‘…the salvation of souls must always be the highest law in the Church…’
The annulment ministry reaches out to:
Persons who have questions regarding their position in the church after a civil divorce.
Individuals seeking information about annulment for themselves.
Civilly married couples who would like their marriage “blessed” by the church.
Annulment Support Ministry
The Annulment Support Ministry seeks to carry out the Church’s mission of reaching out to those in pain, specifically to the divorced. The ministry provides a contact for divorced persons seeking information and assistance about the healing that annulment can provide to individuals.
How It Works
The process begins with an initial meeting, during which information about the annulment process, including definitions, reasons for seeking annulment, and Tribunal involvement, are shared. The ministry helps the divorced person fill out the initial application and offers support during the annulment process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whenever two people exchange marital consent, the Church presumes that consent to be valid. It is the consent of the parties, not the place where the exchange took place that forms the basis for a marriage.
The Church looks at five things when determining whether a marriage is valid.
- The form of the marriage (this pertains only to Catholics and their exchange of vows in the presence of a priest or deacon.)
- The freedom of the parties
- The capacity of individuals for entering into marriage
- The individual’s knowledge of marriage and each other
- The intention of the parties when entering into marriage
A marriage may be declared invalid if something is lacking in any one of these five areas at the time of marriage.
In reaching out to divorced Catholics, the Annulment ministry notes:
Divorced Catholics are not excommunicated
Divorced Catholics may receive the Eucharist and Reconciliation
Divorced Catholics are full members of the Catholic Church and can participate fully in the life of the Church.
Children will not be illegitimate if a Catholic is granted an annulment.
An annulment must be granted on the previous marriage before a divorced Catholic can remarry in the Church.
Time and Talent
The annulment ministry seeks persons who have petitioned for an annulment, whether it was granted or not. The ministry believes that first-hand witnessing can be very helpful and supportive. It also is trying to form a support group for those either thinking about or going through the annulment process.
For more information, contact Deacon Tom Hayden at 847-885-7700 or check out the Annulment Support section on the Archdiocese of Chicago website: Annulment Information - Archdiocese of Chicago.