Congratulations on your engagement! Your decision to enter into the relationship of marriage is a wonderful sign of hope and strength to the faith community of St. Monica. You have reached your decision after much discussion and prayerful thought, but it is just the first step in the process of building a successful marriage. With your family and friends, you will be sharing your commitment with the community and become for us a sign and symbol of God’s great love for the human family.
The process of marriage preparation at St. Monica is two-fold. 1) We have a program to help you prepare for married life – the rest of your life and 2) We will help you prepare for the celebration of your wedding day. Please be sure to read the content below and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
1. Marriage Information Night
Those wishing to be married at St. Monica Catholic Church, or prepared here for a wedding elsewhere, must attend one of our Marriage Information Nights that are generally held on the 4th Wednesday of each month and lasts approximately an hour. Attending is the first step in marriage preparation at St. Monica and must be completed before any specific wedding arrangements can be made. During the meeting you will be given an overview of the marriage preparation process as well as information about the FOCCUS communication survey and counseling sessions, Engaged Encounter weekend and The Foundation communication workshop. There is also a brief presentation on the Catholic Theology of Marriage. You will also hear from a recently married couple who will speak about their experience of preparation at St. Monica.
At this time, phone or zoom meetings can take place to begin the marriage preparation process.
Our Marriage Information Night will be held via Zoom.
You must pre-register for the event. Please complete the form below and email completed form to , afterwhich you will receive an email invitation to join.
Schedule for 2021
Schedule for 2022
Unless otherwise noted: Meetings are held in the Caruso Community Center A/B at 7:15 p.m.
Dates and times subject to change.
Marriage Intake Form Please type your information into the form before you print.
2. Meet with priest
Once you have attended Marriage Information Night, our sacrament coordinator will contact you to set up your first appointment with one of our priests--at which time, if you are free to marry, you will set a date for your wedding.
3. FOCCUS survey – Meeting with FOCCUS counselor
The Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study Inventory (FOCCUS) is a tool to help couples explore the many dimensions of their relationship and married life together. This is not a test, but rather, a tool for couples to explore areas of compatibility and incompatibility. You will take the FOCCUS survey online, then be assigned to work with one of our IMAGO trained Marriage Therapists.
4. Engaged Encounter
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles requires that couples who've never been married attend the Engaged Encounter weekend. It is a two-day retreat to help couples prepare for marriage, learn more about each other and gain important relationship skills to build a successful marriage. You can sign up for the engaged encounter weekend at www.ceeofla.org. More information about the weekend can be found at www.la-archdiocese.org/org/familylife/Pages/cee.aspx
Couples who've previously been married in a civil ceremony or couples where one or both have been previously married are required to attend a special Engaged Encounter session designed specifically for these situations. Contact Candy Metoyer at
5. The Foundation: Wisdom & Tools to Build a Conscious Marriage - OPTIONAL - SEE TAB
6. Submit Required Documents & Fees
At Marriage Information Night, you will be given a booklet that will provide complete details for planning a wedding at St. Monica w/marriage preparation AND marriage preparation with a wedding planned elsewhere. The details will include a checklist of all legal documents and fees.
Since marriage celebrates the unbreakable commitment between a man and a woman who are free to make this mature decision in the community of believers, certain documents are required to establish your sacramental status within the Church, your freedom from any previous unions, as well as sworn statements attesting to your clear understanding of the nature and responsibilities of Marriage. When a Catholic prepares to marry someone from another faith tradition, a specific document or "dispensation" is also required. The following items are required documents.
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1. Can I get married at St. Monica? What are the requirements?
Anyone can get married at St. Monica, as long as either the bride or groom is baptized Roman Catholic. To be given preference of wedding dates/times and be eligible for our discounted parishioner wedding fees, at least one of parties must also be an active, registered parishioner of St. Monica for at least one year from the date you attend Marriage Information Night. If you do not live within the parish boundaries and/or are not a registered parishioner, you CAN be married at St. Monica, however, we cannot guarantee your first choice of wedding date and time, and a different fee schedule will apply.
Where do we begin?
After attending Marriage Information Night, wedding arrangements begin with an interview of the couple by one of our priests. Our sacrament coordinator will contact you to set up an appointment. This is for all couples whether you are getting married at St. Monica or at another Catholic church.At this meeting, the priest will fill out the Pre-Nuptial Inquiry, one of the required documents listed on pages 4-5. Also, provided there are no special circumstances that arise, couples will set a date and time for the ceremony at this first meeting. There is at least a six-month preparation time required for marriage. If you’ve been previously married, you must bring with you A Declaration of Nullity (annulment) to this meeting.
2. When do we set the date?
Provided there are no special circumstances that arise, a date and time of the ceremony will be set at the first meeting with a priest. There is at least a six-month preparation time required for marriage.
3. What are the times available for Weddings?
Weddings are celebrated on Saturdays at 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, as well as on Fridays at 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. Preference is given to active, registered parishioners for the 3:00 pm Saturday wedding slot. Weddings are not celebrated on Sundays at St. Monica.
4. Who will answer our questions about the wedding itself?
The questions which specifically deal with the liturgy itself, i.e., the choice of readings, whether or not to have a "full Mass" or a "ceremony", etc., will be answered by the priest you have chosen to witness your marriage. Questions concerning things like music, floral arrangements and decorations, photographs and the like is explained by our wedding coordinators. Our wedding coordinators provide an invaluable service to each couple, which includes scheduling the rehearsal itself, and making sure everything runs smoothly on the day of your wedding. You will be assisted by our wedding music coordinator in planning the music for your wedding.
5. What if we are getting married elsewhere?
For those couples being married in a Catholic Church outside the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, we are happy to assist you with your marriage preparation. (1) We will refer you to an Engaged Encounter Weekend Retreat, (2) sign each couple up with FOCCUS to take the FOCCUS inventory on-line, (3) have you meet with one of our marriage counselors, (4) have you complete the Pre-Nuptial Inquiry, (5) have you sign up for Start Right, Stay Connected Workshop, and (6) collect all required documents from you and forward them with the Pre-Nuptial Inquiry to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for their approval and forwarding to the Diocesan Office where you are to be married.
6. Are there any fees?
Yes. We have two different fee schedules. One is for those who are active in our parish and have been registered at least one year from the date you attend Marriage Information Night. The other schedule is for those who have been registered for less than one year or are not registered with the parish on the date they attend Marriage Information Night. We also have separate fees depending on if you want to get married at St. Monica w/marriage preparation vs. those who want to prepare here only and have their wedding elsewhere.
We also have a separate fee of $2000 for those couples who live outside our parish boundaries, are preparing elsewhere, and want to schedule the wedding only in our church.
7. If we get married at St. Monica, do we have to have a full Mass?
There are two different forms of the Rite of Marriage: the Rite of Marriage with Mass, and the Rite of Marriage Outside Mass. With a Mass is the prefered form of Catholic wedding liturgy when both the bride and the groom are Catholic. The Rite of Marriage Outside Mass is preferred when a Catholic person marries a baptized person who is not Catholic or an unbaptized person.