Need help in your marriage? Mentor couples available

DUBUQUE — The holidays can be a time when marital problems flare up. If you or someone you know is struggling in their marriage, please know the church is here to help. This past summer, the Archdiocese of Dubuque, along with the Diocese of Davenport, launched a new Marriage Mentor ministry to help couples who are struggling. Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors are trained volunteer couples who accompany other married couples into a deeper understanding and living of the fullness God intended for marriage. This mentoring model was developed by Greg and Julie Alexander of The Alexan­der House apostolate (www.thealexanderhouse.org). Mentor couples share their own stories and experiences, along with the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage, in order to impart to other couples practical tools to strengthen their marriage.

Trained mentor couples are spread throughout the two dioceses, making marriage mentorship accessible to couples all over eastern Iowa, from Dubuque to Ames, Charles City to Cedar Rapids, Davenport to Iowa City, Lansing to Fredericksburg, and more. Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors meet with couples for at least six mentoring sessions that typically last for one to two hours. Prior to each session with the mentor couple, couples will be asked to watch an online video by Greg and Julie Alexander and complete an exercise. The video content and exercise are then discussed at the session with the mentor couple in a confidential setting.

Covenant of Love mentoring is not professional counseling, nor is it a comprehensive approach to issues or problems facing various married couples. Rather, it is a process in which a couple can achieve relationship goals with effective support, information and guidance. This process is effective for restoring and strengthening marriages in which both spouses are open to following God’s plan for marriage and putting into place the practical tools provided. Whether newlyweds or married for 50 years, this mentoring process can provide couples with guidance for strengthening and sustaining their marriage.

Marriage Mentor couples volunteer their time to journey with other married couples because they are committed to strengthening marriages. Their generosity, along with that of the Alexander House apostolate, allows the cost of the mentoring process to be limited to a minimal materials fee of $25. This allows the Archdiocese of Dubuque to provide materials and resources that can assist couples in growing in their marriage. If this cost is a hindrance to any couple, it can be reduced or waived.

For more information and to register to work with a mentor couple, please visit www.DBQArch.org/marriage-mentors. A list of trained mentor couples, with bios and pictures, can also be found at this webpage. Questions about the Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors ministry may be directed to: Matt Selby, director of marriage and family life, Archdiocese of Dubuque, 563-556-2580, ext. 233 or m.selby@dbqarch.org.

A group of married couples, pictured above, from around the Archdiocese of Dubuque and the Diocese of Davenport were recently trained as mentor ­couples. The program aims to match couples who are struggling with these mentors.
(Contributed photo)