Sponsor Couples

A sponsor couple is a couple-to-couple ministry in which married couples mentor engaged couples to help them prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony [Christian marriage]. Sponsor couples:

  • Foster a sense of care and concern in the engaged couples and to help them prepare for their commitment to God and one another within the Church and community.
  • Explore with the engaged couples issues through the results of a marriage preparation inventory – PREPARE-ENRICH, FOCCUS, or Fully Engaged.
  • Help the engaged couples learn to pray together.
  • Provide engaged couples an opportunity to understand Sacramental Marriage through the married couple’s lived experience.
Training for Sponsor Couples

The Office of Pro-Life and Family Life offers training for parish sponsor couples. Trainings will be scheduled throughout the year for either the FOCCUS or PREPARE-ENRICH inventories at the request of the parish or deanery. Priests/Parish Life Coordinators who wish to have a training conducted at their parish can contact Scott Seibert, MSW, LCSW at ssseibert@archindy.org to set a specific date. The parish is responsible for the cost of the facilitator manuals for either FOCCUS, PREPARE-ENRICH, or Fully Engaged.

What the Training Involves

The three hour training uses various learning modes: group interaction, lecture and possibly role-playing. Topics include:

  • Role of the Sponsor Couple
  • Using a Pre-marriage Inventory (PREPARE-ENRICH or FOCCUS)
  • Overview of Marriage Preparation
  • Marital Spirituality and Prayer
  • Special Areas of Concern (such as cohabitation, premarital sex, Natural Family Planning, interfaith difficulties, etc.)
Suggested Qualities of a Sponsor Couple
  • Belief that marriage is a permanent and faithful commitment.
  • Belief in God and an understanding that both God and Church are necessary for a successful relationship.
  • Generosity, warmth and a nonjudgmental posture.
  • Being realistic and hopeful regarding the day-to-day life of marriage.
  • Having a willingness to share lived witness of the sacrament.
  • The ability to listen well, reflect back and encourage participation without being threatening.
  • Being a witness and companion with the engaged couples in their continued search for a fulfilling and successful marriage.
  • Understand the principle of confidentiality.
What is a Pre-marital inventory?

PREPARE-ENRICH, FOCCUS, and Fully Engaged are customized couple assessment inventories that identify a couple's strengths and areas of growth. Based on an engaged couple's assessment results, a trained sponsor couple provides 2-6 sessions in which they help the engaged couple discuss and understand their results and study proven healthy relationship skills.
Web links:

Training Resources and Suggested Resources for Sponsor Couples:

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