These answers of your frequently asked questions will help you understand the what, why, where, and how of the One In Christ seminar.


Why contemplate a two day marriage seminar as an alternative to a traditional on day pre-Cana?

When we take on a new job, going through training is essential for identifying our strengths and talents so that we will succeed at putting them not only at the service of the common good of our employer, but also for the community at large.  In training, we must also recognize our weaknesses, shortcomings and defects so that we can strive to overcome that which can inhibit us from growing in virtue and becoming the saints that God is calling us to be.

It's the same with marriage.  We believe that marriage preparation is more than just a box to check off from your "to do" list.  It is an important and sacred time to learn and grow, reflect, encourage, support and challenge one another; it is an important time to begin praying with one another.  It is also a time to discover what it means to truly love and forgive, communicate and problem solve, raise a family and practice the Catholic faith.

What happens at the seminar?

The seminar consists of a series of presentations and interactive participation with other engaged couples.  Led by a team of married Catholic couples and a priest, the two of you are encouraged to talk and pray privately with each other after each presentation.  There will be opportunities to engage in discussion and faith sharing with other engaged couples throughout the seminar.

An atmosphere is created for the two of you to concentrate exclusively on each other, free of the distractions, pressures and interruptions of daily living – a “time out” away from home, friends, and wedding preparations. It is a thought provoking seminar, specifically designed to give you the opportunity to talk honestly and extensively about your future together – an opportunity to discover a deeper appreciation of your relationship and God’s call to unite in a permanent union, the Sacrament of Matrimony.

The One in Christ Manual guides the facilitator's talk in presenting the what, why and how of the Church’s teaching in relation to marriage. Each presentation concludes with a video of a witnessing couple, discussion questions and a prayer.

Is it required to attend the entire One in Christ seminar?

It is very important that you attend and participate in the entire seminar.  The seminar is designed for couples to build upon their knowledge through each presentation.  By the end of the seminar, couples have the education and tools they need to help them prepare for a happy, healthy, holy and lasting marriage.

Once you fully participate and attend the entire seminar, a Certificate of Completion will be provided that you present to the priest or deacon who will be officiating at your wedding.

How soon before our wedding should we attend?

The seminar is designed to inspire ongoing discussion and reflection for both of you as you continue to prepare for marriage.  Because preparing for your marriage is so important, you should register for a seminar which is held no later than six to nine months before your wedding.  Try not to attend the seminar a couple of months before your wedding just in case something comes up, i.e. sickness, death in the family, etc.  The Seminars are presented almost every month, so it's good to schedule an earlier one so you can fall back on a later one.

Does One in Christ satisfy the Catholic Church's requirement for marriage preparation?

Within the Archdiocese of Chicago, One In Christ is endorsed as fulfilling this requirement. This program is also accepted in many other dioceses and parishes throughout the country.

Do I have to be Catholic?

No. One In Christ Seminar is a marriage preparation program for couples asking to be married in the Catholic Church.  It will provide an excellent opportunity for you and your fiancé to understand the truth, good, and beauty of a Catholic Christian Marriage.  We have had many individuals from other Christian denominations and even other religions, such as Judaism and Hinduism. From the evaluations, many of them thoroughly enjoyed the seminar and the experience of learning more about their fiancé's faith and how that will have an impact on their future marriage. The seminar also helped them to talk about what it means to be in an inter-faith/religious marriage.

What if we are civilly married?

All Catholics are obligated by Canon Law to get married in the Church before a valid priest or deacon and two witnesses. If you are only married civilly, please speak to the priest or deacon at your parish.  After you meet with one of them, and he schedules your wedding, you are welcome to attend the One In Christ seminar as you prepare for your sacramental marriage within the Church.

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Who should attend this seminar?

Both members of the couple must attend together.

Do I need to register for both my fiancé and myself?

You only need to register once for both you and your fiancé.

What does the cost cover?

The two day seminar is $300.00.  This fee covers the One in Christ Manual, material on marriage, stipends for speakers, meals, and NFP classes.

When does registration end?

Registration ends a week prior to the start of the seminar.  If you are trying to register the week of the seminar, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if an exception can be made.

What if I need to cancel my registration?

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ASAP.  You need to cancel a week before the first seminar in order not to be charged a $50.00 fee.  A refund of $300.00 will only be given if you cancel prior to the Saturday before the first seminar.  If you need to sign up for another seminar in the future, you will need to re-register and pay for the future seminar.

What if a seminar is sold out?

It is very important to register early.  If the seminar is sold out, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if an exception can be made.

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