OCIA and Marital Status

As you begin the OCIA process on entering the church or completing your sacraments of initiation, a potential area to resolve is marital status. It is not meant to cause worry or burden, but to ensure the road to full initiation is clear of any impediments. If impediments are present, we are here to assist the individual/couple in whatever process is required, and to pray with them throughout. We will go over your current marital status in the following ways:

  • Either you or your spouse is Baptized Catholic: Were you married in the Catholic Church by a Priest or Deacon? And Where? – If you were NOT and just married civilly, then you will need a Convalidation.
  • Divorced Individuals or couples who have one or more prior unsuccessful marriages between them, and are currently re-married will have any past/current marriages reviewed and then a petition for an annulment will take place. If a formal petition is required on any prior unsuccessful marriage (either partner), the person will need to complete the required petition and receive a formal decree of nullity on the unsuccessful marriage(s) PRIOR to any reception of the sacraments of the Church. This could take a year (minimum) or more.
  • Divorced, but not remarried: there are no impediments to entering the church or receiving sacraments, however if you plan to remarry, then you must receive a a decree of nullity, stating that the original marriage was not valid for some reason.
  • Engaged individuals seeking to marry in the Catholic Church, and in which one or both partners are seeking to become Catholic will have any prior marriages reviewed (of both partners). An engaged person that needs an annulment on a former unsuccessful marriage may not advance, nor is their partner, to the Rite of Election or Easter Vigil unless a formal decree of nullity granted by the Catholic Church.

We are here to help! For questions you may have or to understand more the Church’s teaching on marriage and a path forward for your particular situation, please contact Paul Ambro at paul@sthelenchurch.org.