Holy Matrimony

Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: “It is not good that the man should be alone.”The woman, “flesh of his flesh,” his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a “helpmate”; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been “in the beginning”: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”

                                                                                                                                        Catechism of the Catholic Church #1605 

Marriage Prep at the Cathedral

Congratulations on your engagement and prayerful best wishes to you as you prepare for marriage. Your decision to unite yourselves in Christian marriage is indeed a joyful occasion! By this time, you have no doubt shared your intentions with your family and friends and now have come to the Cathedral Parish of St. John Berchmans to request prayer and preparation for the sacrament into which you are about to enter. This parish community is eager to assist you as you share your vows in the presence of the Church. 

Everything in life takes formation, preparation, and getting ready. Before we go on a trip, we pack our bags, we look at a map, we purchase airline tickets, etc. Before we graduate from college, we have to study and pass several classes — it takes years!

Important things in life take a time of preparation and formation in order for them to be successful. Same with marriage! It is a very important decision; one that will change the way we live our lives. Therefore, it is a decision that requires an important period of formation and preparation, both individually and as a couple.

It is important to begin the Pre-Cana preparation as soon as possible.  Pre-Cana refers to all Marriage and Wedding Preparation. 

You are invited to begin by  Clicking here to review the Summary of  the Wedding Guide. Select either #1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 that applies to your wedding.  Follow the directions. 

If have questions, please contact  Mary Kay Townley at or call 318.221.5296 ext. 108.  She is available to assist and walk with you in this momentous occasion in your life.

Full Wedding Guide

Wedding Music Guidelines 


Engaged Couples Weekend Dates

Cathedral Office

July 12/13, 2024


Register Today

 Step 1:

Begin the Pre-Cana preparation by speaking with the priest or deacon who will witness the wedding. 

Step 2:

Review Engaged Couples Weekend by Clicking here

Step 3: 

Complete and submit ECW Prep Form

Step 4: 

Complete the ECW Registration – Cost $175

Step 5:

Complete FOCCUS – Wedding Coordinator will schedule one month prior to Engage Couples Weekend

Step 6:

Attend the ECW Seminar

Step 7:

Complete Pre-Cana preparation: Click here for more information. Fees, offerings and forms must be submitted four (4) months prior to

Love that leads to marriage is a gift from God and a great act of faith toward other human beings.


Summary of the Wedding Guide

1. Registered parishioner of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans  AND

You want a priest/deacon of the Cathedral to perform your ceremony. 

Click Here

2. Registered parishioner of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans  AND

You want a priest/deacon from outside the Cathedral to perform your ceremony.

Click Here

3. Registered parishioner of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans  AND You want to marry another Catholic outside of the Cathedral parish with an outside  priest/deacon to perform your ceremony.

Click Here

4. Registered parishioner of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans  AND  you want to marry in a non-Catholic church in your future spouse’s church, you still must go through Pre-Cana.

Click Here

5. Not a Registered parishioner of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans.

Click Here

What is Pre - Cana?

Pre-Cana refers to all Marriage and Wedding Preparation and  includes:

  • Meetings with the priest, and all other associated meetings (Cathedral Wedding Coordinator, Music Director/Organist, florist, photographer, videographer, etc.)
  • Taking and discussing the results of FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication Understanding & Study) which is a pre-marital inventory that aids in evaluating a couple’s readiness for marriage.
  • Engaged Couples Weekend is required of all engaged couples and should be attended at least 3 months before the wedding. This weekend is an opportunity to help you better understand yourself and your future spouse as well as to help you to prepare to meet the challenges and wonders of your future marriage. The topics presented during the weekend include: differences in personalities, communication, roles, problem solving, finances, spirituality, intimacy and Christian parenting. There will be an opportunity for sharing, discussion and some fun, too!  For more information, contact Mary Kay Townley at 318-221-5296 ext. 108 or email,
  • After the Engaged Couples weekend, meet with the priest again to discuss the weekend.
  • When the results of the FOCCUS are back, meet with the priest to discuss the results and to receive the “Together For Life” booklet regarding the wedding readings and prayers.
  • Review the Wedding Music Guidelines.  When you have made your music selections, submit the Wedding Music Planning Sheet to the Cathedral Wedding Coordinator.
  • Catholics: Call the Church where you were baptized and ask to have your baptismal certificate ‘reissued.’ The priest needs to received the certificate promptly.
  • All other Christians: Please provide a copy of your baptismal certificate or a letter from your church with the date of baptism.
  • When the above has been completed, there is a final meeting with your priest to discuss the wedding.
  • In order to secure the Date and Time requested, Pre-Cana must be completed (or approval from priest received) AND associated costs must be received:
    • Two candelabras $75 (Optional)
    • Four candelabras $150(Optional)
    • Six High Mass candles $60(Optional)
    • Music Director $250 (base fee) Note: if you want more musicians, additional fees will apply
    • Wedding Coordinator $175
    • Each Altar Server $10-20 (suggested offering)
    • Priest / Deacon $0 (no fee)
    • Cathedral $500 parishioners
    • $1000 non-parishioners
    • Chapel $200 parishioners
    • $400 non-parishioners
    • Engaged Couples Weekend $175

Additional Information

  • Nuptial Masses (or any wedding within the context of Mass) take place when both parties are Catholic. Normally at 10 am, 1 pm, or 7 pm Saturdays – or most anytime Monday – Friday.
  • The beautiful ‘Wedding Rite outside the context of Mass’ takes place when the bride or groom is not Catholic.
  • No Unity Candles or other non-Catholic rituals.
  • No Weddings during the Season of Lent

What is Engaged Couples Weekend?

Engaged Couples Weekend is for engaged couples for whom this is their first marriage. The weekend is specifically designed to give couples the opportunity to talk honestly and intensively about their future together – an opportunity to discover a deeper appreciation of your relationship and God’s call to unite in a permanent union, the Sacrament of Matrimony. 

The weekend consists of a series of presentations beginning Friday evening and ending on Saturday afternoon. Led by a team of married couples and clergy, the couples are encouraged to talk with each other on many aspects of marriage, always from the viewpoint of their own relationship. Among the subjects they have an opportunity to discuss with each other are their ambitions, goals, attitudes about God, sex, money, children, family, and your role in the church and community.

Return Back To Registration

Join Our E-Berchman's Newsletter