My husband and I are both catholic and have been married for 25 yrs. We did not marry in the church because I have a prior marriage in the church. My now husband had never been married. My prior husband has now died and we would like to know if our marriage can now be blessed in the church.

The correct term is not "blessed" but "Convalidated."  In other words you are asking if you can have your marriage recognized by the Church, and therefore become legitimate in the eyes of God.

The answer is yes you can. You could have had your marriage Convalidated 25 years ago had you successfully gone through the annulment process.  However with your first husband deceased, you are now free to enter into another marriage without having to go through a formal annulment process.

What you need to do is make an appointment with the pastor or assistant pastor of the Catholic Church you attend and talk to him about this.  You will need to present certain paper work: the death certificate of your first husband, your marriage license, and your divorce papers. (I am not sure you will need them since he has died---nevertheless it does not hurt to have them available just in case.) Both of you will need to present your Baptismal certificate from your parish of Baptism, and you need to call the parish and have the send it---it cannot be copies of your own.  It needs to come from the parish of your Baptism. If your husband is not Catholic, or Baptized that is fine.  He would not have to produce a certificate.  If there is anything else required the priest you see can go over that.  


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Father Dave Bechtel


I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.


I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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