Marriage Preparation

"In our own time,
in a world often alien and even hostile to faith,
believing families are of primary importance
as centers of living, radiant faith.
For this reason the Second Vatican Council,
using an ancient expression, calls the family
the Ecclesia domestica (the Domestic Church)."  

(Lumen Gentium, 11)

Congratulations on your engagement!  Your time of engagement is an exciting time for you with many details to consider.  Of utmost importance is the opportunity to prepare yourself to receive this most wonderful and beautiful sacrament in the Catholic Church.  The first step  is to contact your local parish and meet with the pastor to go over marriage preparation components and to answer any questions you may have.  Please begin this process at least 9-12 months in advance of your planned wedding date.


Listed below are items pertaining to engaged couples desiring to be married in the Catholic Church within the Diocese of Santa Rosa. Included is the part of the Marriage Preparation Policy listing the the seven components for you to review regarding to the mariage preparation process.  There is also a Checklist for Engaged Couples to help you in the process. 


Click here to read the pages of the Marriage Preparation Policy explaining the seven components.  

Click here to review the Checklist for Engaged Couples.


After meeting with the pastor of your local parish, the next step in the Marriage Preparation Process is to complete FOCCUS, the "pre-nuptial inventory."  Your pastor may be able to administer the inventory for you or may have you contact a qualified FOCCUS Facilitator.  For details about FOCCUS, go to:   



Links to: "Marriage Formation Program Options" (as per pages 6-8 of the policy)  This is one of the four Marriage Formation Program Options.  It is an on-line program.  It is available in English or Spanish. 

Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekends:  This is another option to fulfill the   Marriage Formation Program component.   (
     Sacramento (       
           2019 weekend dates:  August 30-September 1; November 22-24
     San Francisco (     
           2019 weekend dates:  September 21-22
     San Jose (in Spanish)  (
           2019 fechas:  Agosto 10 & 11; Noviembre 16 & 17




Click here to read Bishop Vasa's "Decree" of the updated Marriage Preparation Policy.  

Click here to read the entire updated Marriage Preparation Policy.


An additional resource in Marriage Preparation:

For Your Marriage is an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) with resources for couples who are at all stages of relationship: dating, engaged, and married. It is designed to assist Catholic couples prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony and provide information for married couples on Catholic parenting, co-parenting, entering second marriages, and many other relational situations.