Saying ‘I do’ to the impossible

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In Ryan and Mary-Rose Verret's new book, Witness to Love: How to Help the Next Generation Build Marriages that Survive and Thrive (St. Benedict Press, 2015), they challenge the reader to be part of the solution to the divorce culture that exists today.

The husband and wife team draws upon their involvement in marriage preparation ministry in both the Arlington Diocese and their current diocese of Lafayette, La. Their unique marriage preparation program focuses on building a support network between married and unmarried couples within church communities. Through couple-to-couple mentoring, this program can provide the essential support and accountability that couples need before and after their trip down the aisle.

While the book primarily speaks to mentor couples, it also has messages for engaged couples and single people who wish to help cultivate a community of support within their parishes. Couples receiving mentorship are asked to look at the relationships of the couples around them and select two people whose marriage they admire. The Verrets contend that the program is strongest when the couples choose mentors for themselves rather than having a couple assigned to them.

Many couples who are asked to be mentors doubt they have the ability or time to assist in the program. Regardless of these fears, married couples' participation in this program is essential to revitalize the culture of love in a broken society.

Being a mentor can be challenging because it involves sharing the beautiful and ugly parts of marriage. By challenging a young couple to pray together and ask the tough questions included in this book, couples are called to examine closely their own relationship. Implemented correctly, this preparation course has the potential to strengthen not only the relationship of the engaged couple but also that of the mentoring married couple.

This program makes the case as a viable and effective means of combating rising divorce statistics. For young people who hope to someday head to the altar, it shows that the community of believers in a parish - married and engaged - can work together to grow stronger in faith and love.

Buyers can be reached at abuyers@catholicherald.com.

For More information

Go to www.witnesstolove.org

Buy the book

Go to Amazon.com

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015