Witness to Love Mentor Couples
What an honor and a blessing! An engaged couple has asked you to consider being their “mentor or sponsor” as they prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony. Here’s what to expect and what others are saying about their experience as mentors!
What Does Becoming a Mentor Involve?
Are you wondering what you’re signing up for if you say “yes” to the engaged couple who just asked you to be their mentors? In taking this leap, you’ll realize you are receiving a gift just as much as you are giving one! Your marriage will grow stronger, your communication will be better, and you will get to know your priest or deacon more than you do now.
You will give a soon-to-be-married couple something that you may have never had–a coach, a sponsor, a support–to help walk with them as they learn to love. You love for your spouse and the trials you’ve overcome will be a witness to them. Together you will encourage one another as you grow in virtue. You will learn about the Theology of Marriage and the Church’s teaching on marriage, sexuality, family, love and so much more!
Your parish will give you Witness to Love materials at your first meeting but if for some reason you would like to order additional materials please visit our online shop.
Note: We recommend only working with one couple at a time for the most fruitful experience.
- Orientation/Coaching Session (1hr): Meet with the parish Marriage Prep Coordinator or pastor to review the process and get a few tips on how to be a mentor. The engaged couple will attend as well and this will take place before anything else. You will have plenty of opportunities for questions.
- Go on a Double Date: We encourage couples to do something fun together before beginning formal meetings!
- Monthly Meetings (1-1.5hrs): Meet with the engaged couple six times (four for couples using the Civil Marriage Initiative) before the wedding. During these meetings you will discuss the questions and activities in the workbook that will be given to you by the parish Marriage Preparation Coordinator, priest or deacon at the orientation. The fifth (or third for CMI) meeting is the Theology Discussion Night, and the priest or deacon is invited to your home to discuss what you learned at a local or online Be More retreat (you may be invited to participate in the retreat).
- Pray: Attend Mass together with your couple once or twice a month and consider making a Holy Hour with them to pray for their marriage. Remember them in your daily prayers and send them a word of encouragement in between meetings!
- Ongoing Accompaniment: Continue reaching out to your couple as they begin married life together! Consider meeting up every couple of months and inviting them to small groups or retreats in your parish or through Witness to Love’s virtual marriage enrichment options. Find more resources here. Let them know they are always welcome to attend Mass with you and that you are there for them!
What Mentor Couples are Saying
Don & Sharon
The most striking thing for Sharon and I was the fact that we could not help but wonder how much time we had spent in our marriage getting to where Witness to Love could have brought us – had we had such an option. We were both practicing Catholics, but the program covers aspects we were not prepared for. We grew so close to our couple to the point we had selected the same married 50-plus year couple [part of the Scavenger Hunt]. I think they felt relief in knowing they could always come to us after their marriage with questions or problems without having to get families involved and know they had neutral listeners with only their best interest at heart.
They even invited us to their rehearsal supper and treated us like honored guests. I would highly recommend Witness to Love because the program works! Watching the young couple we mentored see how God was already working to make their marriage a special blessing was so special. On the surface it seemed like a lot. How would we find things to talk about for an hour and a half? We will never know because we always seemed to talk for three hours. Not one of us wanted the night to end. Our date night(day) [part of the Scavenger Hunt list] was amazing and given our age difference, it was not an issue. A program that is true to its name, Witness to Love is truly that on many levels because it builds Church at every level. Truly a blessing to our Parish, our community and our Church, let Witness to Love share love in your Parish. You won’t regret it.
– Don & Sharon
Caprice & Dane
Dane and I were first asked to be a Mentor Couple in February 2013. I opened my Facebook and saw I had a private message. It was from someone I knew, but not very well. She explained to me that she and her fiancé were getting married and had to choose a mentor couple who inspired them. My first thought was, ” Wait, back up, WE inspire someone?”. I read the message to Dane and we agreed to say YES! The process was amazing. Dane and I didn’t think we had a perfect marriage, by far, that wasn’t the case. But the fact someone thought the way we lived, prayed, and loved was an inspiration was truly an eye opener to US for what we really had.
When Dane and I got married, 12 years ago, we participated in a marriage encounter retreat weekend. It was great as well but nothing as awesome as what we experienced with Trey and Jenaye. It was real life situations and how we handled it -the good, the bad and the ugly! We prayed that Trey and Jenaye would come out of this with a realistic expectation. Marriage gives a lot of bumps in the road, but with GOD, a healthy prayer life and a healthy sex life, it can last forever!
Speaking of sex life, this brings me to Dane and I’s favorite part of this mentoring -Theology of the Body!!! How weird right?! Talking to this couple you barely know WITH your priest!!! Ahhhhhhh!! Well on the contrary. These engaged couples are encouraged to take a class about NFP. Needless to say most people have a very stereotypical image of a family that practices NFP. Trey and Jenaye arrived at our house for this “talk” as nervous as Dane and I were. I encouraged an adult beverage to help relax! I needed one – that’s for sure!!! Father Michael arrived, we had BBQ Rib-eyes, green beans, salad, a great dinner. Once we were done eating Father Michael said, ” y’all ready to talk about sex?” That was it! That broke the ice! Trey took off his shoes and nestled in our couch, Jenaye sat next to him and we openly talked. They had a lot of misunderstandings about NFP. They thought the presenter of the material was too “harsh” and had already built a wall around the idea. Our talk, in a relaxed atmosphere, with people that weren’t intimidating or judgmental knocked down that wall. Dane and I openly divulged that we too practice NFP. Explained how it has brought us closer then we could ever imagine. Father Michael answered a lot of their questions and it actually wasn’t weird at all!!
Since that time Dane and I have been asked to be a Marriage Mentor again! What a testament to our marriage. Just last week, our first meeting with our new couple, Theology of the Body. It was awesome. Father always comes through with “let’s talk about sex!” And immediately the couple laughs and gets nestled in our couch. The relaxed setting helps the new couple be able to receive the information so much better. Any questions can openly be discussed and our life experiences can hopefully help them.
~ Caprice & Dane
Jill & John
We loved being marriage preparation mentors. When we were married, we were only required to attend a one day session. We wish that all couples were given this opportunity. We became closer to the couple than we had even hoped for. They opened up to us so much. The mentoring process was such a blessing because we took the time to revisit important decisions and events that had happened during our twelve years of marriage. We reflected on how we had handled things. The questions were a great starting point to every discussion. One of our favorite parts of the process was the Theology of the Body talk [Diocesan Sponsored God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage] with Father Delcambre. He did a great job of explaining the church’s teachings and then we could give our input as a married couple. The entire experience was as much a blessing for us as well as for Lindsay and Jeremy!
~ Jill & John