Marriage mentoring now available in eastern Iowa; 23 couples trained in archdiocese

DUBUQUE — On April 27 and 28, Greg and Julie Alexander, founders of the Alexander House apostolate, trained 23 couples from the Archdiocese of Dubuque and eight couples from the Diocese of Davenport to serve as Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors.

Through their marriage apostolate, which began as a fruit of the resurrection of their struggling marriage almost 20 years ago, the Alexanders have personally mentored (or coached) about 4,000 married couples, most of whom were seriously struggling and looking for a guide to help them through difficult times in their relationship.

Their model of one married couple accompanying another married couple has resulted in great success, with very few mentored couples going down the road of divorce. Through the training this spring, the Alexanders shared their experience, expertise and resources with couples in the Archdiocese of Dubuque and Diocese of Davenport in order to equip them to serve as Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors.

These trained couples are now ready to serve couples throughout eastern Iowa as marriage mentors. They are spread out 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. The Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors are willing to accompany other married couples into a deeper understanding and living of the fullness God intended for marriage. Through sharing their own stories and experiences, along with the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage, they are prepared to impart to other couples the practical tools needed to develop a healthy marital relationship.

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, and whether on the brink of divorce or just wanting to grow deeper in a relatively good marriage, this mentoring process can provide couples with guidance for strengthening and sustaining their marriage.

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, these couples will be asked to watch an online video by Greg and Julie Alexander. Each video provides the teaching content for the session and is often followed up with an exercise to complete as a couple before meeting with the mentor couple during the next session, where the content is discussed in a confidential setting. 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.

Couples interested in working with a mentor couple may visit www.DBQArch.org/marriage-mentors to learn more and to register for the Covenant of Love Marriage Mentoring process. A list of trained mentor couples, with bios and pictures, can also be found at this webpage. Once registration has been received, the Marriage and Family Life Office at the Archdiocese of Dubuque will follow up to pair each couple with a Marriage Mentor couple who is accessible. 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.

(Photo above): Marriage mentors of the  archdiocese.