Getting started.

Congratulations on your engagement, and may God grant you peace and joy as you prepare to begin your new life together! While there is much that lies ahead of you these coming months, do not be anxious about what awaits, as we will be happy to accompany you every step of the way. Most importantly, know, without a doubt, that God is with you—even now—and that it is He Himself who has guided you thus far. “Thus,” as St. Paul says, “we may say with confidence: The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid” (Hebrews 13:6).  A common interest of engaged couples is, of course, setting a wedding date. Because you are endeavoring to enter a marriage that promises to be grace-filled, permanent, faithful, exclusive, and fruitful. It is important to provide enough time, at least six months, for your spiritual preparation as well to prepare the liturgy and complete the needed documentation. The first step is to contact Lorena Castillo-Ritz, at 704.644.4653 to set up your appointment to start the process.

For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values.

Marriage is a Covenant

The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenantal union in the image of the covenants between God and his people with Abraham and later with Moses at Mt. Sinai. This divine covenant can never be broken. In this way, marriage is a union that bonds spouses together during their entire lifetime.

The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life. (CCC 1661)

The love in a married relationship is exemplified in the total gift of one’s self to another. It’s this self-giving and self-sacrificing love that we see in our other model of marriage, the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love. (CCC 1662)

The Church takes the lifelong nature of the Sacrament of Marriage seriously. The Church teaches that a break in this covenant teaches goes against the natural law of God:

The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith. (CCC 1665)


Marriage Reflects the Holy Trinity

We believe that God exists in eternal communion. Together, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in one being with no beginning and no end. Human beings, likewise, were created by God in God’s image for the purpose of communion with another human being.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2205). The Sacrament of Marriage is “unitive, indissoluble and calls us to be completely open to fertility.” Christian marriage at its finest is a reflection of God’s self-giving love expressed between the love of two people.



Couples wishing to get married must contact one of the priests at least six months prior to the desired wedding date. Marriages that are celebrated in the church are normally scheduled on Saturdays, at 11:00 AM or 1:30 PM. Dates are not reserved until a priest has been contacted and appointments made for marriage preparation.