Preparing Couples For A Lifelong Commitment


Marriage Preparation Steps

Contact your parish and receive permission from your parish priest to register for marriage preparation. You should receive a copy of the Engaged Couple Guide for Catholic Marriage Preparation and a current Marriage Prep Brochure during this first contact with the parish.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Couples most benefit from marriage preparation if their FOCCUS facilitation and CEE retreat or MAJ workshop are completed 6 months prior to their wedding day. Please plan accordingly in order that you are not rushed to complete the 5 Steps. The Archdiocese of Omaha does require a minimum of 6 months preparation time before the scheduled wedding date.

    • If the bride or groom will be less than 19 years old on the date you plan to marry, a wedding date will not be set until the preparation process is complete.
    • If either the bride or groom or both have been previously married and then divorced, a written decree of nullity (annulment) is required prior to registering for marriage preparation. 

Contact our Marriage Prep Coordinator
402-551-9003 ext 1312 

Step 2: Register with the Archdiocese

Marriage registration through the Archdiocese of Omaha requires that you select, register, and complete payment for a formation program listed below. Please register immediately as the programs do fill quickly.  

Marriage: A Journey for Life (MAJ)
A Saturday workshop with presentations, individual couple discussion and reflection time on topics important to marriage. Meals included.

Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE)
An overnight weekend retreat with other engaged couples including presentations, individual couple discussion and reflection time, confession, and mass. Meals and lodging included.

Couples registering for Catholic Engaged Encounter must first register for FOCCUS by contacting the marriage preparation coordinator at 

Marriage Formation Registration

Step 3: FOCCUS Facilitation

After registering for your choice of formation program in Step 2, you will each receive your own FOCCUS username and password by email within five business days.

Please complete the FOCCUS™ Pre-Marriage Inventory immediately upon receiving your login information. Allow 45 – 60 minutes for completion. As soon as both of you have completed the Inventory, a personalized Couple Report will be delivered to your priest.

You can expect to meet with your trained FOCCUS facilitator weekly for 4-6 one-hour sessions. Your facilitator may or may not be your priest. These sessions are intended to facilitate discussion between the two of you on areas of strength and opportunities for growth identified by the FOCCUS™ Pre-Marriage Inventory. Your results and your facilitated discussion are confidential between you and your priest/facilitator. 

You can expect to receive b’tween™ resources for use during and after your FOCCUS sessions along with a FOCCUS Certificate of Completion. 

Step 4: Attend Educational Program(s)

Attend either Catholic Engaged Encounter or Marriage a Journey for Life as selected above. Your priest will receive written notification when you have completed all marriage formation requirements.

The Center for Family Life Formation also recommends Natural Family Planning classes offered by Couple to Couple League, Family of the Americas, and FertilityCare. 

Step 5: Meet With Your Priest

After completing FOCCUS sessions, MAJ or CEE, along with NFP and parenting as might apply to you, additional formation will be provided by your priest. This will include planning the rite of matrimony.