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Through the Sacrament of Matrimony a community of love is formed. For Catholics, marriage is not merely a civil contract; it is a covenant of life and love between a man and a woman and God. If both are baptized, the marriage is a sacrament; a symbol of unity and fidelity between Christ and the Church. A sacramental marriage is a means of grace, giving strength to husband and wife to live their commitment and help each other on the path to holiness.

Learn more about what Catholics believe about marriage and how you might be able to make your own marriage stronger at

Congratulations! You're engaged! And now begins a time of more immediate preparations, not only for a wedding day, but for something that is so much more: a life-long, faithful, and fruitful marriage!

The sacred covenant in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is a symbol of the union between Christ and his Church; therefore, marital love must be permanent, life-giving, and freely shared. The different components of the marriage preparation process strives to help you and your future marriage to radiate Christ's unselfish love and grow ever closer to God and to one another. Those components include:

1. Spiritual Preparation, directed by the priest, including:

discussions about the theology of marriage and your relationship,
taking an inventory for engaged couples, called FOCCUS, and
completing the required marriage documents.

2. A Marriage Retreat, for example:

- Pre-Cana  

October 5, 2019 at St. Ludmila, Cedar Rapids

   October 12, 2019 at Newman High School, Mason City

   November 2, 2019 at Clarke University, Dubuque

  January 18, 2020 at Stephen the Witness Student Center, Cedar Falls

  January 26, 2020 at Holy Family, New Hampton

         Online registration:

- Engaged Encounter
   November 8-10, 2019 at Sisters of the Presentation Mother house, Dubuque

    February 7-9, 2020 at Riverview Conferance Center, Cedar Falls

   April 17-19, 2020 at Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center Montour, (Near Tama)

  June 12-14, 2020 at Riverview Conference Center, Cedar Falls
      Online registration:

 - Two Become One (in the cases of remarriage)
   September 14, 2019 at St. Patrick, Cedar Falls

   March 14, 2020 at St. Patrick, Cedar Falls
      Online registration:

 3. Meetings with a Sponsor Couple

where the engaged couple will meet with a married couple who is trained to assist them in preparing for marriage by helping the couple reflect upon the realities of married life; and

4. Planning the Wedding Liturgy with the priest and Director of Music & Liturgy

where the priest will direct the engaged couple to prayerfully consider the meaning of the different components of the marriage rite, such as the consent and the readings, and the Director of Music and Liturgy will help the couple navigate the different options regarding the sacred music.

Please contact your parish's office at least six to twelve months prior to the intended wedding date.

Parish Offices (563) 875-7325, St. Francis Xavier
(563) 875-7992, St Boniface
(563) 923-3135, St Joseph
(563) 855-2125, St Paul
(563) 875-7992, Sts Peter & Paul

It's time for a wedding! Couples planning a Catholic wedding will be expected to discuss the liturgy with the priest and/or deacon who will be celebrating the wedding, as well as to meet with the Director of Music & Liturgy to plan and approve the ceremony's music.

Below are a few documents that couples should complete as part of their preparations, as well as a range of resources that should assist in making those decisions. It is always important that couples first speak with the priest, as well as the Director of Music & Liturgy, before making any arrangements, and addressing any and all questions and concerns firstly to them.  Blessings on all the planning!

1. Items to be completed and discussed with the priest:

To be completed:          pdf A Wedding Liturgy Planning Sheet (78 KB)

Resources & Guidelines:

pdf General Wedding Guidelines in the Spires of Faith Cluster (77 KB)

pdf A List of Possible Readings for Celebrating Holy Matrimony (120 KB) :

pdf Old Testament Readings (2.13 MB)
pdf New Testament Readings (3.33 MB)
pdf Gospel Readings (2.19 MB)

pdf A List of Possible Prayers of the Faithful (310 KB)

pdf Sample Wording & Ordering for a Wedding Program (90 KB)

 2. Items to be discussed with the Director of Music & Liturgy:

To be completed:           pdf A Music Selection Worksheet (28 KB)

Resource & Guidelines:

pdf A Music Aid for a Catholic Wedding (314 KB)

Parish Offices (563) 875-7325, St. Francis Xavier
(563) 875-7992, St Boniface
(563) 923-3135, St Joseph
(563) 855-2125, St Paul
(563) 875-7992, Sts Peter & Paul
Director of Music
& Liturgy
Nick Schadler
(563) 875-7325
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There are many opportunities throughout the Archdiocese of Dubuque for couples who are currently married to enrich their relationship and so better their marriage and their family life through a program called Marriage Encounter. These experiences are designed to help married couples communicate more intimately with one another in order to deepen and enrich their love for one another. Be sure to check out those opportunities and more at

Natural Family Planning (or NFP) is a method of family planning through a couples' knowledge of their natural body signs of fertility and infertility.  Couples learn to observe, record, and interpret these signs with a very high degree of accuracy and so can be very effective at either achieving or postponing a pregnancy.  It is a a natural, safe and inexpensive method that is highly reliable.  It is also easy to learn and supports the total marriage of a couple: both their family, as well their relationship, improving communication and supporting a couple's intimacy.

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Two new sets of Natural Family Planning (NFP) classes have been scheduled locally through the Couple to Couple League for 2017.  The first will start on March 27th, and the second will start on August 21st. Both will be hosted at the home of Eben and Lindsey Krapfl, near Peosta.

Couples can register online at

They can also contact Lindsey Krapfl directly, if they prefer, at (563) 599-3661.

Parish Offices (563) 875-7325, St. Francis Xavier
(563) 875-7992, St Boniface
(563) 923-3135, St Joseph
(563) 855-2125, St Paul
(563) 875-7992, Sts Peter & Paul