Online program seeks to engage engaged couples

The SmartLoving online marriage preparation course (Parramatta Diocese)

Pre-marriage preparation courses across western Sydney and the Blue Mountains have gone digital. Source: Catholic Outlook

The Diocese of Parramatta’s Life, Marriage and Family Office has launched the SmartLoving Engaged Online course for couples preparing for marriage.

This new form of marriage preparation will be available alongside the regular marriage preparation course conducted over a weekend by trained married couples.

The launch of SmartLoving has been 12 months in the making, with the Life, Marriage and Family Office meeting with the Marriage Resource Centre in Sydney, which developed the course, seeking and receiving approval from the Curia together with informing deaneries and parish priests of the changes.

Karin Abrams from the diocese’s Life, Family and Marriage Office said it’s important that couples getting married in the Catholic Church understand what that involves, which is explained through SmartLoving.

“If people are getting married in the Catholic Church, I think it’s really important for them to understand what that means. Marriage is a sacrament, marriage is a vocation.

“There are big obligations – people when they marry in the Catholic Church are promising to marry for life, and it is important that they understand and with the vows that they are making, they’re actually agreeing to live their marriage in this way, as a sacramental marriage, and they’re also agreeing to welcome any children and bring them up in the faith.

“Because people are choosing to get married in the Catholic Church, it’s really good for them to know about those aspects.”

SmartLoving engages couples in a different direction – replacing the former “Prepare Enrich” program, which was an inventory-style, one-on-one session with a facilitator.

“We see that into the future, we’ll be offering the online [course], as we know a lot of young people are attracted to online activities, and we think that it is just moving with the times and connecting with young people where they are and giving them that other option,” Ms Abrams said.

The nine-week course allows couples to discuss one topic per week through a series of short videos, a workbook and a quiz. 



Life, Marriage and Family Office launch online marriage preparation course (Catholic Outlook

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