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 For the Engaged

Preparing for Marriage in the Diocese of Buffalo

We congratulate you on your decision to be married in the Church! Catholic marriage is a gift and calling. Marriage is a challenge but the call to grow together in love is ever present. Know you are held in thought and prayer.

The Office of Family Life is happy to assist you in your personal preparations for the Sacrament of Marriage.  Please refer to the following brochure. "Guidelines for Engaged Couples" from the Diocese of Buffalo may be found here.    For a list of what is needed for you to be married in the Diocese of Buffalo, please refer to this checklist.

Pre-cana experiences generally include prayer, presentations by trained team couples on various topics such as communication, intimacy, everyday living, sacrament of marriage, finances in daily life and more.  Opportunity for you to share privately with your future spouse is provided.  Each pre-cana offers unique aspects all designed to provide you and your future spouse with an affirming and enriching program.  You will receive your pre-Cana Certificate at the conclusion of your program.

Any ONE of the following pre-cana programs satisfies the requirements for marriage preparation for the Diocese of Buffalo.

Journey Into Love is a diocesan one day program that uses presentations offered by trained married couple teams.  Engaged couples use various communication exercises focusing on such areas as dynamics of effective communication: intimacy; sacramental commitment, natural family planning and serious issues that can cause marital roadblocks. Program includes a continental breakfast, lunch, program materials and prayer. Cost is $150.00 a couple no matter the location. **Please note that you must prepay for your Journey Into Love Program no later than two Fridays before the date your sign up to attend; or your space may be given away to another couple.**


There are only a limited number of places available in each Journey into Love program, please register a few months ahead if possible.  You must pay for the program before the program date.

Registration for all Journey into Love Pre-Cana classes no matter the location is done through the Family Life Office.


Winter/Spring 2019 Journey into Love Location/Dates

The winter and spring 2018/2019 Journey Into Love Programs will be at D'Youville College 329 Porter Ave.  Buffalo, NY 14201 for the September through May programs.

Dates for the Journey Into Love programs in Spring 2019 are:

  • Sunday, April 14, 2019 - The program on 4/14/2019 is currently full. Please contact our office at 716.847.2210 if you cannot make another program date before your wedding. Thank you!
  • Saturday May 4, 2019

All programs take place from 8:30 AM until 3:30 PM, and you must stay through the entire program.


Summer 2019 Journey into Love Location/Dates

The summer 2019 Journey Into Love Programs will be at Christ the King Seminary 711 Knox Rd. East Aurora, NY 14052 for the June through August programs.

Dates for the Journey Into Love programs in Summer 2019 are:

  • Sunday, June 2, 2019
  • Saturday, June 22, 2019
  • Sunday, July 21, 2019
  • Saturday, August 17, 2019


For more information and to register for any of the above pre-Cana day programs call your Office of Family Life Ministries at 716 847-2210 or e-mail us at

Click here for the for the 2017-2018 Diocesan Marriage Prep Brochure!


Resources for couples unable to attend traditional marriage preparation classes are available.

Catholic Marriage Preparation on-line resources are available to couples who cannot attend traditional programs.  These programs allow flexibility for couples with difficult work schedules or for those who live in different states or countries.

Online Catholic Marriage Prep Class Living Our Faith in Love, is a Catholic marriage preparation course developed in collaboration with the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan and The Marriage Group, LLC.; specifically targeting couples separated by distance.  The program is available 24/7 365 days a year, includes the Catholic Couple Check up premarital inventory and other resources.  An interactive on-line program with topics that include:  Communication, Conflict Management, Marriage as a Sacrament, Sexuality & Intimacy, Children, and other relationship education issues.  Full program cost is $195.00.  Couples receive their pre-Cana certificate upon completion of the program.  For information and or registration call 1-855-773-2262 or visit:

Catholic Marriage Preparation, Inc. founded by Christian and Christine Meert.  This marriage preparation program is currently translated and available in French and Spanish as well as in English.  Cost is $195.  Subject matter covered:  God's plan for humanity, the Sacrament of Matrimony, Natural Family Planning, Theology of the Body, the Rite of Marriage, and other relationship issues.  Couples receive their pre-Cana certificate upon satisfactory completion.  Visit for more information or call 1-719-471-9702.

CANA II is a marriage preparation program designed for couples where at least one person was previously married and who are now free to marry again by reason of a Church annulment or death of one's spouse. This peer ministry program is given by a trained remarriage team primarily on a couple to couple basis . The resource utilized "A Redeemed State" deals with critical issues that include step-parenting, multiple sets of in-laws, and the challenges of blending families. Registration completed on an individual basis by contacting your Office of Family Life Ministries at 716-847-2210 or e-mail us at


Resources :  Podcasts & articles for those dating, considering marriage, and engaged. :  A guide for planning your wedding in the Church.

For Your Marriage:  The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) provides helpful articles and resources for engaged couples planning for their marriage and their wedding day.


REGARDING THE PLACE OF MARRIAGE: In accord with the custom of the Diocese of Buffalo, Catholic weddings are to be celebrated primarily in parish churches. Since the parish church is the "spiritual home" of the family of God, where life-giving sacraments are normally celebrated and since the parish is the heart of sacramental life and ministry, weddings in gardens, parks, beaches, and hotels are prohibited. Also, weddings in high school chapels, religious houses and oratories that are not attached to a parish are not permitted.