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Witness to Love – The Joy of Love, the Joy of the Church

“As a mentor couple, we have really appreciated growing in friendship with our engaged couples. Every Sunday, we enjoy being able to introduce them to more people in the parish, which helps us all feel more plugged in and makes us enjoy coming to Mass even more.”
- Brian & Kristin Preisler (pictured above with their children)

Witness to Love – The Joy of Love, the Joy of the Church

By Denise Gorman, Marriage Prep Coordinator

The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church. As the Synod Fathers noted, for all the many signs of crisis in the institution of marriage, “the desire to marry and form a family remains vibrant, especially among young people, and this is an inspiration to the Church”. As a response to that desire, “the Christian proclamation on the family is good news indeed”. [Amoris latitia, 1]

As a parish community, we work for the development of sound and lasting foundations for successful marriages, centered in Christ. Through marriage preparation and continuing support for marriage, we aim to provide couples with the spiritual resources and practical tools they need for a strong and healthy marriage, not only as newlyweds, but for a lifetime.

Beginning in spring 2020, St. Maria Goretti Parish has made a renewed effort to minister to engaged couples as they prepare for marriage. The Witness to Love program is a parish-based preparation plan that makes use of a mentor couple (similar to an RCIA sponsor) to draw an engaged couple into the life of the parish. The program asks the engaged couple to choose and seek out a mentor couple from the parish. The mentor couple walks through the engaged couple’s preparation journey with them, and provides support and modeling of Catholic marriage.

When we first implemented Witness to Love, we were concerned that choosing a mentor couple might be difficult for the bride and groom – what if they didn’t know anyone in the parish? How would they feel reaching out to someone to ask them to serve such a vital role? We have been pleased to see, however, that this has gone rather smoothly.

We have helped our engaged couples make connections with mentors who will draw them into the life of the parish and, thus, into the life of the Church. Any couple who has been married at least five years and who attends Mass weekly can potentially serve as a mentor couple. An engaged couple is asked to seek out a mentor couple whose marriage they admire. If you and your spouse are approached by one of our engaged couples, prayerfully consider this important ministry – they’ve seen something in your marriage that they’d like to work towards! Our mentor couples have seen how walking with an engaged couple is fruitful for their own marriages as they grow the virtues essential in married life. Working together, both couples delve deeper into parish life as they are engaged in the community and nourished by the Eucharist.

Through the Witness to Love program, we are beginning to see beautiful, lasting relationships build – relationships that will connect our engaged couples and our mentor
couples to our parish for a lifetime.

For more information on Witness to Love, visit

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