“The love of a man and a woman
is made holy in the sacrament of marriage
and becomes the mirror of God’s everlasting love.”

-Rite of Marriage

If you have clicked on this page, it probably means you are considering marriage or have become engaged.  Congratulations!


What Is Marriage Preparation?

Marriage Preparation provides an opportunity for reflection and discernment on the sacramental and vocational nature of the life-long commitment of marriage. St. Thomas Aquinas' preparation program is designed to ensure that the two of you have discussed both the spiritual and practical aspects of marriage. We ask that couples begin their marriage preparation at least six months to one year before their wedding date.  You will be asked to participate in marriage preparation by:

  • Beginning or continuing to pray with each other and for each other.
  • Contacting the priest who will preside at your wedding.  The church will be reserved at this time.  If you are celebrating your marriage at another parish or church confirm that the priest is comfortable with your choice to complete your preparation at St. Thomas Aquinas.  If you would like to celebrate the sacrament of marriage at  STA the priest can be contacted at (515) 292-3810 or by email (
  • Completing of the pre-marriage inventory called “Fully Engaged” and attending meetings to review results. Brenda Neppel is the contact regarding Fully Engaged (
  • Attending a weekend workshop. Pre-Cana and Engaged Encounter is offered through the Dubuque Diocese.  Registration and information can be found at:
  • Attending a small group if one of you is not Catholic.  Sessions are intended to explain the basics of Catholicism and encourage you to discuss the differences regarding your faith traditions.
  • Completing the pre-marital paperwork with priest or his designee.
  • If you are Catholic you will need to contact the church you were baptized at within six months of your wedding date and request a new baptismal certificate.  Baptized non-Catholics will need to present a copy of their baptismal record.