Couples desiring to marry at St. Mary's begin by approaching the parish secretary, requesting a preparation packet, completing the initial information which confirms their planned wedding date, and paying the appropriate fee for the use of the church. This must be done at least 9 months prior to the wedding date. They need to look at the information in the packet, which identifies the steps in the process, resources for the wedding liturgy, an application for the pre-marriage seminar program, and some reading material.
The parish's marriage preparation coordinator, Deacon Dan Brooke, will contact the couple and arrange to meet, complete the diocesan paperwork, collect Baptismal certificates and any other needed documents, and administer a relationship assessment inventory, which the couple will review with a volunteer Sponsoring Couple. When the couple participates in the Pre-Marriage Seminar, they will get additional resource material to guide them in planning their liturgy, which is finalized with the pastor. The couple will also make arrangements to complete a 5 session Natural Family Planning (NFP) course. Music selections are reviewed by the parish Liturgical Music Coordinator.
The Diocese of Bismarck Tribunal is staffed by people who have been appointed by the bishop and who have received special education to represent him and the faith community in church judicial proceedings for marriage cases and other matters of Church law. Most of its work involves assisting divorced persons who hope to obtain a declaration of nullity (annulment) of a prior marriage bond, allowing them to remarry in the Church. As such, the Tribunal has a three-fold ministry:
Persons interested in seeking a declaration of nullity are encouraged to call to schedule a confidential appointment with an auditor, who will explain the annulment process. Please call the Office of Canonical Services at 1-701-204-7203 or 1-877-405-7435, ext. 118 for an appointment.