880
Gina Caulfield – 314‐605‐8836
Judy Martin Finch ‐ 314-352‐0743
St. Paul said: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church. . . .
This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church."
--Ephesians 5:25, 32