If you’re a Newman alumni, community member, family, or UW student, faculty, or staff, interested in being married at the Prince of Peace Chapel (Newman Center), please contact us for more information. Marriage preparation courses and other requirements must be met after consultation with a priest.
The Catholic Church—along with other faiths that profess belief in the one God—assert that marriage is God’s idea. It originated with him. "God himself is the author of marriage" (Gaudium et Spes 48). It is for him, then, to teach us what it is. And he begins our lesson from the onset of creation. "The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1603). Man and woman are literally made for each other. "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh" (Gen. 2:24). This was the beginning of marriage.
After sin entered the world, the original design for marriage suffered some setbacks, and God began a process of re-educating and reforming his people. For a time there was polygamy. Moses conceded to divorce among his followers because of their "hardness of heart," but Jesus clearly declares that "from the beginning it was not so" (Matt. 19:8). He refers to Genesis 2 as he restores marriage to its original dignity: one man, one woman, becoming "one" (Matt. 19:4–5). He leaves no doubt that this union of husband and wife is exclusive and indissoluble: "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matt. 19:6).
This unity is not just physical but is a bond at the deepest level of their personhood. " They become one." Not merely "their bodies become one." Paul compares this marital union to the union of Christ and the Church (Eph. 5). It is holy; it is made by God, and, as such, cannot be "undone" by man.