Marriage across faiths proves a welcoming journey

Marriage across faiths proves a welcoming journey



Bailey Salego felt a sense of worry as she planned one of the happiest days of her life — her wedding to her fiancé, Jonathan Salego. Bailey, who was born to a Protestant family that did not have many religious ties, admired Jonathan and his family’s strong connection to St. Margaret Mary Parish in Lower Burrell.

The bride-to-be respected their faith and sense of community.

“The Church should be a big part of your life, and Jonathan’s family attends every Sunday. Everyone is so friendly, and it feels like a family,” Bailey said.

Yet when it came time to plan the wedding and to attend marriage preparation classes at the parish, Bailey feared she might be judged for not being Catholic.


“I was almost embarrassed,” she said.

She discovered, however, that she was welcomed with open arms by the parish clergy and other couples in the class. Jonathan said he knew from the start that Bailey would have a positive experience, due to his long history with the culture of kindness at St. Margaret Mary Parish.

“They make you feel very comfortable to get married there, while also sharing information with you in case you might choose to join the faith — all without any pressure,” she recalled.

The clergy and staff at the parish made the couple feel “perfectly equal,” and she was grateful for the grace shared by the pastor, Father Kenneth G. Zaccagnini, during their wedding.

Today, Bailey is considering becoming Catholic and wants to further explore what it means to be part of the Roman Catholic Church.

“I want to do my homework so that when I say I’m part of the church, I truly understand what that means and can talk about it confidently with others,” she said.

To learn more about the sacrament of marriage at St. Margaret Mary Parish, visit