Volunteer couples to assist with marriage formation
By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
The Archdiocese of Mobile is seeking the help of married couples to assist those who are preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage.
The archdiocese will begin training “mentor couples” next month to help with marriage formation. The trained mentor couples will be an additional resource for engaged couples and aren’t meant to replace the priest, Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter weekends.
“We are called to help,” said Pat Arensberg, Archdiocese of Mobile Director of Evangelization and Family Life. “We are trying to encourage parishes and pastors to use mentor couples to help evangelize these couples who approach the Church for marriage.”
Arensberg said it will be up to the priest as to how to best use the mentor couple as a resource, but hopefully the engaged couple will feel closer to the Church with the help of the mentor couple.
“This will actually form a relationship that the couple feels kind of connected to the Church, not just by the priest, but also with another couple,” Arensberg said.
Who makes for an ideal “mentor couple?”
“We’re not looking for the perfect couple,” Arensberg said.
Arensberg said ideal mentor couples would have been married for at least five years, but are also relatively young.
“I think mentoring is most effectively done by people close to your age group and the majority of people getting married are in their 20s and 30s,” he said.
Those interested in being mentor couples are encouraged to contact their parish pastor, who would then refer them to the archdiocese’s Office for Evangelization and Family Life.
Training in the Mobile/Baldwin area begins Nov. 7 and consists of five sessions from 6-8:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month for five months. Training will alternate between St. Dominic Parish in Mobile and Christ the King Parish in Daphne.
Training in Montgomery begins Jan. 16 at Holy Spirit Parish.
All training sessions include Mass and dinner. Childcare is available upon request.
Training sessions will highlight what the archdiocese has identified as the five pillars for robust marriage formation – Catholicism 101 (basics of the faith), Theology of Marriage, Natural Family Planning, Human Formation and Catholic Culture.
“Couples are coming to the Church and saying ‘I want to make a vow for the rest of my life. I believe love can endure.’ That is completely counter-cultural and it seems to be a target-rich environment to evangelize,” Arensberg said.
“There’s this little ember and we have a chance to blow it into a flame.”