Are you passionate about marriage and want to support other couples to build healthy, vibrant marriages?
Are you eager to strengthen and enrich your own marriage?
Do you want to build a better world for your children and their future families?
Couple-to-couple mentoring is an enjoyable and effective way to prepare engaged couples for marriage and help married couples grow closer.
Conducted in the Mentor’s home, couples not only learn valuable insights and skills from the course, they also experience the hospitality and living sacramentality of the Mentor couple. At the same time, Mentor couples are enriched in their own relationship as they demonstrate the skills and explain the concepts.
Our SmartLoving courses are designed to maximise the impact of the Mentor couple through their personal stories and the practical application of principles from Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Support materials include a comprehensive Mentor Guide with DVD content which makes the presentation of the course simple.
Mentoring is one of the most effective ways to sustain your own marriage and keep it vibrant and healthy. As a Mentor couple you will be exploring the SmartLoving insights and applying them in your own marriage as you share from the wisdom of your experience. Moreover, you will be providing a valuable service: The many challenges facing couples in this age makes it vital that they be given the tools and support to be successful in marriage from the very beginning.
Some features of SmartLoving Engage Mentoring for you to consider:
Mentors should have the following qualities:
You need to be married at least 2 years, perhaps a little longer if you are in your twenties. If you are married less than this, you can be involved in other ways until the time is right for you to become active Mentors, such as in hosting group courses as part of a team.
As the course is specifically designed to prepare couples for Catholic marriage, it is an important part of the transmission of the course, that the Mentor couple be a living sacramental witness. Thus Mentors need to be married in the Catholic Church or in a marriage recognised by the Church. While its insights and many of the tools are applicable to all marriages, the theology is specifically Catholic. If you are not sure whether your marriage is recognised by the Church, speak to your parish priest – in many cases it is a simple matter to have your marriage confirmed. He will advise you on your situation.
The course is boldly Catholic and presents the wisdom of the Church on marriage and sexuality as the best possible vision for couples to live the fullness of their potential. While it is possible for one spouse in the Mentor couple to be a noncatholic, both spouses need to have a commitment to regular church attendance and be supportive of Catholic teaching.
Part of the training process will include the opportunity for you to reflect on how comfortable you are with these teachings, which will be explained thoroughly. If you cannot support them wholeheartedly, there will be other ways for you to be involved.
You need to see this as a couple commitment. While we appreciate that in most marriages, one spouse is usually more active than the other in the organisation and planning, the course cannot be presented by one spouse only. One of the charisms of SmartLoving is the attention given to sexuality and understanding our gender differences. It really requires both spouses to be involved if this is to be presented fully.
We like to have every mentor couple run the programme within six months of the training to consolidate the insights. Following that, you can decide in collaboration with your local coordinator how many couples you can manage. You need to mentor at least one couple a year to maintain currency and can take on as many as ten or twenty if you choose.
Training consists of several parts and can be flexibly managed according to the needs are resources available:
An important part of the SmartLoving mentality is taking responsibility to nurture and grow our marriage throughout our whole life. Just as we do professional development in our careers and expect our priests to do ongoing renewal and formation for their vocation, your vocation also deserves and needs priority.
The SmartLoving Marriage Seminar is the preferred formation as many of the frameworks and skills are the same as those in the Engaged course.
If you have recently attended marriage enrichment from another source such as Marriage Encounter, you can begin your Mentor training straight away and do the SmartLoving Marriage Seminar at a later time.
Training in the Engaged course itself can take a number of formats.
In some cases, couples will work their way through the course over six sessions under the supervision of one of our experienced mentors. This is the preferred method for those who have NOT done the SmartLovng Marriage Seminar.
Others prefer to do the one day intensive which is conducted as needed by our trainers. This one day course is designed to brief you on the structure of the programme, coach you in Mentoring methodology, and get you started on preparing your personal examples which will supplement the content.
Either way, by the end of the training, you will have a DVD for use in each session, Mentor’s Guide, Participant notes and other formation material.
As you begin with your first Engaged couple, you will be coached by another Mentor couple to ensure you feel confident and have someone with whom to debrief.
There will be plenty of opportunities to network with other Mentors and participate in renewal days and conferences run by the Marriage Resource Centre. We’ll also provide you with materials to promote SmartLoving Engaged in your parish or area.
We have mentored four couples using the previous materials and are now half way through the course in the new materials with our fifth couple. It has been one of the best things we have done together and has helped us in our marriage too, though we now sometimes wonder how we muddled through in the first few years (we are approaching our 30th anniversary)!
Thank you for this initiative.
We loved our marriage seminar and got so much out of it. It was so good, we didn’t think it could be topped. Then we started mentoring and we’ve been blown away by how much more we’ve got out of it. It’s brought us so much closer.
We knew the theory of being a sacrament, but we didn’t really experience it until we became mentors. Seeing how those young engaged couples respond, week after week, to our personal sharings allowed to experience our sacrament having a direct impact.
We’ve been doing marriage preparation for years and were reluctant to switch over. So glad we did. This is a brilliant course, and it’s really easy to get up to speed on the new content.