Marriage mentoring is available to couples in eastern Iowa


(Editor’s Note: The following article is excerpted with permission from The Witness, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.)

Greg and Julie Alexander, founders of the Alexander House apostolate, have trained 23 couples from the Archdiocese of Dubuque and nine couples from the Diocese of Davenport to serve as Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors.

Barb Arland-Fye
Greg and Julie Alexander speak at a Marriage Mentors workshop at St. Ludmila Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earlier this year.

Through their marriage apostolate, which began as a fruit of the resurrection of their struggling marriage almost 20 years ago, the Alexanders have personally mentored (or coached) about 4,000 married couples. Most of the couples were seriously struggling and looking for a guide to help them through difficult times in their relationship.

The Alexanders’ model of one married couple accompanying another married couple has resulted in great success, with very few mentored couples going down the road of divorce, the Alexanders said. The couples they trained this past spring are now equipped to serve as Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors in eastern Iowa.


Marriage mentors are spread across the two dioceses, making marriage mentorship accessible to couples throughout eastern Iowa. The Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors are willing to accompany other married couples into a deeper understanding and living of the fullness God intended for marriage. They will share their own stories and experiences, along with the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage, to impart to other couples the practical tools needed to develop a healthy marital relationship.

Covenant of Love mentoring is not professional counseling, nor is it a comprehensive approach to issues or problems facing married couples. Rather, it is a process in which a couple can achieve relationship goals with effective support, information and guidance.

This process is effective for restoring and strengthening marriages in which both spouses are open to following God’s plan for marriage and putting into place the practical tools provided. Whether newlyweds or married for 50 years, and whether on the brink of divorce or just wanting to grow deeper in a relatively good marriage, this mentoring process can provide couples with guidance for strengthening and sustaining their marriage.

Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors meet with couples for at least six mentoring sessions that typically last from one to two hours. Prior to each session, the couples receiving mentoring will be asked to watch an online video created by the Alexanders. Each video provides the teaching content for the session and is often followed up with an exercise to complete as a couple before meeting with the mentor couple during the next session. There, the content is discussed in a confidential setting.

Marriage Mentor couples volunteer their time to journey with other married couples because they are committed to strengthening marriages. Their generosity, along with that of the Alexander House apostolate, allows the cost of the mentoring process to be limited to a materials fee of $25. This makes it possible for both dioceses to provide materials that can assist couples in growing in their marriage. If cost is a hindrance, the fee can be reduced or waived.

Couples interested in working with a mentor couple may visit the website to learn more and to register for the Covenant of Love Marriage Mentoring process. A list of trained mentor couples, with bios and pictures, can also be found at this webpage.

Once registration has been received, the Marriage and Family Life coordinator for the Diocese of Davenport will follow up to pair each couple with a Marriage Mentor couple who is accessible.

Questions about the Covenant of Love Marriage Mentors ministry may be directed to: Marianne Agnoli, Marriage and Family Life coordinator for the Diocese of Davenport, (563) 888-4242 or

“I believe that any couple desiring a deeper understanding of God’s plan for marriage and seeking more intimate relationship with God and each other will benefit from journeying with a Covenant of Love marriage mentor couple,” Agnoli said.

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