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While Richards’ Ohio hometown has three Catholic churches and a majority Christian populace, once she met Levy all her plans for a “nice Catholic boy” disappeared.

As they dated, the two made sure big issues like how their children would be raised or what religious traditions were important to them were discussed respectfully and resolved early on without either forgoing their faith.

Respect for both of their beliefs extended into their wedding ceremony, which was led by both the priest and the rabbi.

There were readings from the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament, signing of an interfaith ketubah (a Jewish marriage contract), drinking from a kiddush cup, and the couple stood under a chuppah, or canopy during the ceremony.

“Marriage preparation becomes a possible moment of grace.” Despite the rise in interfaith and interchurch marriages, they’re not at an all-time high.“For many years, I told myself (and others) that I was going to the nearby Catholic college so I could meet a nice Catholic boy and get married,” Richards recalls.But when she met Levy—who is Jewish—the two quickly became friends and eventually started dating.It wasn’t until after they were married and the topic of children came up that Mike’s parents voiced their disagreement with how their grandchildren would be raised.They also complained that the Jewish traditions had overshadowed the Catholic traditions at the Miles’ wedding.Before Juliann Richards met Neal Levy, she didn’t doubt that she’d marry a fellow Catholic someday.

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