For a Catholic to be validly married "in the eyes of the Church" it is necessary that the marriage take place with the permission of his/her pastor. Catholics must be fully initiated, that is, must have celebrated all the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The Catholic Church does recognize marriages performed by ministers of other faiths to be true and valid marriages. However, permission of the Catholic Church is required for Catholics.
In the Diocese of Youngstown, a minimum of six months time is required to prepare for a marriage. At St. Luke parish, marriages are not celebrated during the Lenten season.
Marriages may be celebrated in another parish with the permission of both pastors. Marriages which involve special circumstances (for example, under-age, annulments, pregnancy, second marriages, etc.), require special arrangements and additional time, according to parish and Diocesan Tribunal Directives.
The following process is necessary for marriage:
- Contacting the pastor or parish priest to set a date.
- Filling out required documents.
- Submission of Baptismal certificates (for Catholics).
- Pre-marriage counseling and preparations.
Holy Orders includes the episcopate (bishop), presbyterate (priest) and diaconate (deacon).
Vocations to the religious life and vowed service to the Church are special responses to God's call to ministry and service.
The Diocese of Youngstown has an Office of Clergy and Religious Services to assist parishes in encouraging and supporting vocations and in directing those who discern a vocation.