The tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on our relationships and give thanks for the gift of sharing our lives with a partner.
Mostly that takes place over a meal, specially prepared, and a chance to have a conversation with each other uninterrupted.
So here is an idea for that conversation. As you reflect on the good times you have had together, the children you may have raised and the home you have built, what would you say to a new young couple just starting out?
Couples who have been together for five years or more are being asked to consider ‘accompanying’ new couples in their early relationship journey. It’s a concept Pope Francis promotes, a walking side-by-side with others as they navigate their lives.
This mentoring-style program takes place across nine weeks and involves a once a week online or in-person one-hour meeting with a couple who are completing the SmartLoving marriage preparation course through the Diocese.
The older couple completes the online SmartLoving course alongside the younger couple. They are there to discuss the course content and questions that might arise.
So, what is in it for the already married ‘mentor’ couple?
“Participating in this program is a great refresher for all couples,” says James Camden, Director Mission Engagement in the Diocese of Parramatta.
“Doing the course themselves, couples will find they learn things that can strengthen and deepen their own relationships,” he says. “It’s also a way couples can give back to the next generation.”
James is keen to stress that the mentor couples are under no compulsion to discuss their own marriage with the younger couple they are matched with. “No marriage is perfect,” he says, “so no one should feel any pressure in that regard.”
He encourages couples who have been married for more than five years to seriously consider taking part, as this Valentine’s Day presents a good opportunity to start thinking about it. After all, St Valentine risked his life to marry couples against the law of the then Emperor Claudius II, so they could live out God’s call for service to others.
A workshop will take place on Friday 18 March at the Bede Heather Centre in Blacktown at 7.30pm for interested couples.
Find out more by calling Karin Abrams on 8838 3460 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.