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Diocesan Policy on Place of Marriage

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Diocesan Policy on Place of Marriage



As is well known in Catholic life and law, the normal place for marriage is the parish church, specifically the parish church of the bride or, in a mixed marriage, of the Catholic party.  This practice places the responsibiIity for proper preparation and instruction upon the parish priest. It underlines the sacrament of matrimony as a pubIic celebration and a concern of the entire parish community. It integrates the exchange of consent of the newly married couple into the parish community where their marriage will be lived out, or where their Christian lives have been lived to this point. For these reasons the parish church always remains the preferable place of marriage.  At the same time, special needs arise, and for the sake of an effective pastoral ministry, exceptions to the norm may be made. Therefore, the following statement of policy and procedure has been proposed regarding these exceptions in the Diocese of Oakland:

Marriages may be celebrated in the principaI chapel of St. Mary's College, Holy Names College, Mills College and the Campus Ministry Center at California State University at Hayward for present students, alumni and faculty. In regard to these locations the following norms are established:

a) Weddings in these places are restricted to the above named groups, i.e. alumni, students and faculty.
b) Where there is a priest director of campus ministry, he should be given the faculties of on associate pastor of the parish in whose territory the college chapel is located.  These faculties provide general delegation to witness at all marriages in that territory, as well as the ability to sub-delegate other priests to witness specific weddings.
c) Should there be no priest director of campus ministry, the pastor of the territory in which the chapel is located should work in cooperation with those responsible for the campus ministry at the college in question for the arrangement of weddings.  In this case delegation for each marriage must be obtained from the locaI pastor or associate pastor.
d) The preparation for marriage is the responsibiIity of the proper pastor, his associate, or another priest properly delegated by one of the above.
e) Records should be kept in the parish in which the college chapel is located.
f)  Weddings at these locations are restricted to the main chapel of the college or university
g) Priests or deacons performing the wedding ceremony who do not hold general faculties of the Diocese of Oakland are required to present a Letter of Good Standing from their Bishop to the Bishop/Chancellor of the Diocese of Oakland.  Upon receipt, the Chancellor of the Diocese will forward this letter to the College or University Chapel; this copy is to be kept in the pre-marital packet for the couple.