Marriage and Family Life

The office of Marriage and Family Life provides programs and resources in the following areas: Marriage Preparation, Marriage Enrichment, Family Life and Breaking Free from Pornography.

“The Joy of Love”

newlyweds clasping hands

On March 19, 2016, Pope Francis released the document Amoris Laetitita (“The Joy of Love”), in which he provides a reflection on marriage and the family. Visit the “The Joy of Love” page to download and read the document.

Marriage Preparation

A period of preparation is required for couples planning on celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage. To learn about the requirements, a couple should speak with the pastor of their local parish. Below are some programs which the Diocese of Fargo provides to help couples prepare for the celebration of this Sacrament and the success of their married life together.

Marriage Preparation Seminar

Each couple preparing for marriage in the Diocese of Fargo is required to attend a Marriage Preparation Seminar. Visit the Marriage Preparation Weekend Seminar page for the schedule and to register.

NFP Poster 2012
Natural Family Planning

The Diocese of Fargo has implemented a policy on the Instruction of Natural Family Planning for Couples Preparing for Marriage. The intent is to help couples prepare for marriage in the Catholic teachings of love and life.

Sponsor Couple Training

In many parishes throughout the diocese, Sponsor Couples assist the priest in preparing couples for the Sacrament of Marriage. In a series of meetings, the sponsor couple visits with the couple preparing for marriage. The visits are grounded in the Pre-Marriage Inventory. In some parishes, the Sponsor Couple continues to assist and be present to the newlywed couple after their wedding day.

The Diocese of Fargo facilitates training for Sponsor Couples by providing workshops in learning how to interpret a Pre-Marriage Inventory.

Pre-Marriage Inventory

The Diocese of Fargo requires that each couple take a Pre-Marriage Inventory. Below is a description of some of them. You can also learn more about them by contacting Jennie Korsmo at (701) 356-7901.

FOCCUS
FOCCUS is an acronym meaning “Facilitating Open Couple Communication Understanding and Study.” It is an internationally used inventory for marriage preparation. The tool is an instrument designed to help couples learn more about themselves and their unique relationship.

PREPARE / ENRICH
The PREPARE/ENRICH Program is used for premarital counseling, marriage preparation, marriage counseling, and marriage enrichment. PREPARE/ENRICH includes a comprehensive couple assessment along with feedback using skills building exercises.

Marriage Enrichment

Visit the Married Life page for a list of programs in the Diocese of Fargo which help strengthen married life.

Two wedding rings
For Your Marriage

For Your Marriage is an initiative which provides information, skills, inspiration, and resources to help couples who are married or who are thinking about getting married. It is sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Communications Campaign. Here are some resources:

Defense of Marriage

As the understanding of the institution of marriage becomes more and more confused through misleading political jargon, the need to properly define and defend marriage as the divinely established means of uniting one man and one woman for the whole of life becomes all the more necessary.  Below are some resources that help to sift through the confusion to see marriage for what it is and always has been.

Marriage: Unique for a Reason
Marriage Unique for a Reason banner: one man and one woman, love and life

Marriage: Unique for a Reason is an initiative on the part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that casts a spotlight on the dignity and beauty of God's design for marriage as it has been understood from the dawn of time through exploring topics such as:

  • Sexual Difference
  • Children
  • The Common Good
  • Religious Liberty

This initiative also features resources such as:

  • The Made for Love podcast - featuring stories of real people living out the call to love.
  • Love and Responsibility - an exploration of the ground-breaking work by Karol Wojtyla (Pope St. John Paul II) on authentic marital love in all its dimensions.
  • A Call to Prayer - a unified effort of thousands of people to bring about a renewal of the culture of life, marriage, and religious liberty in our country through prayer, penance, and sacrifice.
Gender Ideology

As many people are trying to understand the various aspects of gender ideology, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has compiled a resources summarizing Catholic teaching in this area: “Gender Theory” / “Gender Ideology”.

Resources by the American College of Pediatricians: