Several parish members are certified Catholic Annulment Advocates. We are dedicated to helping you return to the sacraments; and, it may be easier than you think!
If you have questions about the annulment process, PLEASE contact us. All inquiries are confidential.
Read Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation about Marriage, Family Life, Divorce, and the Sacraments called Amoris Laetitia - Joy in Love.... A copy of the document can be downloaded below.
Read, Reflect, and Pray... and email your questions about this document to Sharon.
Divorce is a painful reality of life. It can be especially painful for Catholics because we believe that Marriage is a Sacrament - a living sign of Christ's unconditional and unbreakable love for His Church (us). Moreover, Jesus himself teaches that divorce does not accord with the binding nature of marriage as intended by the Creator (see Mt 19:3-9). In other words, divorce - which claims to break the marriage union - is against our beliefs. So, when divorce happens, it is hard to reconcile this real-life situation with our faith beliefs.
In their pastoral letter, Love and Life in the Divine Plan, the U.S. Bishops state:
"We understand the pain of those for whom divorce seemed the only recourse. We urge them to make frequent use of the sacraments, especially the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation." -p.25
"We encourage divorced persons who wish to marry in the Catholic Church to seek counsel about the options that exist to remedy their situation, including the suitability of a declaration of nullity (annulment) when there is no longer any hope of reconciliation of the spouses." -p.25
The annulment process investigates whether or not a valid marriage bond, which is the Sacrament of Marriage, was freely exchanged by the bride and the groom. Were the bride and groom able to give valid consent or not? It is all about the sacrament. An annulment does not change either person's civil status or the legitimacy of the children born in the marriage.
The annulment process is solely concerned with the sacramental nature of the marriage bond.
There are SEVERAL annulment processes. This is because the Catholic Church values the institution of marriage and thus, the Church assumes that every marriage is sacramentally valid - until proven otherwise. The processes are designed to help persons from various religious backgrounds marry a Catholic person in the Catholic Church.
Here is the basic information we ask you to provide:
1) The baptism information for the bride and for the groom
Baptism defines us as Catholic Christians, as Christians of other denominations, or as nonbaptized persons. The timing of Baptism - before or after the marriage vows - is important as well. We can often assist Catholics with obtaining baptism information; other denominations can provide a letter or a certificate as proof of baptism.
2) Civil certificate of marriage
The civil certificate proves that a legal civil marriage occurred.
Please note: if you were married outside California, please do NOT provide an "abstract" certificate - it does not include the detailed information the Church requires.
3) Divorce documents, including the final date of dissolution
These documents prove that a civil marriage has been dissolved legally. Child support, alimony, custody documents should be included as well.
4) Current contact information for your ex-spouse
Like civil court, the Church requires this information in order to give your ex-spouse the opportunity to participate in the process. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CONTACT YOUR EX!
Your annulment advocate or the Diocesan Tribunal will contact your ex-spouse.
YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION IS SECURED AND SAFEGUARDED AT ALL TIMES.
IF you do not know about your ex-spouse's baptism status, or IF you do not have their current contact information, or IF you are unsure whether or not you need an annulment...
ASK US. WE CAN HELP.
The answer may be a blessing!