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Marriage Preparation

Information about the Course

Marriages for Mary provides retreats for couples who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church. The course is completed over a weekend and is modelled as a retreat with opportunities for private couple discussions.


The Archdiocese requires that all couples getting married in the Church take an approved marriage preparation course. The Marriages for Mary weekend-long retreats that we offer fulfill the requirement of the Archdiocese and offer a friendly, home environment in which couples can do their marriage preparation. They are all held at the Marriages for Mary retreat house in Metcalfe, Ontario unless otherwise noted (see address at the bottom of this page).

You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course,  which is required in order to be married in the Catholic Church. The course is recognized both nationally and internationally.

The retreats have anywhere from one to six couples attending, depending upon the demand for the dates in question. For couples who are coming from far away, we can provide accommodations (for up to two couples).


There is no fixed price for the course; however, we request a suggested donation of $300. We are a registered, not-for-profit charity and we rely exclusively on the donations and generosity of our benefactors and the couples that we serve.


The in-person weekend Marriage Preparation schedule is as follows:

  • Friday 6:00 - 9:00 pm

  • Saturday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

  • Sunday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

See the full in-person sample schedule here:  


For sessions that are conducted online via Zoom, the schedule is:

  • Saturday 9:00 am - 9:00 pm

See the full online sample schedule here:  



What is Provided

All Marriage Preparation course materials are provided. Also, all meals, snacks, and drinks (hot and cold) are provided throughout the weekend. The meals are home-cooked, nutritious, and prepared using organic farm-raised meats. Please let us know if you have any food allergies.


If you are interested in registering, or for more information, please contact Gerard or Rita McCarthy by phone or e-mail (information is in the footer of this website) or else by filling out the contact form available on the home page. 

The following are the upcoming dates for marriage preparation retreats. All retreats are online or in person, as indicated below.

August 2023

There will be no Marriage Preparation retreats in August.

September 23, 2023

This retreat is online only (via Zoom) and just for the one day. 

October 20-22, 2023

This retreat is in person and for the weekend. 

November 17-19, 2023

This retreat is in person and for the weekend. 

December 9-10, 2023

This retreat is in person and for the weekend.


Note that this retreat is only for Saturday and Sunday (there is no Friday evening program).No

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