Roman Catholic 
Diocese of Ogdensburg


“As the family goes – so goes the whole world” Pope St. John Paul II

Dear Engaged Couple,

Congratulations! By coming to the Church to be married you are indicating that you are deeply in love, that God is important to you, and that you want to enter into the Sacrament of Marriage prepared for the joys and challenges of lifelong marriage.

By entering into the Sacrament of Marriage, you are allowing God to pour out His grace on your relationship. With this grace, as a Catholic married couple, you will have the power to share Christ’s love and His light in a world that so desperately needs it.

We are thrilled to be able to assist you in preparation for a lifetime of love! Enjoy the resources on our website, and feel free to contact us any time.

In love and hope,

Steve Tartaglia
Director of Family Life

Marriage Preparation

Congratulations! You are preparing to marry in the Catholic Church.

Now more than ever, we are witnessing a deterioration of the family and of the values of marriage. Marriage is usually celebrated at a later age, the number of divorces and separations are increasing, and co-habitation is the norm of today’s society. This is a great pastoral concern for the Catholic Church. A question that confronts us: Are the couples really prepared for marriage and the life that follows it? Marriage preparation is a lifelong process marked by three stages – remote, proximate, and immediate.  The Church offers assistance in each of these three stages of marital preparation as well as support and enrichment for married couples.

Remote stage of marriage preparation begins “in the womb” and continues throughout childhood, adolescence, and up to the period of engagement. It is based primarily in the family with the assistance of the Church.   What they received from their family should prepare them to know themselves and to make a full and definitive commitment. Those best prepared for marriage are probably those who learned what Christian marriage is from their own parents, who chose each other unconditionally and daily renew this decision.   During this period of preparation, children learn to give and receive love through spiritual and catechetical formation focusing on vocational choices.  The Church helps families to hand down the faith, through Catholic Schools and parish faith formation programs.

When couples get engaged they move into the proximate stage of marriage preparation.  The Church helps the couple build a foundation for marriage by providing a more specific preparation for the sacrament through participation in marriage preparation programs including relationship inventories such as FOCCUS and PREPARE, a Pre-nuptial investigation to help ensure that the couple is free to marry, and the Pre-Cana Program. 

Pre-Cana Marriage enables couples to have an opportunity to share honestly with each other the strengths and gifts they will each bring to the marriage. The couples will also look at the challenges and opportunities that come with married life. The topics that will facilitate this discussion will be about family living, communication, finances, Christian sexuality, parenting, Natural Family Planning and the Sacrament of Matrimony.

The immediate stage of marriage preparation is about 10 weeks before the ceremony.  This stage of preparation includes Catechesis on the Rite of Marriage, Liturgy planning, Rehearsal, and invitation to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the completion of all paperwork and canonical requirements.

Marriage enrichment is a way to provide assistance and support to married couples so that they may achieve a holier and fuller family life.

PRE-CANA Schedule

Pre-Cana Seminars:

Canton: ​Friday, April 5th from 6 to 8:30pm and Saturday, April 6th, from 10am to 4pm. 68 Court St, Canton, NY 13617 in the school building.
Lowville: Saturday, April 20th at St. Peter’s Church (8am to 5pm) snacks and lunch provided    
Malone: Friday, April 26 (6:30-8:30 PM) and Saturday, April 27 (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM) at St. Andre’s Outreach Center, 12 Homestead Park.       
Ogdensburg:  St. Mary's Cathedral Brzana Hall, in two parts, first, on Wed. the 6th of March from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM and finishing on Saturday, March 9th, starting 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM    
Plattsburgh:    Sunday, April 28, 2024, 10am to 4:30pm with required Mass at 5pm.  Lunch and snack provided.  Saint John XXIII Newman Center Parish 90 Broad St. Plattsburgh, New York 12901      
Saranac Lake: St. Bernard's School Library: Spring 2024: May 4-5.  Fall 2024: September 7-8.       

Additional Resources

Browse these excellent sites for a treasure of information!

"Marital love is a reflection of how God loves. It is free, total, faithful and fruitful" - Christopher West


For more information about marriage preparation and enrichment, contact:

Steve Tartaglia
Director of Family Life
(315) 393-2920