How do I bring Joined by Grace to my parish or diocese?
First, explore this website and sign up for a digital sample of the books and DVD. To review the entire program, order a Joined by Grace Starter Pack (online or contact Ave Maria Press by phone: 1-800-282-1865). Once you review the materials and decide to adopt the program, stock up on the Joined by Grace Mentor Packs and Couple’s Packs to provide to volunteers and participants.
The Program Manual will provide you an excellent overview of the Joined by Grace vision as well as a step-by-step guide to getting started. It includes suggestions for involving everyone from parish receptionist to prayer team partners in marriage preparation.
Can Joined by Grace be adapted to a retreat model?
Yes. Joined by Grace is designed to be used in small groups or couple-to-couple settings. The weekend retreat adaptations are available in the Director’s Resources section of this website. You can download these outlines directly here. Also, consult “Using the Program in Different Formats” on page 27 of the Program Manual if you plan to use both meeting and retreat models.
What are the best ways to recruit and train mentor couples?
According to Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), marriage preparation is a ministry of accompaniment. Matching married couples to your engaged couples as mentors during marriage preparation is a very effective form of this ministry. We offer a number of valuable resources to help parishes recruit and train mentor couples including:
- Chapter 3 of the Joined by Grace Program Manual
- The Mentor Resource Page
- Mentor Couple Recruiting Criteria Checklist
- Mentor Couple Prayer
- Mentor Couple Background Reading Articles
Why do the mentor couples and engaged couples need to have two books?
The Joined by Grace Mentor Pack and Couple’s Pack each include two books. We want each person participating in the program (mentors and engaged couples) to be fully immersed in the preparation for the meetings. Separate ownership of the books helps facilitate this readiness by allowing each person to highlight, underline, and make notes in their own personal copy of the book. Otherwise, there is a risk that only one member of each couple will do the necessary reading while the other never thoroughly reviews the book alone. It also eases use for engaged couples who live at some distance from one another. Their books contain exercises that they are asked to complete in advance of each meeting. Lastly, each group member having his or her own copy makes meetings more comfortable, avoiding any need to pass books around and again, allowing for ease of note-taking during sessions.
Can I buy the Joined by Grace DVD separately?
The DVD is available for purchase separately (call 1-800-282-1865), but the price is the same as the full Joined by Grace Mentor Pack, which includes two copies of the Joined by Grace Mentor Guide.
What is the purpose of the prayer book, Joined by Grace: A Catholic Prayer Book for Engaged and Newly Married Couples?
The Joined by Grace prayer book introduced engaged and newly married couples to the rich traditions of Catholic prayer: how Catholics pray, texts of our most commonly used prayers, and a primer on devotions. This book is a supplemental resource for couples participating in the Joined by Grace program. It is not included in the Joined by Grace Starter Pack. You can purchase the Joined by Grace prayer book here.
What if we review the Starter Pack, but decide not to adopt the program?
We are confident that once you see the program for yourself, you will make it your own. However, if you decide that it is not for you, either keep the resource as a reference or follow the Ave Maria Press returns policy.
Are there plans to create a Spanish version of Joined by Grace?
The program is still new and research into the viability of a Spanish version of the program is ongoing.