Marriage Preparation

Marriage Prep Program

The marriage of a man and a woman signifies the union of Christ and His Church. Through the sacrament of matrimony, God gives the spouses the grace to love each other with the complete, self-sacrificial love with which Christ has loved his Church. They are strengthened in their commitment to one another, and sanctified on their way to eternal life.

Chapel Ministries offers a Marriage Preparation Program for students, faculty, alumni, and staff who are engaged and want to prepare for the sacrament of matrimony. Those who want to get married in Christ the King Chapel must complete the entire program, while those getting married elsewhere may not need to complete all parts.

The Program Includes

  • Pre-Cana Program 
  • Natural Family Planning
  • Catholic Engagement Encounter
  • Pre-Marriage Inventory

Helpful Links for Catholic Marriage Information

Church Documents

Valuable Resources


Pre-Cana Program

What does it mean to be married? What changes should I expect and prepare for? What does "covenant" mean? What questions have I not even thought of but really need the answers to?

Pre-Cana, getting its name from the wedding feast at Cana we read about in the Gospel of John, is a comprehensive approach to preparing a couple for the sacrament of Matrimony and the married life.

The Pre-Cana “Preparing to Live in Love” seminar consists of several group sessions in which the engaged couples and a married couple meet to discuss certain topics from communication to intimacy to family. The cost (checks made payable to Franciscan University) of the program is $85.00. Bring your payment to the first session and you will receive the “Preparing to Live in Love” Couple Pack. The dates, time, class topic and location are available in the Chapel Office. Before attending the classes couples must register with the Chapel’s Marriage Preparation Program in order to receive the certificate of completion for Pre-Cana. 


Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning (NFP) training provides married couples responsible regulation of fertility that respects the dignity of human life and the nuptual significance of human sexuality.

Chapel Ministries provides three different NFP seminars. Once a couple has registered for the Marriage Preparation Program they can attend a meeting where the different seminars are discussed, and register for the one they prefer. Couples must select and complete one of the three seminars to receive a certificate from the presenter.

The three optional NFP seminars are:

  • Couple to Couple League: This seminar teaches the "Sympto-Thermal Method" and is composed of three separate courses held in the St. Joseph Center Totino Room. The cost is $135.00 per couple, and must be paid in full at the first class.

  • Steubenville Fertility Care Center: This seminar uses the "Creighton Model FertilityCareTM System." Contact Mary Nelson, CFCP, at (740) 944-1337 or Stephanie L.S. Rivers, BA, FCP, at (740) 944-1276. The Introductory Session is $35.00. The Initial Materials (1 year supply) are $35.00. Each Chart Review is $17.50. Each Follow-Up is $35.00. Pre-registration is required prior to the Introductory Session.

  • Billings Ovulation Method: Contact Susan McInnis, RN at (740) 275-4299 or e-mail at The cost is $65.00.

You must register for these events in the Chapel Office. Any fees are due before the events occur.

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Catholic Engaged Encounter

According to the Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) website, CEE is,

a weekend retreat away with other engaged couples with plenty of time alone together to plan for a sacramental marriage. It is designed to give couples planning marriage the opportunity to dialogue honestly and intensively about their prospective lives together-- their strengths and weaknesses, desires, ambitions, goals, their attitudes about money, sex, children, family, their role in the church and society--in a face to face way.

Interested couples must register with the Chapel Ministries office and at the Steubenville CEE site. The fee for the weekend is $225 per couple, which includes rooms and all meals. You can reserve your place by paying online at the CEE website.

If financial assistance is needed, contact Robert Palladino, director of Chapel Ministries, at (740) 283-6506 to see if any assistance is available.

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Pre-Marriage Inventory (PMI)

The PMI is not a test that couples must pass to be allowed to get married. It is, rather, an instrument designed to help couples explore their attitudes and expectations about entering marriage.

It can be completed in about one hour but the results, compiled by an independent organization, can take one to two weeks to receive. Fr. Dominic Foster, TOR, administers the PMI and reviews the results with each couple.

To set up an appointment to take the PMI, please e-mail Fr. Dominic at He will give you the information necessary to access the PMI at

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