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Rome Reports

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The new face of Catholic marriage preparation

After seven years of working with engaged couples in their diocese, Mary-Rose and Ryan Verret felt called to develop a new model of Catholic marriage preparation.

The result was “Witness to Love,” a formation program in which engaged couples choose married mentors from their parish to journey with them into faith and marriage. 

Founders, Witness to Love
“These engaged couples and the mentors they chose, they're hanging around after Mass, they're going to parish picnics, they're volunteering in the social needs of the parish. It's just really great to see that there's a relationship, and that really it's all being drawn from the Eucharist and then also being sent out from that.”

10 years after founding “Witness to Love,” the Verrets say they are still moved by the stories they hear from couples going through the program and their mentors. 

Founders, Witness to Love
“Stories of people who say 'I grew up with a single mom and I had no father figure, and then I chose this mentor couple at the Church where we're getting married, and that couple said to us “we are your family now, you're the son we never had. We're seeing that over and over again with couples. They need more, they need real people, real relationships, real accompaniment.”

Parents to five children, the Verrets know firsthand the challenges of raising a family, and the value of cultivating relationships with other families to overcome them—a key component of their marriage prep philosophy.

Founders, Witness to Love
“And so the more that newlywed couples are in relationship with other couples who are struggling but working through it, they're not going to feel that they're the only ones dealing with obstacles.”

By putting relationships at the center of marriage preparation, the Verrets are transforming how Catholics prepare to take one of the most important steps in their lives.