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"This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." Genesis 2:23

Marriage is a beautiful vocation from God to an exclusive, lifelong union between a man and a woman open to receiving God's blessing of children. Jesus performed His first miracle at the wedding at Cana (cf. Jn. 2:1-11) to show His particular care for marriage which He elevated from its natural state to the dignity of a Sacrament. As followers of Jesus we must be faithful to the true nature of marriage: a reflection of God’s own free, total, faithful and fruitful love. For it is only by reflecting God’s love that we will have strong marriages, strong families, and thus a strong society.




Weddings at Ave Maria Catholic Church are celebrated for those couples in which either the bride or groom is a registered and active member of our parish. Weddings should be scheduled at least six months in advance to allow for proper spiritual preparation for the Sacrament.


"Transformed Marriages"



"Witness to Love"

"Witness To Love" is a virtues-based model of marriage preparation and renewal that integrates modern principles of psychology and the virtues to help couples facilitate and talk about their relationship. What makes "Witness To Love" unique is that the engaged couple chooses their own mentor couple. This is a couple they both admire and see as a source of faith formation. This mentor couple gives them a connection and integration into the parish. Through the sharing of the mentor couple’s own marriage journey, the engaged couple inherits a “lifeline” of support in their commitment to each other and to Jesus and His Church.

Diocese of Venice Marriage and Family Department

Couples under the age of 55: "Witness to Love Marriage" Preparation Program.


Couples 55 years and over: Attend the one day "Two Become One" retreat.


Couples over 75 years: Four hours of personal instruction by a priest or deacon.

Military couples and geographically separated couples: The online program "Catholic Marriage Prep" can be used with Diocesan approval.

Your very first step in getting married in the Diocese of Venice at Ave Maria parish is to contact Stephanie Pointz, Administrative Assistant: 239-261-5555 or
Marriage Coordinators Karla & Jorge Cebreros:
The priest that couples meet with is Father John Andem at 


The Defense of Marriage - USCCB:


Natural Family Planning is a term covering many methods used to achieve and avoid pregnany. These methods are based on the observation of natural signs occurring in a woman's menstrual cycle. No medication, devices, or surgical procedures are used. The Catholic Church promotes NFP as the method of family planning that supports God's design for married love. Click on the following links to find out more:


Catholic Married Couples NFP


Couple to Couple League 


Billings Method 


Creighton Model


Marquette Method


Natural Family Planning USCCB

Ascension Presents: "Bobby and Jackie Angel - Why We Love NFP"


Now, we must help each other get to Heaven.

Blessed Karl I, Emperor of Austria to Servant of God Princess Zita on their wedding day

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