Diocese of Cleveland - Tribunal

1404 East 9th Street | Cleveland, Ohio 44114

First Step

The Church’s teachings on marriage, divorce, and remarriage are often misunderstood.  The First Step program is offered to help everyone, especially those who have been divorced, learn more about Catholic beliefs on marriage and how to submit an annulment case, if necessary.  Representatives from the Ministry to the Divorced Office of the Department for Marriage and Family Ministry will also be present to explain their ministry to those who are divorced.

To date, we have had the privilege of meeting over 1900 people through the First Step Program. The seminar is open to all without registration and usually lasts around 90 minutes. Tribunal staff members are available to answer questions, both during the seminar and afterwards.

The normal process for submitting a case to the Tribunal remains that you meet immediately with a priest, deacon, or lay ecclesial minister at your local parish. It is not necessary that you wait to attend a First Step session.  The First Step sessions are merely an alternative opportunity to learn more.  Meeting with your local minister is the traditional method and is highly encouraged.


All 2017 First Step meetings have now been completed. There will be a First Step meeting at Saint Ambrose Parish, 929 Pearl Road, Brunswick, on Tuesday September 18, 2018, at 7pm.

Priests, deacons or lay ecclesial ministers who would like to discuss the possibility of hosting a First Step meeting in your parish or district may call Lynette Tait at the tribunal.

Learn more:

See the sample bulletin announcement.

Read the experiences of previous First Step attendees.

Learn about programs for the divorced offered by the Department for Marriage and Family Ministry.

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