Healing in times of Divorce
Divorce is unique among life experiences. Nativity Catholic Church reaches out to the divorced through her priests and their ministry. One of the ways we help those who were married and are now divorced, as they move forward with the hope, love, and healing of Jesus Christ is through a declaration of nullity, or what you may have heard in more common terms as an "Annulment."
It is the hope of our church that this process will be a time for healing and closure. The Annulment process is not an extremely difficult, abstract, or scary process. It does have great weight and importance though, for those who are divorced and wish to remarry in the Catholic Church. A declaration of nullity is required. If granted, it means that your previous union lacked something basic from the beginning and, as a result, the union was not binding according to the Catholic Church.
Important Steps in the Process
There is NO FEE charged by Nativity or by our Diocese to work through the Annulment process. You also must have been divorced for a period of one year (from your final divorce decree) prior to seeking an Annulment or remarriage in the church.
Step 1 - You must make an appointment to speak with a priest. Every individual situation is different, and there are many different items to discuss. Our priests help begin the process of closure and healing by allowing you to talk to them, and for our priests to find out more about what brought you to see them.
**Do bring a copy of your Baptismal certificate with you if you are
Catholic, a copy of your former marriage certificate, and a copy of your
Step 2 - Father will then provide you with a few forms and questions to complete. Through writing about some details of your former union and filling out the forms, we often find that people say it is a healing process. It provides a way to express topics that have been weighing down one's heart or mind. You will be asked to provide a few witnesses who know you, understand you, and who have some knowledge of your former union and spouse.
Step 3 - Once the forms are completed and turned into our church office, all of your paperwork is submitted to our Diocesan Tribunal. This office will review, process, and make determinations on each Annulment case presented to them. Your former spouse will be notified of your Annulment petition. Their cooperation will be helpful in assisting the Tribunal to reach a just and fair decision. If your former spouse refuses to cooperate, the petition will continue to be processed.
Step 4 - There may be one other appointment scheduled by the Tribunal or our priests if necessary. The entire process and petition is then reviewed by the Tribunal and a final decision will be made, and then you will be notified of the result.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce or annulment, or are having difficulties in your marriage, there is a support program available to you:
- Retrouvaille - A Lifeline for Marriages. Weekend program to help husbands and wives resestablish communication and gain new insights into each other and as a couple. Next program begins May 19-21, 2017. For more information, call 813.906.7705.