1 December 2019

Adopting a newlywed

Adopting a newlywed
David Ahern

David Ahern

Current editor of The Majellan, David has spent more than 40 years as an editor/journalist

A mentoring program to help couples in their early years of marriage who were married in the Catholic Church is successfully operating in several Australia cities. Ministry to the Newly Married (MNM) began in Canberra in 1990 and has since spread to Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Darwin.

The program for a short time also operated in Sydney and Melbourne.

Newly married couples can share their life experiences with couples who’ve been married for at least five to 10 years. The program was started by Maurie and Bernice Boland who had received requests from young newly marrieds who said they were feeling “alone”.

The Boland’s, who have been married since 1971, say they’re amazed at the program’s success. “We never envisaged that it would grow to the extent it has and we were astonished and delighted to find ourselves travelling throughout Australia at the request of people who wanted it.”

Ministry to the Newly Married begins in February each year with a dinner where people socialise over a meal and a few wines. Newly marrieds and adoptive couples, by the end of the evening, are matched and then meet four times a year at two to three monthly intervals.

The newlyweds are assigned a new adoptive couple at the start of each new year. Over a period of five years, they will have covered 20 topics and get a strong insight into five different marriages. A graduation night is organised for couples once they have completed the program.

The need for a mentoring program is supported by figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ ‘Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2010’. ‘Almost one-quarter of Australians aged 18 to 34 have experienced their parents’ divorce while they were a child, and almost 50,000 children are involved in their parents’ divorce each year.’

“We have met and worked with wonderful couples in establishing this program,” said the Boland’s.  “We believe they are the ‘hidden treasures’ of the Church – couples quietly living out their commitment to their faith and to one another. 

“None of us claim to be perfect. In fact, it’s the reality of our struggles, joys and sorrows, that the young couples relate to and draw from. MNM is pre-emptive, building newly marrieds’ skills and confidence to deal with whatever life has in store and building friendships with other couples who are sharing the journey.

“Many in fact don’t want to leave when they’re finished and return to the program as adoptive couples. Adoptive couples benefit by renewing their own marriages in the process of sharing with and supporting younger couples. It’s a win-win situation,” the Boland’s said.

For more information contact Bernice and Maurie Boland at bolands@grapevine.com.au or on

0490 901 912. 

The book, Prayers and Reflections for Newlyweds, is available from Majellan Media for $23.45, postage included. See Majellan Bookshop on page 48.

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