Update - December 11, 2020

Christmas is just around the corner and all of us must continue to do our part to protect ourselves and our loved ones. This Christmas might not be what we had hoped and planned for, but let’s give our thanks for what we do have. We have all pulled together to minimize Covid-19 in our province and it is working! We need to keep up the great work we have been doing and look forward to the time when families and friends can get together to celebrate. With the vaccine, there is an end in sight to this pandemic so let’s hold on until the time when it is safe to gather.

As we move into 2021, the Archdiocese of St. John’s is planning to resume the Archdiocesan Marriage Preparation Courses. As we work to ensure the protocols and guidelines required by Public Heath are in place to enable us to bring couples together as participants, we want you to know that we will do our part and ask you to work with us to help ensure the safety of all who attend. We will be sending the protocol and guidelines information to the couples prior to scheduled courses. As we look at the scheduling of courses for 2021, the dates will be dependent on the wedding date info we have received and continue to receive from our online Marriage Preparation registrations. As we capture the info, the courses dates will be set and the schedule will be posted to our website and forwarded to all our parishes for their websites and included in the parish bulletins. Any couples planning to marry in 2021 or later and who have not completed a Marriage Preparation Course, please login to our website “rscj.org” and select “Chancery/Marriage Tribunal”. From the next screen, please select “Marriage Preparation”. Scroll down to the Registration form, complete and submit. If you have registered, you will be receiving an email advising you of the scheduled Marriage Preparation course dates for 2021. We hope to have the dates posted by mid January 2021. For those of you whose wedding dates might be early in 2021 or because of work/travel restrictions and the Archdiocesan Marriage Preparation courses dates are not workable, there is the option of the online Marriage Preparation Course. We recommend that couples attend the Archdiocesan course but understand that for some couples this is not doable.

If there is any further information you would like, please do not hesitate to contact me at twhiffen@rcsj.org.

I wish all of you and your families a safe Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Take care and stay safe,


Marriage Preparation Program 

“[marriage preparation] …is a special opportunity for the engaged to rediscover and deepen the faith received in Baptism and nourished by their Christian upbringing. In this way, they come to recognize and freely accept their vocation to follow Christ and to serve the Kingdom of God in the married state.” – Familiaris Consortio, 51

Congratulations and blessings as you journey toward the day of your wedding! A warm welcome to Marriage Preparation through the Archdiocese of St. John’s. This time together will focus on various aspects of your commitment to one another.

Topics will include:

  • The Sacrament of Marriage
  • The Sacrament of Matrimony with a Mass and without Mass
  • Life & Health Issues from conception to natural death
  • Sexuality and Intimacy
  • Wholesome Communication 
  • Financial Planning
  • Spirituality of the Couple
  • What it takes to make a marriage work

Marriage is a serious and sacred commitment. This union of a man and woman is the basic unit of human society and of the Church. In this unique relationship, two persons make a solemn commitment to be totally for the other. Therefore, it deserves the most careful attention and preparation. Every marriage shares in God the Father’s creative love as an image of the Holy Trinity. Marriage in the Church has been elevated to a sacrament by Christ and gives witness to the presence of the Holy Spirit as it is lived out in the secular world. Spouses, therefore, enter into a new relationship with God who becomes permanently present in and central to their shared life. 

The Marriage Preparation Course is for couples who are exploring the idea of getting married and for those who are already engaged. It’s designed for those who want to give their marriage the best possible start, whether they’re exploring marriage for the first time or have been married before.

The cost per couple is $100.00

If you require any further information please contact Theresa Whiffen, twhiffen@rcsj.org or 726-3660, ext 232.

We look forward to seeing you there for what we hope will be an informative and enjoyable experience. Blessings as you continue your preparations for your Married life together!


Theresa & Gerry Antle


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Tribunal Members 

Judicial Vicar (Archdiocesan Tribunal)

Very Reverend Stephen J. Courtney, J.C.L.

Associate Judicial Vicars (Halifax Regional Tribunal)

Very Reverend Stephen J. Courtney,  J.C.L

Msgr.  Francis Puddister,  J.C.L


Reverend James Beresford,  J.C.L.

Very Reverend Stephen J. Courtney,  J.C.L.

Msgr. Francis Puddister,  J.C.L.

Defenders of the Bond 

Reverend Edward Sutton

Reverend William Brown,  S.J.


Msgr. Denis Walsh


Sister Rosemary Ryan,  R.S.M.

Sister Rosaline Hynes,  R.S.M.

Secretary | Notary

Mrs. Katrina Etchegary

Contact Us

Chancery | Marriage Tribunal

Pastoral Center

200 Military Road

St. John’s, NL A1C 2E8

Tel: (709) 726-3660

Fax: (709) 726-3688

Chancellor & Judicial Vicar

Very Reverend Stephen Courtney

Tel: (709) 726-3660 | Ext 250

Email: scourtney@rcsj.org

Secretary / Notary

Mrs. Katrina Etchegary

Tel: (709) 726-3660 | Ext 234

Email: ketchegary@rcsj.org