Preparing for Your Marriage at Gesu

Initial Meeting

Meet with the Marriage Preparation Coordinator at Gesu or Campus Ministry no later than six months before your wedding. This person will help you complete the Prenuptial Questionnaire, explain the Marriage Preparation process, and will answer any questions you have about details of the preparation and liturgy planning process. This initial meeting will take approximately one hour.

For more information, contact

    Mike Heimbach, Director of Youth and Adult Formation
  • 414-288-7412

Engaged Enrichment Retreat

All couples who plan to be married in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee need to participate in an enrichment retreat for engaged couples. These programs are designed to deepen your awareness of the challenges of living together in Christian marriage. Through discussions, exercises and presentations, you will have the opportunity to concentrate more intensely on the many facets of married life.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee offers a variety of retreat options, e.g., a day retreat, an overnight experience, a course, and special thematic retreats for couples with special circumstances such as remarriage or interfaith issues. When you meet with the Marriage Preparation Coordinator, he will explain this process in deeper detail and assist you in selecting the option that best suits the two of you. Further information can be found at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's website. You can also register online. It is recommended that you register six to twelve months in advance of attending a program.

Documentation of attendance at a Marriage Preparation program must be obtained. This information must be submitted to the Marriage Preparation Coordinator at least TWO MONTHS prior to your wedding.

Sponsor Couple

After your initial meeting, the Marriage Preparation Coordinator will assign to you a sponsor couple. These are married couples who are parishioners of Gesu that work in ministry with the engaged. Your sponsor couple will telephone you and arrange a date and time for you to travel to their home where you will take the premarital questionnaire that is known as FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding & Study). This is not a test. Rather, its purpose is to identify topics such as communication, finances, family and faith that you could profitably discuss as part of your marriage preparation. Most engaged couples find this to be extremely helpful. This initial meeting with your sponsor couple will be approximately 1½ hours in length. Near the end of this first session, you will schedule a second meeting.

At the second meeting your sponsor couple will share with you the results of your FOCCUS inventory and ask you to engage in conversation about the results. This second session will last approximately one hour.

If needed, a third session will be scheduled to complete the discussion.

Session on Catholicism

Inter-Church/Interfaith couples are asked to participate in an additional session on Catholicism.

Required Documentation

You must complete and submit the documentation required of a couple preparing for marriage in the Catholic Church. A list of the required documentation can be found here.

Liturgy Planning

There are two parts to this process.

First, you will need to schedule an appointment with Margi Horner, the Director of Liturgy, about three months prior to your wedding. Margi will help you gain an understanding of the Catholic Rite of Marriage and assist you in completing the Liturgy Planning form.

Second, you will need to schedule an appointment with Dan Domrois, Gesu's Director of Music will assist you in planning the music for your service. (Please note: do not enter into any contracts with singers or musicians for your ceremony before speaking with Dan.)

Meeting with Priest or Deacon

It is important to meet with the priest or deacon who will preside at your wedding prior to the wedding. Ideally, this meeting should take place one to two months before your wedding. At this meeting the priest or deacon will want to discuss your plans for the liturgy as well as to get to know you as a couple, which will help him develop a homily for your service.