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Howdy, folks. I'm wanting to know of any Catholic moral manuals on the topic of courtship. More specifically, what has been the Church's general consensus on the appropriate length of courtship? I had always assumed that courtship spanning over several years (2-4) was a practice that was supported and perhaps encouraged by the Church, but I do not have any specific literature to support this. Any help appreciated!

My wife got our son Father Lasance's "Young Man's Guide."  Cheers!
I always thought the traditional church frowned upon long engagements. My husband and I went out on a couple of dates then decided to marry. Our wedding was 7 months later.  I would be interested to hear if there is church teaching on this.
I have no direct experience with this topic but nonetheless I would recommend the following website.  The link below has several links on it that came up by searching the word 'courtship'.  To avoid the links that take you to something for sale in their store, just ignore the links that start with 'store'.
You got yourself a ladyfriend, Joshua?
My understanding is also that the Church discourages too much time before marriage.  How much time depends, I would think, on how long you have known the person.  Two childhood friends might not need as long a courtship than a couple who has only just met.

My husband and I met online -- before she met him, my mother was very concerned that I didn't "know his people" because of the online meeting.  Once she met him, that concern went out the window.  :LOL:  We had about 10 months of courtship, followed by 9 months of engagement.  The latter was mostly waiting for good weather and having a shortage of indoor venues near the church where we were married.  The danger of a long courtship was mitigated by the fact that we lived 60 miles apart.
(03-22-2013, 01:21 PM)WhollyRoaminCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]You got yourself a ladyfriend, Joshua?

Yes. There is a very special young lady who recently entered my life and the prospects of courtship are fairly high.  :)

Thank you all for your suggestions. I had always drawn a connection to one's pursuit of a potential spouse in the same way one pursues the Priesthood. The Church has always required a lengthy period of formation before being recommended for ordination. Marriage is a vocation and a sacrament with as much gravity and commitment as Holy Orders and I can certainly see the need for a period of time in which to discern. Perhaps not 6 to 7 years as in the seminary, but I think a span of 2-3 years is fairly reasonable if circumstances necessitate it.  :shrug:
If it takes any longer than 2 years, something's wrong.

Quote:Marriage is a vocation and a sacrament with as much gravity and commitment as Holy Orders

That's debatable.
I heard this sermon yesterday. It answers your question. I had heard it before but kept listening. It gets into courtship a little way into it. I think it's providential that I heard it.
Here is an article I like.

Lots of opinions to work with.
I'm not for long courtships or engagements.
Hubby and I married after 4 months,we KNEW-
and he is even more perfect than I imagined,
5 kids, a grandson, and all life has had for us later.

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