Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the questions most frequently asked of the Center for Family Life Formation. Click on the question to reveal the answer. If your question has been not answered here, contact the Center for Family Life Formation for assistance.

Preparing for Marriage

Where do I begin the marriage preparation process?

Contact your parish and receive permission from your parish priest to register for marriage preparation. The parish will give you a copy of the Engaged Couple Guide for Catholic Marriage Preparation. This resource includes valuable information and discussion questions as well as a guide for planning the marriage rite. The parish should also provide you with the 5-Step Marriage Prep Brochure.

How far in advance of my desired wedding date do I need to contact my parish?

Archdiocese of Omaha policy requires a minimum of six months for marriage preparation to allow sufficient time to complete and fully benefit from each step of the process.

My fiancé and I would like to complete the FOCCUS program before marriage and can’t find where to do that online?

You will need to contact your church to see what requirements your church has to get married. If they require FOCCUS as part of their marriage prep, they will create a session for you and your partner to take the FOCCUS online. All FOCCUS inventories need to be created by a trained facilitator under their account.

How do I receive my FOCCUS ID and password?

Select, register and complete Payment for Educational Program(s). Completing this step immediately after Step One will provide more options for class dates. Classes fill quickly during particular months of the year. After registering online, you and your partner will each receive an e-mail with instructions for completing the FOCCUS Pre-Marriage Inventory.  

If you elect to take the Catholic Engaged Encounter, contact the marriage preparation specialist at marriageprep@archomaha.org. This is necessary to set up your FOCCUS inventory session.

If you elect to take Marriage a Journey for Life, your FOCCUS inventory session is set up automatically.

After I complete my FOCCUS inventory what is the next step?

After completing the inventory, your results will be sent to your priest. He will determine who will facilitate your discussion of the results of your FOCCUS Inventory. When you meet with your designated facilitator, you will review and discuss specific items and issues identified through your responses. Both your results and your facilitated discussions will remain confidential between you and your priest and your facilitator if different from your priest.

After I have completed my educational component and FOCCUS inventory what is the final step?

Planning the wedding rite will begin after the previous four steps and any additional preparation required by your priest has taken place. The priest or deacon who will witness your marriage will meet with you to discuss the details particular to your ceremony. For the specifics of planning, please refer to the Engaged Couple Guide for Catholic Marriage Preparation provided by your parish.

What is the reliability and validity for the FOCCUS Fourth Edition Pre-Marriage Inventory?

The FOCCUS Fourth Edition Pre-Marriage Inventory has been tested for face validity and content validity by surveying priests, organization administrators, engaged couples, facilitators, FOCCUS office staff and sociologists familiar with the Inventory. After testing, the inventory was enhanced with the addition of 24 items, revision of 110 items and deletion of 27 items.

To further validate the revised inventory, FOCCUS invited priests, deacons and other selected FOCCUS facilitators to participate in a pilot study where more than 100 participants completed the revised inventory. The reliability of the Inventory was tested using the SPSS Statistical Analysis Program for Social Sciences. 

In 2014, 1,531 current users of the FOCCUS Fourth Edition Pre-Marriage Inventory were surveyed as to its effectiveness. More than 90 percent stated the inventory helped them prepare for marriage.

Enriching Marriage

Where can I find marriage enrichment materials?

The Center for Family Life Formation’s Media Center offers a wide variety of resources and materials for couples, individuals, and small groups. These materials are available to you at no cost and can be accessed online.

Can you help us/me find a Catholic marriage counselor?

Yes, we assist many couples with marriage counseling services. Because these services are ever changing and each individual couple’s needs may be different, we ask that you contact our offices so we can assist you with finding the best match. Some therapists may specialize in communication skills, difficulty with infertility, addiction situations or any number of other marital concerns. We can help you discern the best counselor for your situation.

Can you help me find a Catholic therapist?

Yes, we receive frequent calls to our office from individuals seeking counsel for a variety of reasons. In certain situations, we can also recommend small group counseling, particularly for addictions. Our staff is more than happy to assist you with discerning the right choice.

Building a Family

How do I go about having my child baptized?

For questions about Baptism preparation, please contact your local parish.

How can I obtain Baptism preparation program materials for my parish?

If you are seeking information about the Called by Name© baptism preparation program, please contact the Center for Family Life Formation at 402.551.9003.

How can I receive more information on Natural Family Planning?

Couple to Couple League and FertilityCare offer Natural Family Planning (NFP) classes and are approved providers by the Archdiocese of Omaha. Information on classes offered by these providers, including fees, is available at www.cclomaha.org and www.fertilitycare.org/Omaha. For more information, please contact the Center for Family Life Formation at 402.551.9003.

Experiencing Difficulties

What resources are available for those living with a disability?

As every individual situation is different and varied, please contact the Center for Family Life Formation at 402.551.9003 and we will assist you with finding what you need. We have many audio and video resources available through our Media Center as well as relationships with other groups and organizations that can assist you directly with your particular needs.

What is an annulment and where can I go for help?

An annulment is a declaration by the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese Tribunal that a marital union lacked the elements needed for sacramental marriage from the beginning. Such a declaration will allow a Catholic to remarry within the Church if they are granted an annulment.

For assistance in preparing for an annulment, contact the Archdiocese of Omaha Tribunal at 402.558.3100. The Center for Family Life Formation and Omaha Tribunal offer Annulment seminars three times per year. Call the Center for Family Life Formation for dates and times at 402.551.9003 x1304.

How do I register for a bereavement class?

Widowed, Divorced and Separated and Beginning Experience provide active forms of outreach for those affected by death. To register or obtain help in locating a grief class, call the Center for Family Life Formation at 402.551.9003 x1304.

Where can I find support when going through a separation or divorce?

The Center for Family Life Formation offers various forms of support to individuals and couples affected by legal separation or divorce. Programs offer focus on the healing that is possible through Jesus Christ who cares deeply for each of us, particularly when we face challenges that can come quite unexpectedly into our lives. The Center works closely with the Archdiocesan Tribunal and individuals who choose to enter into the process for a declaration of nullity (annulment). In addition, Widowed, Divorced and Separated and Beginning Experience both provide active forms of outreach for those affected by divorce.  

Media Center

How do I set up an account?

There are two ways to set up an account:

  1. Fill out the new patron form and email it to the Media Specialist; or
  2. Come to the Media Center and fill out the form at the self-service station.
How do I log into my account?

On the Center for Family Life Formation website, go to the Media Center online catalogue. At the upper right-hand corner of the screen, click LOGIN. Type in your username and password. 

If you have misplaced or forgotten your password, contact the Media Specialist by email at mediaspecialist@archomaha.org or phone at 402.551.9003 x1314.

How do I search for materials?

In the online catalogue, select LIBRARY SEARCH on the left hand side of the screen, then select BASIC near the top right of the screen. In the FIND box, type in the keyword, title, author, subject or series of the item you are seeking and click on the corresponding icon beneath the box to complete the search. 

How do I place something on hold?

You may place a hold on an item after you have logged in and selected the title that you want. In the right margin of the screen, there is an icon with a red book and lock with the words HOLD IT. Click on the icon and it will trigger the hold. The Media Specialist will place the book aside until you come to pick it up, or she will mail it to you if you make a request by email or by phone 402.551.9003 x1314. Holds expire after one week.

How do I check out an item from the media center?

There are two ways to check out resources after you have set up an account:

  1. Come to the Media Center and check out items at the self-service station; or
  2. Call 402.551.9003 x1314 or email the Media Specialist with your requests and she will send the items to you. 
How do I pick up and return my materials?

You may come to the Media Center during the Center for Family Life Formation’s business hours to pick up or return materials. If the Media Specialist mails them to you, you may either return the items by mail or bring them to the Media Center.

How do I renew books online?

You may renew an item after you have logged in to the online catalogue. Select MY INFO from the top of the screen. This will generate a list of the item(s) checked out to you. You have the option of renewing specific items by selecting them individually or renewing all items by selecting RENEW ALL.