For the Perezes, Ricardo Campos and Micaela Perez, Arturo’s sister, traveled from Mexico the day before the ceremony.

Maria Perez thinks that guidance from the couple is beneficial because they have been married for more than 20 years.

That changed this summer when the Perezes were married at their parish, Good Shepherd Church, along with 20 other couples in “la gran boda,” or “the big wedding” — a convalidation ceremony June 24.

Convalidation is taken from the Latin word meaning “to firm up” or “to strengthen.” The ceremony takes place when couples who have been civilly married “want to make their wedding proper with the church or get a blessing,” said Father Ramon Baez, one of two parochial vicars at the parish who performed the ceremony.

Each couple had padrinos, or godparents, at the wedding.

“Since we’re Catholics and we support this consecration, I think this is going to make this family stronger,” Campos said.

“We think that this is a good decision what these guys are making and we are here for them to support them.” “I wish them a lot of hope,” Micaela Perez said.

“It was great because they have all kinds of conversations,” Maria Perez told Catholic News Service.

“They talk about everything.” After the retreat, the couples gathered in front of the church’s congregation to proclaim their faith and the intention to validate their marriage.

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If you are interested in learning more, please call 510-893-4711 or see below for Convalidation Weekend Program dates.

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