Marriage ministry in the Family of Parishes covers the spectrum of couples discerning their vocation to marriage, couples engaged seeking a Catholic marriage, married couples seeking to deepen and enrich their sacramental marriage, couples in need of help during challenging periods or situations in their married life, troubled or crisis marriages in need of restoration and ministry to couples separated or divorced.
The archdiocesan-sponsored Marriage Coaching Ministry targets couples in need of help with challenges that they are experiencing in their marriage. The challenges may arise from within and without, they may be expected or unexpected. Often these couples go unnoticed and are at risk of escalating challenges and conflict in their marriage if isolated from helpful resources and support.
Between the usual options of professional marriage counseling and Retrouvaille, parishes are often at a loss for what other supports to offer struggling couples. Some couples do not prefer professional intervention or a retreat weekend. This is where Marriage Coaching Ministry can fill a gap in meeting the needs of couples in your parish community.
What is Marriage Coaching?
Marriage Coaching is a couple-to-couple mentoring program designed to help couples fully live out God's plan for their marriage.
The program consists of seven main coaching sessions. These seven sessions cover a range of topics that deal with issues and struggles that couples often face. The seven topics cover both the spiritual and practical concerns and deficits couples may be experiencing:
Relationship building and family of origin factors
God's plan for marriage and the importance of forgiveness
Priorities in marriage and praying together as a couple
How to love and serve each other (discovering the needs of our spouse)
Open and healthy communication
Sexuality in marriage
Spiritual relevance and growth in marriage
The program is strictly confidential with no cost. Upon completion of the program and with greater stability and harmony in their relationship, couples can then benefit from participation in marriage enrichment activities offered in the parish community. Couples whose concerns exceed the scope or intention of the coaching program are referred for professional counseling.
Recruit a Marriage Coaching Couple for your Family of Parishes
How helpful it would be to have a trained marriage coaching couple as a local resource to offer couples in your Family of Parishes! The Archdiocesan Marriage Ministry office has a process to make this happen. The Family of Parishes needs only to identify a couple whose marriage journey and giftedness nominate them as a coaching couple candidate. The archdiocese takes it from there to provide the training, support and ongoing development of the coaching couple in their Marriage Coaching Ministry.
Qualities to look for in a coaching couple candidate: mature couple with at least seven years of marriage, available to invest in the ministry to other couples, living a faithful and joyful witness to Catholic sacramental marriage, charisms of hospitality, helping, encouragement, wisdom, teaching, and intercessory prayer and a couple that you would readily refer other couples to for help.
You have a candidate couple, now what?
Simple, provide the candidate couple with this link to complete and submit: Marriage Coaching - Candidate Inquiry Form (smartsheet.com).
After a friendly vetting process, the couple will be enrolled in a self-paced online training course which includes viewing 10+ hours of video training and couple discussion exercises. Most couples complete the training in a two to three month timeframe. After the training is completed, the couple will discern their decision to initially commit to one year of ministry in the FOP and become part of the team of coaching couples.
In summary, the Marriage Coaching program is a ready-made marriage ministry resource that fits perfectly in the Mission Direct area of Family Ministry. The Marriage Support Office has all the training, oversight and consultation in place to assist the Director of Family Ministry to recruit, train and support Coaching Couples in each Family of Parishes. We look forward to working with you to build up this important ministry for couples in need.
“Couples will gain from receiving help in facing crises, meeting challenges, and acknowledging them as part of family life. Experienced and trained couples should be open to offering guidance, so the couples will not be unnerved by these crises or tempted to hasty decisions.” –Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia
Questions or comments? Contact David Grobbel, L.M.S.W. Marriage and Family Support Ministry Specialist for the Deparment of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship Family Ministry Office.
[email protected] | 313-237-5894