Marriage Preparation

Couples marrying in the Diocese are required to attend a Catholic marriage preparation course. This is to ensure that they have understood and agreed to the solemn promises that they will both be making before God, and to equip them to grow in their love and commitment to each other in spite of challenges they may encounter.

A Marriage Preparation Resource Pack containing information about Marriage as well as Marriage Preparation Courses delivered in the Diocese is provided by parishes to engaged couples or by contacting the Diocesan Life Marriage and Family team on 98470502.

Information about the various Marriage Preparation programs used in the Diocese can be viewed below.

Smartloving Engaged LogoSMARTLOVING ENGAGED

Smartloving Engaged is a mentoring system that provides comprehensive formation for couples preparing for marriage. Each engaged couple is ‘matched’ with a trained married mentor couple who facilitate a uniquely personal two on two sessions intertwined with multimedia content. Matching is sensitively arranged according to the needs of the engaged couple and available mentors.

The individual nature of the course allows it to be flexibly managed to accommodate couples in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The course has also been successfully facilitated with couples in remote areas via skype and web-based DVDs, and can also be undertaken in a group setting.

With strong foundations in the Theology of the Body, the course provides practical relationship skills as well as the key spiritual preparation for the Sacrament of Matrimony. While there is a core curriculum, mentors adjust the emphasis according to the needs and interests of the engaged couple. Typically, the six session course runs over six weeks but it can be accelerated or spread out as required. Where ever possible, couples are matched with mentors from their own parish or neighbouring communities so that ongoing support and personal encouragement is readily available especially in the post marriage period.

For bookings, contact the Parish and Marriage Resource Centre:

Call: 0434 346 280



SmartLoving Engaged Online is the latest form of the curriculum noted above and is approved for use in dioceses in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, USA and Asia. It has been favourably reviewed by the Pontifical Council of the Family and is the fruit of over a decade of experience working with Engaged Couples.

Register online:



A program for individual couples which provides you with the opportunity to explore your relationship in a relaxed and confidential setting through the support and facilitation of an accredited relationship educator. The program utilises an in-depth user-friendly questionnaire which is designed to help you and your partner learn more about yourselves and your unique relationship. There is the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge enabling you to continue strengthening your relationship. This program is offered over two or more sessions.

FOCCUS was developed in 1985 by three marriage and family therapists with these goals in mind:

  • To provide a user-friendly inventory
  • To be utilized by individuals and professionals
  • To help prepare couples for marriage
  • To emphasise a facilitation process rather than counselling
  • To address issues important for engaged couples to discuss and understand
  • To base the inventory on current research and consultation with experts in the field
  • To update inventory to address developing issues such as couples with children, interfaith couples, second marriages and cohabitation

The inventory session assesses couples’ agreement, disagreement, or indecision about statements related to important issues, such as communication, problem solving, religion, family and friends, careers, cohabitation, parenting, sexuality, finances and more.

Based over two sessions with a qualified FOCCUS facilitator these appointments can be held at Waitara, Naremburn and Brookvale.

Booking Terms

All bookings are by appointment only and will be scheduled by our office. First appointments will be booked in consecutive timeslots with another appointment and you may be waitlisted till dates become available. Second sessions will be booked directly with your facilitator. No weekend appointments are available.

Contact CatholicCare:

Call: 9488 2400 Waitara Family Centre


Prepare Enrich Logo PREPARE ENRICH

For over 30 years, PREPARE ENRICH has helped couples explore and strengthen their relationships. The main component of the program is an online survey you each complete in about 30-45 minutes. PREPARE ENRICH is not just any survey. The items you respond to are based on research and are intended to help you identify the unique strengths and potential growth areas of your premarital or married relationship. You’ll meet with a facilitator trained to provide feed-back by helping you understand your results and learn important relationship skills. Built on a solid research foundation, PREPARE ENRICH has been improved and refined over the years to become one of the most effective, easy-to-use relationship assessment tools available.

PREPARE/ENRICH will help you:

  • Identify strength and growth areas
  • Explore personality traits
  • Strengthen communication skills
  • Resolve conflicts and reduce stress
  • Compare family backgrounds
  • Comfortably discuss financial issues
  • Establish personal, couple and family goals

Contact CatholicCare:

Call: 9488 2400 Waitara Family Centre:


Catholic Engaged Encounter Logo CATHOLIC ENGAGED ENCOUNTER (CEE)

Held over a Saturday and Sunday this non-residential marriage preparation experience is presented by married couples and a priest when available. The weekend is designed as a private experience appealing to couples from a wide variety of backgrounds. Couples have the opportunity to talk privately, deeply and honestly to each other about their desires, goals and attitudes to all life’s issues.

There is an emphasis on developing the skills necessary to live in a committed, permanent and loving relationship. The couple’s relationship with God is interwoven throughout and deals very effectively with the sacramentality of marriage. There is an opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the experience ends with Mass on Sunday afternoon.

Couples booked on a CEE weekend have the opportunity to do FOCCUS before the course for a small additional cost. CEE is presented in over 30 countries throughout the world.

Contact Engaged Encounter:



Call: 9868 2924 (Greg & Linda Power Engaged Encounter presenters since 1988)