Preparing Couples to Marry
in the Catholic Church
✔ Flexible format
✔ Digital resources
✔ Easy to run
✔ Theology of the Body
Engaged is a parish-based, marriage formation programme that integrates contemporary relationship psychology with Catholic theology for an effective and powerful experience for the engaged couple.
Combining a number of adult learning methodologies, the six-session course is designed to be used in couple-to-couple mentoring, small home-centred groups or by correspondence. The programme can also be adapted for use with large groups in parish facilities.
The core content is presented on DVD and is supported by comprehensive participant materials. Each session is of two hours duration with additional take-home activities (approximately twenty hours in total). Well resourced, Engaged offers an easy way for parishes to provide marriage preparation for their engaged couples within the parish.
Getting Started is Easy!
Send Couples To Engaged Online
Engaged is now available as a fully online course. With the same dynamic content and activities as the face-to-face curriculum, the online version includes time locks and quizzes to ensure couples’ learning.
The course is comprised of 9 lessons of approximately 1-1.5 hours each. At the end of the course, provided they meet all the requirements, they are emailed a Completion Certificate and Course Report which is also forwarded to their celebrant along with the Celebrants Guide. This guide provides an overview of the content covered in each lesson and ideal answers to the questions which appear in the couples Course Report. The celebrant may find this guide helpful for a more dynamic discussion in their follow-up meetings.
Start A Marriage Ministry
Engaged Online is best used as a mentoring program with married couples within the parish. Those who are interested in becoming Parish Mentor Couples will not need any training to mentor an engaged couple. They simply need access to the course and complete it in parallel with the engaged couple, meeting up with them after every few lessons to discuss the content and provide personal insights from their own experience.
Engaged Online is a powerful resource which not only teaches and evangelises engaged couples but also enriches the marriages of couples in the parish. It’s simple to start and the maintenance is minimal. Start today!
Seamless Integration of modern psychology and Catholic theology forms the foundation of the course. Drawing on the wisdom of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body the course reframes insights from contemporary relationship research to provide practical strategies and exercises that help couples know the theory and live it.
Skillfully deals with tough topics like family planning and interfaith marriage. These are addressed in a manner that is warm and inviting while at the same time does not ‘water down’ Church teaching.
There are 6 sessions in the face-to-face course (9 in the online format). Each session is of two hours duration with 1-2 hours of take home exercises and reading. The course can be run over six weeks, over two full days, or any combination. Conducting the course over several weeks has the additional benefit of facilitating the integration of the material into the engaged couple’s daily lives, allowing them to practice and discuss the skills taught.
High-Quality Materials. The use of multimedia resources utilises contemporary approaches to adult learning. Engaged couples receive a comprehensive participant pack (100+pages) and take home DVD and booklet on natural fertility methods providing a practical resource for future reference.
Facilitated by a married couple Engage provides a living witness of sacramental married love that powerfully reinforces the course content.
- The presence of a married couple Mentor, combined with comprehensive educational content, provides the engaged couple with the best possible mix of information, practical wisdom and sacramental inspiration.
- Engaged couples hear the perspective of both husband and wife bringing balance and relatability to the material.
- Engaged couples develop a direct relationship with the parish through their Mentors who can be a future source of support if needed. For marginalised Catholics, the course provides a personal and non-threatening way to draw them into active participation in the Church.
- Teaching is an effective way to consolidate one’s own understanding of any topic and Mentors consistently report substantial benefits to their own marriage. The Mentors’ Guide has specific suggestions to assist their ongoing formation.
- The couple-to-couple mentoring format removes the need for Mentors to have group facilitation skills. Couples who would not ordinarily step forward to lead large groups can confidently and capably present Engaged.
- As the course is conducted in the Mentors’ home, no child-minding is required, enabling couples with young families to participate and contribute to the mission of the Church.
- The DVD based input makes the course easy to facilitate.
- Rather than sending couples outside the parish community, Engaged allows any parish to provide its own marriage preparation drawing on its own parishioners as Mentors.
- The comprehensive participant pack and DVD ensures that the course is presented consistently and with high standards.
- Engaged is a powerful means of marriage enrichment for the Mentors, thus providing the parish with an additional avenue of adult formation with no extra effort.
Discussing the nature of love, this session introduces the concept of Smart Loving – a practical insight designed to make a couple’s efforts to love more efficient by helping them learn the specific ways in which their fiancé experiences love. The role of affirmation is also addressed.
Theology of the Body focus: Love as Gift and the Body as Sacrament.
Using the PMRC’s L.I.F.E. communication framework, couples will learn how to communicate effectively and intimately. A technique for accomplishing Emotional Communion (empathy) is also taught. Theology of the Body focus: Communion of Persons.
Theology of the Body focus: Communion of Persons.
Session 3 is a detailed examination of the couple’s attitudes and beliefs about sexuality and marriage, looking particularly at their family of origin. The impact of other significant relationships including emotional injuries is addressed.
Theology of the Body focus: The Redemption of the Body.
In this session, couples learn how to use the Stop-Reflect-Connect tool for values-based decision making. Conflict and the role of forgiveness is examined, including an adaptation for the Stop-Reflect-Connect tool for the specific purpose of reconciliation. (In the online version, this session is covered over two lessons)
Theology of the Body focus: Nuptial Meaning of the Body.
This session examines how, contrary to popular belief, marital sex is an intimate communication rather than just a recreational activity. The concept of sex as a sacramental gesture and a renewal of wedding vows is explored. A take home DVD provides a summary of key concepts regarding sexuality with a discussion of natural fertility methods and their benefits. (In the online version, this take home session is covered an additional lesson)
Theology of the Body focus: Sex as Sacred Body Language.
This session addresses the sacramentality of marriage and will direct couples towards spiritual intimacy with their fiancé. Specific issues relating to couples of mixed faith are addressed. Couples who are not Catholic, or who do not practice their Catholic faith, are gently invited to become fully engaged members in parish life. (In the online version, this session is covered over two lessons).
Theology of the Body focus: Marriage as an Image of Christ and the Church.