I have been asked to preside at a family member’s wedding in another diocese. What are the procedures I should follow to obtain proper permission to preside?
Contact the parish at which the wedding will take place. Ask the parish what information they need from you or the Diocese of Austin. Permissions are generally the same, but can vary from diocese to diocese. Most dioceses will ask that your diocese send a testimonial of suitability in advance. To obtain a testimonial of suitability, contact the Director of Diaconal Ministry (preferably by email) or the Vicar General and inform him of the following information related to the wedding: date of wedding, name of parish at which the wedding will take place, parish address, name of parish pastor, name of bride and groom, and name and address of the diocese in which the parish is located. Request that the Diocese of Austin send a testimonial of suitability to the Chancellor or Vicar General of the diocese in which the wedding will take place with a copy to the parish at which the wedding will take place. A testimonial of suitability can typically be sent within a few days after receiving a request. However, delays can occur. Therefore, it is prudent to request the testimonial of suitability at least 30 days in advance of the wedding.
The foregoing response also applies when a deacon or priest is asked to preside at a baptism or any other liturgy, or to otherwise temporarily engage in ministry in a diocese other than his home diocese. In cases of funerals, time is usually of the essence and a request should be sent as soon as possible. Diocesan offices will respond accordingly when time is of the essence.
Related to this question is a reminder that when a couple who is prepared in one diocese and will be married in another diocese, the person/parish responsible for preparing the couple should send the complete “wedding packet” to the local tribunal office who will review it and, once approved, forward it to the tribunal office of the diocese in which the wedding is to take place. This should occur at least 30 days before the wedding.