2Mission Statement:CatholicMarriagePrep.com, a division of AgapèCatholicMinistries.com, is dedicated to the building of strong Christ-centered Catholic marriages.As God is the source and foundation of any marriage, the preparation becomes foremost a spiritual journey and a window for conversion.The Foundation:The Catholic Marriage Prep program is deeply rooted in Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and the teachings of the Catholic Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, encyclicals, and apostolic letters).2
3How does it Work?The course covers the theological and sacramental aspects of Catholic marriage and sexuality. It also expands on the life-skills a couple will need throughout their marriage. Taught online with the one-on-one mentoring of a trained and certified instructor couple.$170 per couple.Note: the course covers the theology behind NFP and explains whycontraception is a sin. It does NOT include the actual NFP training.
4How does it work? The couple registers on the website. They receive a username and password to accesstheir personal profile with the link to their first worksheet.3. They log-in to fill and submit their first worksheet.4. Their personal instructors retrieve it, review, and complete the answerswith the teachings of the Church.5. The instructors then upload the couple’s personal Answer-Key onto theirprofile, with the link to their next worksheet, and advise them when it isposted.6. The couple can share their username and password with their priest ordeacon to give them access to their work throughout their journey.
5How does it Work? The online course consists of seven worksheets in all.They are designed to provoke deepthought and discussions.They challenge each couple to answer indepth and in writing.When couples are separated by distance, they share their answers tothe worksheets either by phone or via the Internet (Skype, , instantmessages) before submitting their common work.The course can be completed at the couple’s own pace, within twoweeks (very intense) to three months maximum. It involves an averageof 20 hours of work. Most couples complete the course within 3 to 6weeks.
6How does it Work? The couple can submit their worksheets at any time. Their instructors will upload their personal answer-key within24 hours to a maximum of three business days.Couples can contact their instructors with their personalquestions at any time.
7How does it Work? TEACHING STYLE: The course is not designed to be taught in the traditional lecture style,but rather to make the couples think first, and try to find their ownanswers to the questions.This heuristic process allowsthe couples to stay engaged inthe subject being discussed andhelps them “own” the knowledgethat is being passed on.
8Who are the Instructors? Instructors are faithful Catholic married couples in good standingwith the Church, who have been married a minimum of five years.They have received intensive training with CatholicMarriagePrep.com
9Worksheet One Overview In the Beginning… Genesis:God's original plan for humanity, man, and woman,the origin of marriage and how sin distorted it.In both creation accounts we will understand the TRUE vocation ofhumanity, the TRUE vocation of man, and the TRUE vocation of woman,laying the foundation for a strong marriage and family life.“The wise man builds his house upon a rock” Matthew 7:24
10Worksheet One Overview We will also define sin, how it distorted man and woman's relationship, and why it separated them from God. Some questions from the first worksheet: Why did God not want them to eat the fruit? What are the first consequences of sin? Is there any hope for redemption?
12Worksheet Two Overview The Sacrament of Matrimony: After defining a covenant and a short review of the seven sacraments of the Church, we will reflect on what it means to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony and its powerful and efficient Grace. We will use the Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 1601 – 1666), to discuss the requirements of a valid sacrament and what a couple is consenting to. We will also listen to St. Paul in the Letter to the Ephesians, as he gives us clues about the love and respect connection to enhance our communication.
14Worksheets Three and Four Overview These worksheets are based on audio teachings by Professor Janet Smith, consultor to the Pontifical Council on the Family.CDs are available atWorksheet Three: Formation of Conscience.Worksheet Four: Contraception Why Not, to grasp the Church’sposition on contraception.
15Worksheet Five Overview The Rite of Marriage in detail:We will analyze in detail each sentence of the vows.Freely and Without ReservationTo Give Yourselves to Each OtherFor the Rest of Your LivesWill You Accept ChildrenI Take You
16Worksheet Five Overview The Rite will bring us to discuss cohabitation, sex before marriage,and the true meaning of sex in marriage, as well as contraception, abortion,Reproductive technologies, families of origin, parenting…Couples will need to discuss these core topics:AbstinenceNatural Family PlanningThey will learn that being a faithfulCatholic couple requires themto be counter-cultural.Older couples who cannot have children will work on how their marriagecan be fruitful in a different way.
18Worksheet Six Overview Forgiveness and Freedom: Forgiveness plays a vital role in marriage. We will understand how important it is, and rediscover the value of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Your body is a Temple: We will also learn that we owe immense respect to our bodies, as they are the Temple of the Holy Spirit and a window to our souls. We will look at how to safe-guard ourselves against the silent killers of families, such as pornography and other sins of the flesh.
19Worksheet Seven Overview RELATIONSHIP TOOLSExpectations: Each couple will reflect on these questions: - What do we expect from marriage? - What is going to keep our marriage strong for the rest of our lives?Potential Problems:Couples will unmask the myths behindmarriage, and bring expectations in linewith reality. They will create a list of potentialproblems in their relationship, and thereasons behind them, as well as solutions.
20Worksheet Seven Overview Communication skills: 1. Couples will be taught introductory skills for more efficient, non-blaming communication, such as active listening, and I-Messages. 2. They will also learn techniques to deal with emotions during conflict resolution. 3. Finally, they will receive tips on how to clearly express the needs of each individual in the family. Prayer: Couples are given insight into what prayer is. Their instructors will help them understand the importance of daily prayer in Marriage, with tips on how to get started.
21“For a family that prays together is a family that stays together.” Father Peyton, Mother Teresa21
22Feedback FormThe last assignment is a short feedback form allowing the couple to express their thoughts on the course. This feedback can be shared with their priest or deacon.
23Certificate of Completion After the couple has submitted their feedback form, they will be sent a certificate of completion, which will be uploaded onto their profile to be saved, ed, or printed.
24Agapè CMP’s 2013 NUMBERSAnswers from the couples who completed the onlineAgapè CMP marriage prep course in 2013.Abstinence: Yes or Maybe = 98.0% NFP: Yes or Maybe = 94.0%(Yes: 77.0%, Maybe: 21.0%, No: 2.0%) (Yes: 65.0%, Maybe: 29.0%, No: 6.0%)
25Happy feedbacks“We were so impressed by the way our instructors took the time to write such detailed and informative answers. We were afraid that going the online route would be impersonal and that we wouldn‘t get much out of it, but we were so surprised to see how much we got out of it and how open and honest and informative our instructors were. We also greatly appreciated their effort in providing timely responses. They added a great personal touch to the course that really helped us feel comfortable with the material and them as our instructors.” Andy and Natalie
26Happy feedbacksThis class brought up things that we may otherwise not have discussed. Assumption is not something that strong marriages are built on. Talking about God, our family, sex, expectations, feelings, finances, etc. through this class was an impetus for us to keep talking! We learned about ourselves and each other. The communication that it elicited is such awesome preparation for a communication-filled, open marriage. We feel closer to each other (though we didn't think it was possible!) than we had before the class. Frederick and Meaghan
27Follow-upCouples who would like to stay in touch after the course can sign-up for our quarterly Enewsletter. It offers tips and advice on how to deal with day to day situations, whether it’s parenting, marriage, finances, or faith, it’s all there, and more.It also shares new documents from the Church on Family Life andreviews different resources.CMP’s Facebook page is also updated daily with great resources.
28Online ClassesFidelity Green Light Award for Excellence in Catholic Fidelity from CatholicCulture.org