• Ceremony Planning

    Many couples wonder what is allowed in a Catholic marriage ceremony and how they can plan this most important part of the wedding. The presenter answers commonly asked questions about ceremony planning and explains the rules and traditions behind the answers. Questions are answered about interfaith marriage, whether to have a full mass or ceremony, destination weddings, the involvement of non-Catholics, the number of the bridal party, music and more.

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  • Children of Divorce

    This segment gives you background on how coming from a family of divorce may affect your marriage. How can you make it work? How can you avoid having what happened to your parents happen to you? How can you make sure your kids don’t go through what you went through? Those questions are discussed in this segment with author and researcher Elizabeth Marquardt, herself a child of divorce.

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  • Cohabitation

    For some couples, living together seems like a logical step in their progression towards marriage. This optional segment covers cohabitation and what studies have shown to be the problems associated with cohabitation. The presenter, psychologist Dr. James Healy, PhD, walks couples through the steps to commitment and shares ways to have your actions match your beliefs as the two of you enter into Catholic marriage: as a couple equal in dignity, authority, and power.

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  • Forming a Stepfamily

    This optional segment covers topics of interest to couples whose marriage will form a stepfamily, whether the children will live with them or not. Stepfamilies look just like other families but the challenges of integrating children into the new marital relationship can be a surprise if you are not prepared. The length of time it takes for a stepfamily to “gel” together, parenting, and dealing with “exes” are discussed in this segment with Elsie Radtke of the Archdiocese of Chicago, who is part of a stepfamily.

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  • Interfaith and Interchurch Marriages

    All marriages involve some differences in faith, even if the two marrying share the same religion. Since we are unique individuals with various histories and backgrounds, our perceptions and understandings about God and our faith experiences will always differ. Couples marrying today, whether they are of the same religious heritage or not, face the same challenge as did couples two millennium ago—to combine all the aspects of their lives, especially their religious beliefs, to create that triple braided cord.

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  • Second Marriages

    The divorce rate for second marriages is even higher than the rate for first marriages.

    In that light, the preparation process for couples entering into second marriages is of heightened importance. If a person has been married and becomes divorced, they must first obtain a Declaration of Nullity (an annulment from their Tribunal) before they are free to marry again in the Church. This section explains the reasoning and expectations for the couples.

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  • Strengthening African American Catholic Marriages

    Social data reveals that African American families are particularly in crisis, having the lowest marriage rate compared to all measured groups, while also having the highest divorce rate.

    In this segment, Andrew and Terri Lyke offer encouragement and suggestions for having a successful marriage. They have been married nearly 40 years.

    Andrew is the Director of the Office for Black Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago. He has been involved in ministry to the Church in a variety of ways over the past 30+ years.

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  • Unique Challenges of Military Couples

    All marriages have challenges, but there are certain challenges unique to military couples. Father Matt Foley discusses how you can stay strong in the face of deployment, distance, separation, and other dynamics faced when you’re in the military. Fr. Foley is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and U.S. Army chaplain at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and has served three deployments in Afghanistan.

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