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In the Catholic tradition, the vocation of marriage holds a primary place in the life of the community, mirroring in the intimate marriage relationship the union of Jesus Christ with the Church. The process of preparation provided for all couples planning on marriage in this community of faith is intended to help couples build faith and spirituality in their relationship, develop mutual understanding in areas of communication, religion, relationship, intimacy and family formation, and build ties with their church community.

@ St. Michael's
In accordance with the Diocese of Lansing Guidelines, offers this process of preparation for couples planning to be married over the course of one year prior to the actual vows. The process involves:

>Initial meeting with the pastor. (1 session) 

>Meeting with a Marriage Preparation Team Couple for FOCUS (Facilitating Open Communication, Understanding and Study), which is a self diagnostic instrument designed to help couples learn more about themselves and their unique relationship. In this initial meeting, the two couples discuss the FOCUS and the engaged couple responds to the FOCUS topics and statement. (2 sessions).

>Communications Skills Seminar teaches couples positive communication and conflict management skills for counteracting and limiting negative patterns so the more positive bond in marriage may continue to develop and mature. (3 sessions)

>Foundations in the Catholic Faith Series renews and deepens the faith of Roman Catholics, provides an understanding of the Catholic faith tradition for non-Catholic partners, and gives both partners accurate information about the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church. (4 sessions)

>Spirituality of Marriage Workshop is designed to bring closure to the formation process and help couples connect spiritually with all aspects of the preparation process and life as a married couple in the future. (1 session)

>Optional elements may include Engaged Encounter or Remarriage Seminar, depending on individual circumstances.

>Final meeting with pastor to review the preparation process, and plan specific elements of the liturgy and wedding celebration. (1 session)

>Rehearsal and Wedding