“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601)
Preparation For Marriage
Thank you for considering St. Gabriel Church as the location for the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. For over 80 years our parish has been a vibrant Catholic faith community ministering to the St. Louis Hills neighborhood.
The celebrating of your marriage is a revelatory moment in your life and in the lives of all those present. It reveals to you, your guests and the entire world where God has chosen to dwell. Our Scripture says, “God is Love”. By your being in love, God dwells with you. That is why we speak of marriage as a Sacrament; we believe that the love you share in marriage becomes a sign to all of the closeness, the love and the wonder of the presence of God.
We at St. Gabriel look forward to the opportunity to work with you during this special time. We want to assist as you prepare for one of the most wonderful experiences of human life — celebrating your love in marriage and God’s presence in your lives. The following guidelines and policies, established and approved by the Pastor, are to be adhered to during all wedding services taking place in this church.
For Your Marriage Website
Did you know that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a website called For Your Marriage? The site includes information on what the Church teaches about marriage, daily tips for your marriage, a parenting and family section, a dating & engaged section, and does answer many questions about Catholics and divorce.
Often individuals are not fully participating in the life of the church because of divorce and remarriage. Others, civilly divorced, have questions regarding the previous marriage. In conjunction with the Catholics Come Home campaign, anyone who is divorced and would like to learn more about the annulment process can contact the rectory or one of our three parish advocates directly. All three of these parishioners have completed Tribunal Advocacy Training and are happy to answer any questions or help begin the annulment process for anyone from St. Gabriel Parish who is interested.
FAQs about Annulments
If a marriage is annulled, are the children considered illegitimate?
No. A declaration of nullity has no effect on the legitimacy of children, since the child’s mother and father were presumed to be married at the time that the child was born. Legitimacy depends on civil law.
Are divorced people excommunicated from the Catholic Church?
No. Divorced people are full members of the Church and are encouraged to participate in its activities.
May a divorced Catholic receive Holy Communion?
Yes. Divorced Catholics in good standing with the Church, who have not remarried or who have remarried following an annulment, may receive the sacraments.
How much does the Tribunal process cost?
In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, a formal Tribunal investigation is assessed a fee of $650, which is the responsibility of the Petitioner. Declarations of nullity cannot be purchased. This fee is payment for the Church's legal services and yet, does not cover the entire cost of the process. The remainder of the actual cost is subsidized by the Archdiocese. At no time is anyone denied a Tribunal process because of financial hardship. All billing is handled by the Archdiocesan Finance Office, not the Tribunal.
Why would a non-Catholic need a decree of nullity from the Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church recognizes all marriages between non-Catholics to be valid and binding as long as they meet civil requirements about the way consent is to be exchanged. A divorced non-Catholic, in order to seek marriage with a Catholic in the Catholic Church, must be considered free to marry. This requires that the whole of his or her life and marital history be brought into harmony with the teaching of the Catholic faith to which the Catholic intended spouse adheres. Hence, if the non-Catholic has previously been married, that first marital bond must be proven null before he or she can be considered free to marry anew.
Please contact the Priest at least six months prior
Fr. Patrick Ike
Fr. Thumma Maria
St. Paul said: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church. . . .
This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church."
--Ephesians 5:25, 32