Marriage and Marriage Preparation Programs

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Marriage Programs -Revised!
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Marriage Preparation for Engaged Couples

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York requires engaged couples preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage to register and fulfill a marriage preparation program by the Family Life Office of the Archdiocese. A certificate is given at the close of each program.

Mount Alvernia Retreat Center offers engaged couples the choice of a Weekend Engaged Encounter or a One Day Pre Cana Class that is conducted in two parts (Session 1 and Session 2). Both programs meet the approved guidelines set by the Archdiocese of New York. Both programs also meet the requirements of most Catholic dioceses of the U.S. To ensure that your program will be approved by your Diocese, get approval from your local priest before registering.

Engaged couples who wish to attend should register through their parish and the Archdiocesan office. Couples should request a Marriage Preparation Booklet from their pastor, read the descriptions, and complete the appropriate registration form, including first-choice for date, and mail the registration form with the registration fee to the appropriate Marriage Preparation Office for processing. The Pre Cana classes and weekend encounters are conducted by married couples and priests.

Topics include:  love is a decision, forgiveness is a decision, Sacrament of Marriage, planning your Wedding Liturgy, Wedding Day is a day, Marriage is a life-long commitment, understanding your vows, compatibility, finances, communication, arguing, conflict-resolution, marital sexuality and romance, Natural Family Planning, children, family of origin, new family, in-laws, the priority of marriage over career/work/recreation/personal interests, giving the gift of time to one another.

Note: Both programs cover the same topics; however, the weekend program provides more time for a more thorough presentation of topics and time for couples to reflect and dialogue.

The One Day Pre Cana Class is conducted in two parts. Mount Alvernia Retreat Center provides Session 1 and Session 2. The day begins at 9 AM and concludes at 4 PM. A Continental breakfast and lunch is included. Session 2 is also conducted in the Parishes of the Archdiocese of New York. For information about Session 1 and Session 2, call the Family Life Office at 212-371-1000 ext. 3185.

The Weekend Engaged Encounter begins at Friday 8 PM and concludes on Sunday 3 PM. Engaged couples have separate (semi-private) bedrooms with a full bath. Three meals on Saturday and two meals on Sunday, plus snacks and refreshments. For information or to register, call (845) 298-4772.

Scholarships are available. If you need assistance, call the Reservation Couple at 845-298-4772 to begin the scholarship process. No couple will ever be turned away because of lack of funds.

Refunds are available if you cancel your weekend at least two weeks prior to the start date.

For a virtual tour, view the Mount Alvernia Experience topic on YouTube.

2017 Fall Schedule

Engaged Encounter Weekends:  Sept. 15-17, Nov. 10-12.

One-day (Pre Cana Session 1) Marriage Preparation seminar:  Sept. 9, Nov. 4.

One-day (Pre Cana Session II) Marriage Preparation seminar:  Sept. 30, Nov. 11.

2018 Schedule

Engaged Encounter Weekends:  Jan. 26-28.

One-day (Pre Cana Session 1) Marriage Preparation seminar:  More schedule information to be announced.

One-day (Pre Cana Session II) Marriage Preparation seminar:  More schedule information to be announced.

For information about meals, see the Miscellaneous section in Mount Alvernia Retreats.

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