Marriage and Family


7 Waterside, Woodquay, Galway.
091 565179Officialis

Rev. Raymond Browne, LCL.


Rev. Michael Byrnes, JCL; Máiréad Uí Mhurchadha.

Nicola Burke

Mairead Collins; Rita Scully; Brid Powell.

Tuam Diocesan
Judicial Group

Mary Lyons, JCD, Mercy Sisters, Tuam; Rev. John O’Boyle, Claremorris;
James Walsh, PP, Kilmeena; Patrick Curran, PP, Castlebar; Patrick Gill,
AP, Lecanvey, Westport; Tadhg Ó Móráin, AP, Cornamona;
Patrick Williams, PP, Cummer; Thomas Mannion, PP, Louisburgh.

Tuam Defenders
of the Bond

Joseph Moloney, PP, Claran; John Cosgrove, PP, Dunmore;
Michael Goaley, PP, Glenamaddy.

from Tuam Archdiocese

Patricia Fahy, Mercy Sisters, Tuam; Kathleen O’Loughlin, Mercy Sisters,
Tuam; Loretto Slattery, Mercy Sisters, Tuam; Ann Corr, Mercy Sisters,
Tuam; Seán Kilbane, PP, Menlough; Dorothy Somers, Mercy Sisters,
Tuam; Nancy Lyons, Clonberne; Ann Walsh, Kilcloghans, Tuam; Padraig O’Connor,PP,
Mountbellew; Anthony King, PP, Athenry; Patrick Costelloe, AP Kilcoona,
Headford;John D. Flannery, PP, Lackagh; Thomas Shannon, PP, Ballinrobe;
Stephen Ludden, PP Clonbur;John Fallon, PP, Kilmaine; Norman Molloy, Ballinrobe;
Des O’Kelly, Ballinrobe; Aidan Sheeran, Ballinrobe; Francis McMyler, PP,
Balla; Peter Waldron, PP, Keelogues; Francis Fahey, CC, Ballintubber;
Michael Moran, AP, Knock; Ann Fergus, Mercy Sisters, Castlebar; Margo
Lombard, Mercy Sisters, Castlebar; Maurice and Patsy Dowling, Castlebar;
John Kenny, CC, Westport; Martina Sheridan, Mercy Sisters, Achill; Michael
Molloy, PP, Roundfort; Seán Higgins, PP, Kilkerrin; Ann McPhillips,
Dunmore; Evelyn Fahy, Mercy Sisters, Ballyhaunis; William Reilly, PP,
Kilronan; Martin and Ena Hession, Claremorris; Joseph Feeney, PP, Ballinlough;
Desmond Fahey, AP, Tuam; Padraig Audley, PP, Carna; Colm Ó Ceannabháin,
SP, An Ceathrú Rua; Thomas Connolly, Clifden; Patrick Mooney, PP,
Leenane; Michael Kenny, PP, Letterfrack.

The Marriage Tribunal is one of the caring agencies of the Catholic Church.
In carrying out its task, the Tribunal must bear a two-fold witness:
* it must bear witness to the bond of marriage;
* it must bear witness to the justice and compassion of Christ
for those who have suffered    from a marriage whose validity
may be questioned on recognised grounds.
The Tribunal is approached only when every effort to bring about reconciliation
in a particular marriage has ended in failure. Those who wish to have
the circumstances of their marriage investigated may contact the Tribunal
directly or through their local priest.

Four Regional
Marriage Tribunals were established in Ireland by the Irish Episcopal
Conference on March 24th 1975. They are located respectively in Armagh,
Dublin, Cork and Galway cities

Family Centre Castlebar

Director: Mr. Cathal Kearney, Chapel Street, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

The Family Centre, Castlebar


Advice for Getting Married

Marriage Bureau in Knock Shrine
Director: Canon Joe Cooney

Some Useful Information

Once a couple have decided to marry in church, they should first of all contact
the bride’s local priest with a view to discussing the date and time for
the marriage with him. Properly this should be done before entering into
any arrangements with a hotel, caterers etc.
Three months notice — also a State requirement
In addition to the Church requirement for three months minimum advance
notice, the State has a similar requirement and will not recognise any marriage
performed without this three months notice being given to the
Registration Office for the County in which the marriage is to celebrated.
With three months to spare, apply for a Notification of Intention to Marry

Form from:
The Registration Office, 25 Newcastle Rd., Galway. 091 528966
The Registration Office, Newantrim St., Castlebar, Co Mayo.
094 9023249
The Registration Office, The Courthouse, Roscommon.
0903 66226518.

Church Marriage Papers
The priest will advise the couple of the documents required for the marriage.
In general these will be: a Certificate of Baptism; a Certificate of
Confirmation; a Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form; a Letter of Freedom for each
parish where the person to be married has lived for six months or more
since age 16, and a pre-Marriage Course Certificate.
In the case where one partner is not a Roman Catholic, a Letter of
Dispensation from the local Bishop will also be needed.
Some couples also like to have a Papal Blessing. This can be got by writing
to: Veritas, 7-8 Lower Abbey St., Dublin 1, enclosing a letter of recommendation
from your priest.
Couples resident outside Ireland who intend to marry in Ireland must ask
the bride’s local priest in their country of residence to send the papers for
both parties, once completed, to the Bishop in Ireland in whose diocese the
marriage is to take place. The Bishop will then forward them to the relevant
Parish Priest or Administrator.
Couples intending to be married in eg Rome, Paris etc ought to inform their
priest in plenty of time. He will advise on what other arrangements need to
be made. The papers in such a case have to be routed through the
Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. All arrangements, completion and
despatch of papers etc, should be done with plenty of time to spare.
Irish College, Via dei SS Quattro 1, Roma. 00184. Tel 6-70476122. Fax 6-

The Wedding Ceremony
A well-planned wedding ceremony can be a memorable experience for the
couple themselves and for their guests. Mass is not an essential part of the
wedding and there may be occasions when people will find it more appropriate
not to have a Mass. However the usual practice in Ireland is for the
wedding to take place during Mass. There is no greater way of thanking
God for the gift of the partner or of asking His blessing on the marriage.

Music in the Ceremony
Music is a very important part of the wedding Mass and will add to the joyful
atmosphere of the occasion. The music chosen should be of a kind to
help everyone present to celebrate the marriage ceremony in a loving and
prayerful way. It will be right to discuss the choice in advance with the
priest-celebrant. (Readers will know that in recent years, certain popular
contemporary songs have been heard at weddings which are, regrettably,
not suitable for use in church).

Pre-Marriage Courses
A Pre-Marriage Course, ordinarily completed three months before the wedding,
is an essential requirement for marriage in a Catholic Church.
Numbers on each course are limited. No courses are held during the
Summer months, June to September. Courses at Esker Retreat House
Athenry, Tel 091 844549, are residential; at Castlebar and Tuam they are on
a weekend or three-nightly basis. For a list of these see under ACCORD on
following page.
Books and website on Marriage and Marriage Preparation
The Knock Shrine Bookshop have a range of useful books on Marriage and
Marriage Preparation. Notable among these are various books by Jack
Dominian. Also recommended are:Christian Marriage — Preparation and
Celebration — Guidelines from the Irish Episcopal Conference.
Getting Married? — published by The Family Life and Prayer Centre,
Knock Shrine. Also the excellent website www.getting

ACCORD is an agency of the Catholic Church providing a nation-wide
service to couples preparing for or seeking a deeper commitment within
the sacrament of marriage.
Accord serves the pastoral needs of couples at different stages in their
Preparation for Marriage in a Christian context focuses on the essential
components which foster a good couple relationship:
Lifelong commitment:
 Communication and conflict resolution skills
 Responsible parenthood within a faith context
 Time and resource management.
Relationship Counselling is provided for couples, as well as individuals,
in a caring and confidential manner. It is a twofold process enabling clients
to identify and acknowledge difficulties in their relationship and to discover
the inner resources to deal with them..
For appointment or to book a pre-marriage course contact the
ACCORD office in Tuam, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 10am to 4pm.
Tel: 09324900; email:
ACCORD empowering people!

Support Services for Marriage also provided at
The Family Centre,
Chapel Street, Castlebar. 094 9025900.
(See following pages for full listing of Services)
For information or appointment contact:
The Family Centre, Chapel St., Castlebar.
TEL: 094 9025900/094 9025901 Fax: 094 9028772
Mon. – Fri. 9.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.
A wide range of services, based at the Family Centre, Castlebar have
been established by the Archdiocese of Tuam in association with the
Health Service Executive – West and the Department of Social & Family
Affairs. The commitment of Family Life Services is to provide a professional,
competent and up to date service which will be available to all. For
information on Courses, Workshops, Training etc. see Spring & Autumn
brochures which are available each January and September.
Details of all courses and services are also available on our website:
You will always be most welcome to call in or phone the Centre should
you require more information.
Fr. Pat Farragher, Director.


A professional counselling service is available at the Family Centre.
Counselling is a special relationship in which individuals, couples and families
can explore and address problems affecting their lives. This process
is facilitated by professional staff in a caring, confidential and non judgmental
environment. Counselling aims to empower people to make creative
changes with a view to leading more fulfilled lives. An agreed fee is
charged per session depending on an individual’s ability to pay.
You will be most welcome to contact the Centre for an appointment.

Are there times, when you don’t know where to turn for help?
when you feel you are not able to cope any longer and need to talk to
somebody immediately.
If so, a drop in listening service is available at the Centre where
skilled and confidential help is available. Drop-In-Listening appointments
are normally given on Thursday mornings. To make an appointment call
the Family Centre at 094 9025900

Help for Separating Couples.
A professional and confidential service for separating couples which offers
them an opportunity to:
* Negotiate their own agreement.
* Avoid going to court.
* Increase co-operation.
* Reduce bitterness.
* Create an “all-gain settlement”.
For an appointment with a fully trained mediator telephone
094 9035120

A number of local solicitors are voluntarily offering their time, on a rota
basis, to provide legal advice to families and individuals. This service is
aimed at helping those who might find it difficult to afford such legal
A Solicitor will be available in the Family Centre on the last
Wednesday of each month from 7.30 p.m. – 9. 00 p.m. Contact the
Family Centre for further information or if you wish to make an
A State funded Legal Aid service is available at the Humbert Mall,
Castlebar. Phone 094 9024334 for further information.

Helping People Deal with Debt.
The Money Advice and Budgeting Service provides a free and confidential
money management and advice service. The primary purpose of the
service is to assist people in dealing with their existing debt difficulties and
to help manage their finances. Call 094 9028888 for an appointment with
a professional money advisor. MABS also offers outreach clinics in
Ballyhaunis, Claremorris, Achill, Westport and Ballinrobe.
Call the 094 9028888 for an appointment.

Would it help to speak privately about your loss and grief to a trained
bereavement care volunteer? Skilled and confidential help is available: at
Castlebar 094 9025900, Claremorris 094 9362096, Tuam 093 24577
and Westport 098 28871, Headford 093 35566
Please ring for appointment.

Rainbows is a peer support group programme for children and young people
who have suffered a significant loss through death, separation or any
painful transition.
The Rainbows Programme is offered through the Family Centre each year
commencing in November and finishing in February. An information night
for parents and guardians is held in October.
The Training Programme for Rainbows Facilitators is run yearly by the
Centre under the direction of the Rainbows Registered Directors.
Contact the Centre for details.


An opportunity is provided at the Centre for you to talk on a one-to-one
basis about your own spiritual journey to a qualified spiritual guide.
For an appointment or further information contact the Family Centre.


This support group is open to anyone who has suffered or is suffering
from either condition.
For further information contact Mary at 098-26865

The Mayo Cancer Support Association offers a support service for all cancer
patients, their families and friends.
Mayo Cancer Support Association, Rock Rose House, St. Patrick’s
Avenue, Castlebar 094 9038407 E mail


Cura is a caring, compassionate and confidential service for all women
who are unhappily pregnant. It also supports boyfriends and husbands,
their families and friends. It ensures that every woman has immediate
and easy access to the help which she needs. CURA also provides a
post abortion counseling service
CURA personnel are available at the Centre on:
Tuesday’s: 11.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.
Wednesday’s: 7.00 p.m. – 9.00 p.m.
Saturday’s: 1.00 – 3.00 p.m.
You may call in personally or ring the CURA number 094-9024866.
Family Life Services gratefully acknowledges the support of
the people of the Archdiocese of Tuam,
The Health Services Executive-West
and the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

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