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“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” Genesis 2:24 CATHOLIC MARRIAGE PREP, LLC.

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Presentation on theme: "“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” Genesis 2:24 CATHOLIC MARRIAGE PREP, LLC."— Presentation transcript:

1 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” Genesis 2:24 CATHOLIC MARRIAGE PREP, LLC

2 Mission Statement: Catholic Marriage Prep, LLC (CMP) is dedicated to the building of strong Catholic marriages. With God being the source and foundation of marriage, it is foremost a spiritual journey. The Foundation: The Catholic Marriage Prep program is deeply rooted in John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and the teachings of the Catholic Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, encyclicals, and apostolic letters). Catholic Marriage Prep, LLC Catholic Marriage Prep, LLC 2

3 The course covers the theological and sacramental aspects of marriage and sexuality. It also expands on the “life-skills” a couple will need throughout their marriage. Taught either in a class/seminar style, one evening per week over four consecutive weeks, or one-on-one, in a mentor couple/engaged couple setting, at the discretion of the mentor couple. Program Overview Program Overview 3 Cost: $180 per couple

4 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 of humanity, the TRUE vocation of man, and the TRUE vocation of woman, laying the foundation for a strong marriage and family life. First Evening Overview First Evening Overview “The wise man builds his house upon a rock” Matt. 7:24 4

5 We will also define sin, how it distorted man and woman's relationship, and why it separated them from God. Some questions from our first evening: What is this fruit Adam and Eve ate and why didn't God want them to eat it? How did the man and his wife sin? What are the first consequences of sin? How does this still affect us today? Is there any hope for redemption? First Evening Overview First Evening Overview 5

6 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. 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. Second Evening Overview Second Evening Overview 6

7 Forgiveness and Freedom: Forgiveness plays a vital role in marriage and we will understand just 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. This will give us clues on how to have a holy sex life. We will look at how to safe-guard ourselves against the “silent killers of families” such as, pornography and other sins of the flesh. Second Evening Overview Second Evening Overview 7

8 THE RITE OF MARRIAGE IN DETAIL: We will analyze in detail each sentence of the vows. 1.Freely and Without Reservation 2.To Give Yourselves to Each Other 3.For the Rest of Your Lives 4.Will You Accept Children 5.I Take You Third Evening Overview Third Evening Overview 8

9 We will discuss cohabitation, sex before marriage, contraception, abortion, reproductive technologies… Couples will work individually on these core topics: –Abstinence –Natural Family Planning They will learn that to be a faithful Catholic couple requires them to be counter-cultural. Third Evening Overview Third Evening Overview 9

10 EXPECTATIONS: Each couple will reflect individually on these questions: - What do you expect from marriage? -What is going to hold your marriage together for life? Fourth Evening Overview Fourth Evening Overview 10 POTENTIAL PROBLEMS: Together we will unmask the myths about marriage, and bring expectations in line with reality. We will make a list of potential problems in a marriage and each couple will work on finding their own potential problems. RELATIONSHIP TOOLS:

11 RELATIONSHIP TOOLS CONTINUED: COMMUNICATION: 1.Couples will receive introductory skills to active listening and non-blaming communication. 2.Techniques to dealing with feelings and emotions during communication. 3.Tips on how to express the needs of each individual. PRAYER: Couples are given insight into what prayer is. They are helped to understand the importance of daily prayer in marriage. Suggestions are made on how to get started. Fourth Evening Overview Fourth Evening Overview 11

12 CLOSING: Prayer as a whole class, Entrusting Our Marriages To God, as well as individual prayer time. Distribution of certificates of completion (except for those couples waiting on annulments). Social and fellowship time with refreshments. Fourth Evening overview Fourth Evening overview 12

13 Space for notes and answering questions Scripture passages read in class Documents to read as homework Love Letters Fun quizzes to take together Questionnaires for the audio files Budget Sheet Feedback sheet Resources Couple’ s Workbook Couple’ s Workbook 13 Each couple is given a 200 page Workbook including:

14 REQUIRED READING AND LISTENING: Each chapter ends with a selection of documents to read at home. Couples are also encouraged to write each other love letters on the different subjects covered in class. Before evening three they must fill out two questionnaires based on audio teachings from Dr. Janet Smith: 1. Humanae Vitae and Conscience 2. Contraception: Why Not? on the importance of properly forming their conscience, and the Church’s position on contraception. Fun quizzes are a part of the weekly assignment. Couple’s Homework Couple’s Homework 14 CDs are available at

15 TIME FRAME: Four evenings spread over four consecutive weeks with each evening lasting 2.5 hours. (i.e. 4 Mondays in a row or 4 Thursdays in a row) Program Details Program Details 15 PRICE: Suggested price is $180 which would be organized through the parish office. WHO: Taught by the same Catholic in good standing MARRIED COUPLE all four evenings. CLASS SIZE: Either one-on-one or in a seminar style class of a minimum of five couples to a maximum of 20 couples.

16 TEACHING STYLE: The course is not designed to be taught in the traditional “lecture” style, but rather to challenge the couples to “think” first and try to find their own answers to the different questions. Program Details Program Details 16 This heuristic process allows the couples to stay engaged in the subject being discussed and helps them “own” the knowledge that is being passed on. The instructors will then complete the couple’s answers with the teachings of the Church.

17 INSTRUCTOR REQUIREMENTS: Must be a married couple Must be married a minimum of five years Must be in good standing with the Catholic Church Must be formed online and certified by Catholic Marriage Prep, LLC Instructors Details Instructors Details 17

18 INSTRUCTOR FORMATION: COST: $400 per instructor couple – parishes sending several instructors at a time can receive a $100 discount per couple. Contact Catholic Marriage Prep, LLC directly to make arrangements. FORMATION TIME FRAME: Formation may begin immediately. Formation can take from three weeks to a maximum of three months with six weeks being about average. Instructors Details Instructors Details 18

19 INSTRUCTOR PACKAGE: One instructor workbook: 300 pages of material which follows the Power Point presentation. One CD with the interactive Power Point presentation Also included on the CD: –A blank certificate –One complete set of class summaries to be printed and passed on to the engaged couples. One engaged couple workbook Two abstinence pledge cards One abstinence flyer Instructors Details Instructors Details 19

20 INSTRUCTOR’S PACKAGE 20

21 Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions 21 What happens if a couple misses a class? Couples can catch up online. Instructors can direct them to where they can register for the class they missed, staying on track with the rest of the couples. The couple will be charged a fee of $19.95 per class for this service, as Catholic Marriage Prep, LLC online instructors will handle the teaching. The fee is an incentive to the couple to do everything possible to avoid missing a class at the parish for all but the most urgent matters, and to provide a hassle-free service for the parish.

22 Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions 22 Why are the classes spread out over a month? This allows couples to process and accept the Church’s teachings that they are learning - possibly for the first time in their lives. Not only do the instructors need to plant the right seeds, but many times they need to prepare the soil first! Can the class be taught over a weekend? No. Because of the nature of the questions asked and the decisions that each couple is asked to make, these matters take time to consider. In most seminar style courses, information is absorbed only in the first few hours; think back over your own experience… Weekend style classes do not provide instructors the opportunity to build trust with these couples like they can over several encounters.

23 Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions 23 Can more than one instructor couple teach the same class? No, we don’t recommend it. The main reason is because the instructors are trying to build a trusting relationship with each of the couples. By building a trusting relationship and teaching the positions of the Church with love, we have an acceptance rate of abstinence and NFP greater than 90% in both cases! Can our parish train other instructors? No, only Catholic Marriage Prep, LLC will form instructors and only online. This provides consistency among the instructors, convenience for couples, and a safe-guard for the parish. Because the instructor’s answers are written out, if there are any issues that arise during formation, the priest can decide whether or not they become instructors.

24 Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions 24 Can I teach the class without my spouse? No. Because this is MARRIAGE preparation, for the benefit of the engaged couples, both husband and wife of the instructor couple need to present the material. The richness of the material is revealed in the completeness of BOTH the male and female perspectives. Not only is it important for the engaged couples to have a great example of a married couple working together, but the instructor couple will be able to reap great benefits for their own marriage.

25 Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions 25 Why does the program focus so much on the spiritual aspects of marriage rather than on life-skills? First, a few numbers... Average age at first marriage: Women 1970 = = 26.1 Men 1970 = = 28.2 Women giving birth for the first time at age 30 or older: = 4% = 22% Because more and more couples are getting married later in life, they are no longer coming to the Catholic Church to learn these basic skills. We cannot give these couples the same kind of preparation that we were giving 20 or 30 years ago, when young people had a solid religious formation through their families.

26 Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions 26 Most couples today have learned how to communicate through their careers, their counselors, or just the Internet, and the abundant literature one can find on the market. They have also had to learn how to handle money effectively through living on their own. Couples today mostly need a moral and spiritual compass. They need to learn self-giving love and to understand the beauty of the Sacrament of Matrimony. They need to learn to give Christ the first place in their lives.

27 Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions 27 Still, throughout, our program focuses on many different life-skills, linking them to the spiritual: First evening: the reading of Genesis eliminates any confusion about our life’s mission as male and female. Second evening: St. Paul teaches us how to communicate and live as husband and wife. We also focus on forgiveness, one of the most important skills in marriage! Third evening: we approach chastity, family planning. We also discuss what discipline is about and give resources on child-rearing. Fourth evening: we go into the more “traditional” type of life-skills such as potential problems, communication, conflict resolution, budgeting, and expectations.

28 Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions 28 Does the parish have to buy additional resources outside of the instructor training to implement the course? Yes and no… No, the instructor training is all inclusive and they will have everything they need, along with one Workbook. Yes, the parish will have to buy more Workbooks (which are then resold to the couples) if they want to teach more than one couple. We also recommend that light refreshments be available to the couples like water, soda, fruit, cheese, etc.

29 Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions 29 Do you have any continued contact with the couples? Yes! There is E-Chat! Our monthly e-newsletter. All that the couples, or instructors, have to do, is send us an asking to be added to our list. E-Chat! contains current information related to marriage with a different topic each month.

30 Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. Denver

31 Bishop Michael Sheridan Colorado Springs


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