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What is Bold Beginnings?

The Archdiocesan Marriage Support Office developed and launched the Bold Beginnings marriage preparation process for parishes in March 2020 as a response to Unleash the Gospel’s call to shape “marriage preparation into a form of ‘Second Catechumenate’” (Action Step 1.1.3).

The Bold Beginnings marriage preparation process is meant to assist couples to:

  • Co-discern/affirm their marriage vocation.
  • Grow in their appreciation of the beauty of the sacrament of Matrimony.
  • Align in their understanding and readiness for the positive demands of lifelong Catholic marriage and family life.

How do I use Bold Beginnings?

All the files mentioned below can be accessed here.

  1. Begin by downloading and reviewing the Parish Implementation Guide: English; Spanish
  2. Follow the stages of the process that are listed below.
  3. Follow up with married couples after the wedding to get feedback. Use this Post Marriage Survey Template to develop your survey.

Stages of the Bold Beginnings Process

Stage 1: Discover

  • The couple will first meet with the priest or deacon who will get to know them, complete the Pre-Nuptial Interview, and overview the marriage preparation process. Deacons/Priests complete the A-form. Please note: the pre-marriage form must be completed before a priest or deacon. Making the form available to the couple before the interview risks them completing it before hand and simply bringing a completed for to the interview, which is totally contrary to the utility of the form. You will note in the form that the form must be completed by parish staff and the parties have to be interviewed separately.
  • The couple will take the Preparing for Marriage online course. The online course can be accessed here: English and Spanish.
  • The engaged couple will select a Mentor Couple to accompany them during their marriage preparation process.

Stage 2: Form

  • The Mentor Couple will meet a number of times with the couple to complete the Witness to Love program workbook and discuss aspects of Catholic marriage and family life. Mentors complete this form to complete their assessment of the engaged couple and share it with the Marriage Prep Coordinator: English; Spanish.
  • The engaged couple will be introduced to the parish at Mass for their prayers and support.
  • A retreat experience will assist the couple to connect with each other in a deeper way. Families of Parishes may host their own retreat or couples may participate in a retreat hosted by the Archdiocese of Detroit Marriage Office.
  • The couple will complete an introductory class to Natural Family Planning. Couples can register here to take the course: English and Spanish.
  • Some parishes may elect to have the couple perform a Pre-Marriage Questionnaire.

Stage 3: Celebrate

  • The couple is strongly encouraged to participate in Sacrament of Reconciliation before wedding day if not done so recently.
  • The couple will meet with the wedding celebrant to finalize the liturgy planning and discuss newly married follow-up with the couple.

Stage 4: Live

  • Support is extended to the couple as they embark on their early years of marriage together. The Mentor Couple and parish will follow-up with the newlywed couple during the first two years of marriage to invite the couple to participate in life of the parish community, connect with other couples, and attend marriage enrichment activities.

This document may be shared with couples beginning the Bold Beginnings process.