“The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.
So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” – Genesis 2:18-24

Marriage is a blessed Sacrament of celebration between the union of a man and a woman in order to deepen their faith and become one through the Body of Christ. It expresses the faith of the two baptized into Christ and reflects their desire to “make holy” their love and the commitment they are making to each other. The vows spoken to one another take on a new meaning when they are made in front of the Church’s minister, family, and friends. Marriage is made holy because through the celebration we call upon God to bless you and your marriage, being ever present throughout your life together. This is a sign of God’s faithful love and continuing presence amongst you.

 To start the marriage prep process, we encourage you to visit the following site to get started.
This site will guide you in preparing properly for your marriage and will answer many questions that couples find along the way.

HERE are the wedding guidelines and policies for the Fort Recovery Cluster of Parishes. There is also a handy guide that you can use for your wedding prep requirements.
Wedding Information

Before setting up an initial appointment, we first ask that you have the baptismal information of bride and groom, readily available prior to contacting the cluster office. This would be the baptismal date, baptismal church and a copy of the baptismal certificate, which should all be provided to the cluster office.
This information must be confirmed and submitted, prior to the official wedding date confirmation. The office can schedule a tentative date, but is unable to confirm the date until all baptismal information is received, including contact information of both parties.

Once the baptismal information is received for the bride and groom, along with contact information and the anticipated wedding date, we ask that you fill out the following form online. This information will get the couple registered at the proper church and will aid in beginning the planning process.

We ask that the couple e-mail a current photo of the two together to the Priest they are working with at or Please include in the subject line of the e-mail your names and the word “photo” along with your wedding date.

The engaged couple must meet with one of the priests from the cluster (Father Ned or Father Matt) 2-3 times, or possibly more if there are considerable issues to resolve such as prior marriages, etc. To schedule these meetings, please contact the parish cluster office over six months prior to the wedding taking place. The first meeting is a general introduction with a review of the requirements. Please fill out the online form of the Assessment Questions (Personal, Spiritual and Cononical) for the bride and the groom to complete separately.

The second meeting will take place after the couple has attended Pre-Cana classes (information below) and reviewed the FOCCUS test with their FOCCUS couple facilitators (4-6 months prior to the wedding). The third meeting will consist of any liturgical planning and follow up preparations for the wedding couple, including the ceremony day worksheet, which must be completed ahead of time.

Each couple will receive a folder of information during the first meeting with your pastor. This information will include booklets and pamphlets that will assist you in the planning and preparation of your wedding ceremony and the day.

An important aspect in preparing for marriage is also preparing information to be submitted to the church. Together for Life is the program the Ft Recovery Cluster utilizes in educating engaged couples. The link below for the selection form should be submitted by the couple preparing for marriage (6th Edition). There are many other helpful materials on the site that can benefit those preparing for marriage, so please feel free to explore and find other helpful information.

When completing the form to submit, there is a box at the bottom that asks the who to e-mail the selections to….

This is where you enter Father Ned or Father Matt’s e-mail addresses, so they receive the information. or

Pre-Cana is an important aspect of the marriage preparation process. The couple must schedule a course offered by the diocese of Cincinnati and notify the Fort Recovery Cluster pastor of the attending date by e-mailing, or informing Father during one of the meetings. Below is information for Pre-Cana registration including links and brochures with dates, locations, and costs for the programs.

For couples entering a 2nd Marriage, you are required to take Pre-Cana 2. Below, is the brochure and registration information for the program.

For Pre-Cana alternatives, you can also attend an Engaged Encounter or a Ruah Woods event

Engaged couples will meet with a facilitator couple from their home parish and assigned by the pastor, after the first meeting. They will discuss the sacrament with the couple, including preparation and all aspects of marriage. After attending Pre-Cana the couple will then participate in the FOCCUS Evaluation inventory. This is not a test, but helps couples prepare to reflect and discuss various elements of marriage-readiness they may not have previously covered. The test cost is $25 and will be given to the facilitator couple when reviewing the results. Checks for this can be made out to “Mary Help of Christians.” The facilitator couple will in turn supply the check to the parish with the couples’ evaluation of the test.

The State of Ohio marriage license must be given to the priest or deacon prior to the ceremony; otherwise, no marriage can occur legally according to state law. The license can be purchased at ANY courthouse in the State of Ohio. If both live out of state, the marriage must occur in the county where they obtain their license. Therefore, they must get their license from the Mercer County courthouse.

For more information regarding preparation and planning for your upcoming special day, below are links to Diocesan Policies, Marriage Prep information and the Sacrament of Marriage.

God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying to them; “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” Genesis 1:27-28

Marriage is a wonderful journey together with your spouse. For those of you that are already married, here is some information on strengthening your marriage and working together as a couple.

For workshops and events held by Marriage Works Ohio, please click this link.

Whether you are preparing for marriage or already married, Formed online has the Beloved programs to help you in discovering the happiness of your marriage. The Beloved programs are a great opportunity to work as a couple, or together with other couples to develop a deeper unity and build a thriving marriage, protecting your bond as one with the Lord.

Prayer for a Married Couple

 O God, who in creating the human race
willed that man and wife should be one,
keep, we pray, in a bond of inseparable love
those who are united in the covenant of Marriage,
so that, as you make their love fruitful,
they may become, by your grace, witnesses to charity itself.
Through Christ our Lord