Sacramental Marriage Preparation

The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament.
– Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1660

Since Marriage involves a lifelong covenantal commitment, effective preparation is important both in terms of understanding how to live out a relationship of self-sacrificial love as well as growing in deeper knowledge of yourself as well as your future spouse.

The first step is to schedule a conversation with one of our priests. After these initial meetings, he will recommend some marriage preparation. Here at St. Helen’s we have few options to consider:

  1. Unitas (preferred): Couples attend seven instructor led sessions designed to help couples build faith and spirituality in their relationship, develop an understanding of communication, family of origin, conscience development, intimacy building and family formation and establish ties with the Church community. Sessions are on Thursdays 7:30pm – 9pm and usually begin in January and in September. $75 fee includes Unitas workbooks.
  2. Sponsor Couples: Sponsor couple preparation is available if you’re not able to come to Unitas classes. You’ll meet as a couple with a dedicated married couple who will provide marriage preparation sessions in their homes. Times and dates can be coordinated with the sponsor couples availability. $75 fee includes For Better & Forever workbooks.
  3. Diocesan compressed programs: The archdiocese provides several options that include some weekend options for those are looking for a compressed schedule.
    • Transformed in Love will help to explain what love is, and the wonder of the sacredness of marriage.  It will prepare you for what to expect on your wedding day, and guide you in managing  your  family’s finances.  It will help you understand who you are, and how to communicate effectively with your spouse. And Transformed in Love will help to build and maintain an atmosphere of continuous spiritual growth for your family. These sessions will be held 8 am – 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
    • Before the Vows is a comprehensive preparation program designed to equip you and your fiancé(e) with the practical and spiritual components that your married life will need. The program is comprised of three stages:
      • Super Saturday: A short series of essential and powerful talks.
      • Fundamental video-based classes for you to take at your own pace.
      • Saturday retreat focused on the spiritual aspects of marriage in the presence of our Lord.

For more information, please contact Paul Ambro at or 281-485-8867.