Marriage & Family Life

The Vocation

to Married Life

The call to love is the heart of marriage as a vocation. The Church teaches us that marriage is a natural vocation as it corresponds to human nature as intended by God. God created us with a natural longing to be loved by another and to raise a family. 


The vocation to marriage is a joyful call to follow Christ and a total giving of one’s life in love to a spouse and, God willing, to children.​ God makes one existence of the two spouses – the Bible says ‘one flesh’ – in the image of His love.

Support for Couples and Families

Marriage and Family Calendar 2020

St John’s Cathedral - Rite of Election

Saturday 29th February

please visit our MFL stall

University of Southampton Cathsoc

Saturday 7th March

Understanding the gift of your natural fertility - for University students

Douai Abbey - Loving4life Retreat 

Friday 13th March – Sunday 15th March 

for married couples



If you wish to start a grandparents’ prayer group in your parish, we would love to hear from you. Otherwise, you may pray with other grandparents in various parishes.


You may support our work by patronising our prayer gift cards available in some parishes & the St John’s Cathedral Bookshop.


Marriage Preparation

'The complexity of today’s society and the challenges faced by the family require a greater effort on the part of the whole Christian community in preparing those who are about to be married.' Pope Francis


The Marriage & Family Life team is committed to supporting marriages in the diocese. A big part of this is running marriage preparation courses, drawing from the wisdom of mentor couples.

'We're really enjoying our marriage preparation course. It's good to be part of a group in similar situations to us and to be able to relate to 'everyday life' as a couple. The course has encouraged us to open up more about our feelings and priorities what really matters in our lives - Each other.'

(The diocese of Portsmouth only offers the Face2Face Course currently for SmartLoving)

Natural Family Planning

Thanks to the many fertility apps available, contemporary families have countless choices. Our fertility awareness scheme on offer is an opportunity for couples to understand further the physiology of their bodies, in the joy of the total gift of self, in marriage.


The scientifically proven methods proposed to couples to plan their families are being used successfully by many families and being increasingly sought after, for health reasons amongst others. The initiative proposed here simply adds to the many choices already available which allows families to make informed decisions.

Keen to run a pilot scheme in your parish?

Just get in touch!


Catholic Grandparents

The clarion call sounds for catholic grandparents in the Portsmouth diocese, to unite in prayer for their grandchildren, both near and far. The miracles and successes of parishes where the CGA is already established, is a treasure to be both celebrated and emulated.


'Our grandchildren are so in need of prayers because a whole generation has slipped through the net.  I pray with others to be together in one mind and heart. This is so needed as so many have wandered from the Truth and there’s so much pointing them in the wrong direction.'

We hope to encourage other grandparents in the Diocese to join in these ongoing prayers for all the grandchildren in the Diocese. Here are all the ongoing groups:

St Colman’s Church, Cosham
2nd Tuesday of the month
After 9.15am Mass

Holy Family Church, Southampton
2nd Saturday of the month


St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth
2nd Wednesday of the Month
After 12.15pm Mass

St Joseph's Church,  Southampton
3rd Thursday of the Month
Before the 12pm Mass

St Michael & All Angels Church, Leigh Park
2nd Tuesday of the month
After 10am Mass


Marriage Enrichment

The wide gap between Marriage Preparation and the Annulment process, draws attention to the critical need for Enrichment.


Marriage Enrichment is available in many forms. For example: 


Retreats (Loving4Life, Marriage Encounter)


Ongoing Formation (Two in One Flesh)

Support groups (Teams of Our Lady, Couples for Christ) is a treasure.


Scripture calls us to petition the Lord to protect our marriages.


Office Number: 02392 825430

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