Is this none of my business?


An acquaintance from my parish is a Chaplain for a local Catholic high school. She arranges retreats for students and staff, liturgies, etc. Our daughters play together on a CYO team and we have many mutual friends, but our relationship is very casual, consisting of a few conversations during sporting events or after Mass.

She is also my facebook friend, so I see her posts frequently. And, I know that she has several students and former students from the school she works at as facebook friends as well.

She is divorced and engaged. A few months ago, she posted that she and her fiance (also a divorced Catholic) would be postponing their wedding until they had received annulments on their first marriages. Then, recently, she posted that they had set the date for this May “even though they would not have their annulments yet.” And, she’s assuming that both will be granted annulments…

I’m hoping she will reconsider and I’m resolved to pray for her and for her fiance. And, since I don’t have a child at the school and am not a friend (just an acquaintance), I don’t think I have a responsibility to approach her or the school.

However, I’m heartbroken for her, for the kids in the two families, and for her students. How can she arrange for sacraments for her liturgies and not participate? And, all the students who admire her see her knowingly entering into an invalid marriage.

I also don’t know all the facts–perhaps, she’s planning to resign? I don’t think so, though.

My plan is to just pray and perhaps fast and if God puts me in a place to say something to her, I will trust the Holy Spirit to put the words in my mouth.

Is that enough?


I would say, trust God first. Second, you may wish to speak to a priest without naming names, from another parish. And get his advice. Divorce is difficult but annulments are decided on a case by case basis, and can be less than quick. Although your relationship with her is casual, her position and visibility will send the message that the rules can be broken and lead to open scandal. Like I said, talking to a priest and waiting on God are your two best options. I always try to think the best of everybody, but I doubt the priest performing the ceremony would even do it if he knew the annulments had not gone through. This is a Sacrament, after all.

Hope this helps,


She may have planned the wedding date contingent on recieving the annullments. Hopefully they do and it isn’t a problem. I would say it probably is none of your business.


It may not be your business, but it is the school’s business. They cannot have a chaplain in an invalid marriage. I would mention this to a priest in the hope that he could persuade her not to marry outside the Church and not to create scandal for the students who know of her private life.


If you’re talking about an obligation of fraternal correction, I’d run this by a priest of confessor.

You can also read


As a school chaplain myself I would be **very **concerned if a fellow chaplain was poised to take such steps.


without an annulment they shouldn’t be dating let alone engaged ! :eek:


Can. 564 A chaplain is a priest to whom is entrusted in a stable manner the pastoral care, at least in part, of some community or particular group of the Christian faithful, which is to be exercised according to the norm of universal and particular law.


I thought having a layperson as a Chaplain was odd, too. The former Chaplain was a priest who took a parish. It’s probably symptomatic of the priest shortage in our diocese. Formerly, this parishioner was a theology teacher at the school.

I’ll talk to my confessor. I really, really, really don’t want to be involved. sigh.


would it be inappropriate for me to just email the former chaplain at the school and ask him to handle it? He is now at a parish a couple hours away from the school

I know that the Bible calls for us to go first to the person, but the chaplain used to teach at the school in the same department, so he has a stronger relationship to this lady.

This is a really nice lady and well catechized. I was a little shocked that she would consider putting herself outside the sacraments. And, worried about the effect on the students at her high school. I think there’s a lot of confusion among teenagers about divorce and remarriage.


following the link to Fraternal Correction makes me think that I can pass this off to a priest without having to go to her privately.



It’s not odd. It;s common.

I’m a layperson, appointed by the Bishop.

And as such it is not my right to break church teaching while filling this role.


Go to her directly. It’s tough, but someone is going to have to talk to her face to face.

Maybe you will help her change her mind before it gets to the next level.


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