Where and when is the Embrace program run?
Embrace is available in several formats and each format has different availability.
- Individual mentoring. Held in the home of your Mentors, the meeting time can be scheduled to the mutual convenience of you and your Mentor couple. Usually these meetings occur over a two month period, but if desired can be conducted on a contracted format or via correspondence for those couples in remote areas.
- Small home-based groups of 3-5 couples in your Mentor's home, usually 6 consecutive weeks. These courses are typically scheduled in consultation with the registered engaged couples to determine a convenient time.
- Group Intensives of up to 40 couples in parish facilities are offered in a variety of formats and schedules. See the dates page for specific locations and formats. These courses are scheduled 3-6 months in advance.
For more information on dates and venues in your area click here.
What are the pros and cons of individual mentoring verses a small or group intensive format?
- Couple-to-couple Mentoring offers both flexibility and greater depth. It is designed so that more attention can be given to areas of greater relevance to that couple. Conducted in the intimacy of the Mentor's home, the engaged couple is 'embraced' into the family for the duration of the course and many couples form long-term friendships. This format is particularly attractive to couples who want to be challenged more deeply in their relationship, who are in unusual circumstances or whose schedule prohibits attendance at the group courses.
- The small home group format suits couples who enjoy interacting with other couples. Typically the course is conducted on a set night for six consecutive weeks. Missed sessions can’t be easily rescheduled so couples need to be prepared to reschedule other engagements. Some leaders offer session 4 as an individual session for each couple, allowing flexibility and the opportunity to discuss issues more deeply.
- The group intensive format is preferred by couples who value anonymity and want to work through the material without discussion or interaction with either engaged couples or the married leaders. The course includes a self-directed online sessions and one and a half day in a group course. The compressed format can be an advantage for some couples, though it is difficult for couples to fully integrate all the content in the shorter time frame.
What are some of the things covered in the course?
Embrace integrates the insights of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body with the current research into relationships, providing practical strategies and exercises. Click here for more information.
What happens during a typical session?
After a short prayer, the mentors conduct a 'warm up' exercise related to the topic. The main input is then provided on DVD after which the engaged couple is directed to complete the couple exercise. This exercise typically includes some private, written reflection in your couple packs and time to discuss it with your fiancé. The Mentors then invite discussion and elaborate on the key themes. Before leaving, the Mentors summarise the session and explain the take home activities.
What's involved in the take home activities and are they essential?
The take home/self-directed activities are an integral part of the course as they involve the practice of important tools and skills taught during the course. Moreover, they allow you to further digest the information given to you during the session and extend or elaborate on it. Couples should plan time in between sessions when they can do the Take Home Activities. For those doing a group intensive, many of the take home activities can be done in the weeks after the course.
What does the cost of the program cover?
Embrace is priced similarly to other marriage preparation courses and there is no difference in cost for the different formats. Each engaged couple receives a full colour participant pack to work through during the course of the program. The engaged couple will also receive a take home DVD along with other resource material. Once the initial fee is paid prior to starting the program, no other fees or charges are required. Mentor couples give their time and talents voluntarily and are not paid. For more information click here.
We want to do the Embrace Program but it's not available in our area! What can we do?
There are two options for you:
- Do the Embrace course by correspondence with a Mentor couple. The Mentor couple will send you your complete couple kit and organise for you to access the teaching DVDs online. They will arrange to connect with you by phone for each session.
- In some areas, the sister program to Embrace (Engage) is available. The Engage curriculum is identical in content but is conducted independently of the PMRC by the Mentor couple themselves. To find an Engage Mentor, please contact the PMRC office.
We want to do Embrace. What next?
We are so glad you have made the decision to attend the Embrace Program!
The next step is to either contact our office on 02 9319-1111 or click here and complete our registration form. You'll need to choose which format (couple-to-couple mentoring, small home group, group intensive)you prefer before registering. We'll then advise you of the availability of your preferred option and make any further arrangements. Once the course fee is paid, you'll be ready to begin.