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Witness to Love is a virtue and growth based model of marriage renewal and preparation that integrates modern principles of psychology and virtues to help couples facilitate an authentic dialogue about their relationship.
What makes Witness to Love unique is that the engaged couples choose their own mentor couple. This is a couple they both admire and see as source of faith formation. This mentor couple gives them a concrete connection and integration into the parish. Through the sharing of the mentor couples' own journey of love, the engaged couple inherits a "lifeline" of support in their commitment to Jesus and His church.
"Experience has proven the value of the witness of married couples, who live their vocation in light of the Gospel, in preparing couples for marriage. When married couples speak out of their own conviction, ...they offer a powerful witness. Married couples who serve in this capacity find that their encounter with the engaged enrighes and strengthens their own marriages."
Diocese of Trenton, NJ
This Valentines weekend, you have been introduced to our parish’s new Marriage Preparation Program entitled Witness To Love.
You may recall that in October of 2016, Bishop McElroy held a Diocesan Synod in which representatives from nearly 100 parishes came together to make recommendations about how to respond to Pope Francis’ five challenges as outlined in his Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”). One of the recommendations was to return marriage preparation to the individual parishes rather than continue the Diocesan-led Evenings for the Engaged or Engaged Encounters. The goal is to truly support and journey with our Engaged couples and integrate them into parish life after the wedding day is over.
Our diocese (and hundreds of others) has thus elected to implement The Witness To Love program. This program not only prepares a young couple for their life together, but also establishes the groundwork for their continued life within the church as a married couple. The main practical difference is that each couple gets to choose their own “mentor couple.”
The mentor couple must be married for at least five years, be active in a ministry, and be in full communion with the church. Both couples will be supported throughout the process by St. Gregory’s Marriage Prep Coordinators and, of course, their clergy. The two couples may share date nights, discuss topics related to marriage, attend Mass and service projects together, all the while learning from, and being inspired by, each other! The relationship continues beyond the wedding day as the young couple joins parish life in their own right as newlyweds.
As you might imagine, some of our Engaged couples may not know a mentor couple to ask. Therefore, we are currently recruiting volunteer mentor couples to be included in a St. Gregory’s portfolio - a place where Engaged couples can choose a mentor couple based on a brief biography of their likes and interests and individual circumstances.
Anyone interested in becoming a mentor couple (or in just learning more about the Witness to Love program), is invited to attend a Wine and Cheese gathering on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 7:00pm in the Trinity Room, located in the parish office. Come hear from other mentor and Engaged couples about what the WTL program has meant to them!
If you are passionate about marriage, please consider supporting our young Engaged couples in this exciting new ministry!
Questions??? Feel free to email Marriage Prep Coordinators, Ron and Kathy Medenwald at email@example.com
Journey of Your Love: Preparing for Marriage in the Diocese of San Diego