ABOUT MY MINISTRY
As a married Catholic priest, I belong to a national organization of married Catholic priests (CITI Ministries.com) We provide service throughout the United States. Our mission is to be available to current and former Catholics as well as those of other faiths who wish to be married with some element of spirituality, but cannot or choose not to be married in the Institutional Church.
While a member of the Catholic clergy, I spent 15 years as a canonical priest in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, 14 of which were as a university chaplain for students and faculty of the Catholic faith.
I left the clerical state (but not the priesthood) in the early 1970’s’primarily over the issue of mandatory lifelong celibacy demanded of candidates for the priest-hood. My wife and I have three grown children who have given us seven grandchildren.
In 2002, I learned of the married priests’ organization and have officiated at over 100 marriages in Maine, North Carolina and where we have now retired in Georgia. Although, I am now up in years I enjoy very much working with young couples to experience the kind of marriage they desire. I am not interested in the number of weddings I officiate but in serving those who are genuinely interested in a life-long commitment and in experiencing the greatest day in their lives.
I am grateful that I have been blessed with two special vocations, one to the priesthood and the other to marriage.
I have been privileged to provide the following services for over 100 couples who have approached me to officiate at their marriage the past few years.
When I am contacted either by email or by phone, I let the couple know of my availability for the day and time of their marriage. I then request a meeting with them as soon as it is convenient so that we can determine if I am the proper person to unite them in marriage. I tell them that I would like to meet with them on at least two occasions, possibly three if necessary. We either meet at our home or a place of their preference.
At the first meeting, we spend time initially getting to know each other. My wife almost always works with me during the preparation meetings. I find her interest and participation invaluable.
I provide several materials to assist the couple in determining the type and content of the ceremony they envision. Among these is a list of possible readings they may want to consider, a template that they may use in planning each part of the ceremony, but I urge them to make changes, additions or eliminations so that the wedding ceremony becomes very much theirs and not mine. While there are several ways in which the vows may be stated, I encourage them to make these their own by repeating after me each phrase.
As encouraged by the State marriage court, I provide them with all the information they may benefit from in making this commitment to each other (for example, communication skills, providing time and space for both to grow, the need to agree on financial concerns, their fidelity to each other, parenting skills should they have children resulting from their marriage, etc.) I also encourage them to ask any questions they have and we explore them at length. I urge them to get their marriage license at least two weeks before the wedding and give it to me at the time of rehearsal. Once I sign it after the wedding, I immediately send it to the probate court where they obtained it.