Archdiocese of Dubuque
Marriage & Family Life Office

1229 Mt. Loretta Ave.
Dubuque, IA 52003
(563) 556-2580, x233
Marriage & Family Life Director: Matt Selby

Marriage & Family Life Associate:
Lynne Chapman
"Local Canon Lawyer Makes Presentation on Annulments"
by Dan Russo
A canon lawyer from the Metropolitan Tribunal, the church court of the archdiocese, recently gave a presentation on annulments to a support group for divorced Catholics at St. Columbkille Parish in Dubuque.
Click Here to Read the Article

Ways to Learn and Live the Faith

as a Catholic Family

The Christmas Season

In the Catholic Church, Christmas officially begins on Christmas Eve and ends with the Baptism of the Lord (January 13).
  • Learn more about the Catholic Christmas season here 
  • Celebrate Christmas long after December 25 with family gift ideas 
  • Try some family Christmas recipes
January is Poverty Awareness Month
Join the U.S. Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and the Catholic community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis’ challenge to live in solidarity with the poor.
  • Learn more about Poverty Awareness Month here
  • Take advantage of the online calendar offered by the USCCB
  • Pray these daily reflections with your family
January 1 – New Year’s Day
Celebrate New Year’s Day by embracing family traditions, reminiscing on the past year, and looking forward to the possibilities in the year ahead. January 6 – Epiphany of the Lord
Epiphany commemorates the visit of the Magi, the three kings bearing gifts for the newborn Christ in the stable at Bethlehem.

January 13 – Baptism of the Lord

January 14-22 – 9 Days for Life

January 22 - Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
This day of prayer recognizes the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

  • Overview of this day of prayer
  • Day of Prayer resources from the USCCB
  • Learn about the 46th Annual March For Life 2019 to be held in Washington D.C.
    on Friday, January 18, 2019
Winter Activity Ideas

Marriage Matters

Transitioning Into the New Year
As we approach the beginning of a new year, you're invited to think about this transition to 2019 in light of your marriage and family life. Reflect back on 2018 and discuss with your spouse the following: What were the highlights of 2018 in your marriage? What were the hardships you faced? What would you like to change in your marriage for 2019? Then, together decide on a New Year's resolution regarding your marriage. Choose one thing to work on. Maybe it's improving communication or spending more time together or praying together more often. Whatever you decide, be specific, and commit together to working on that aspect of your marriage in 2019. 

Saints of the Month

January 1 – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Why is Mary called the Mother of God? Why do we honor Mary and call her Blessed? Mary is the Mother of God because of who JESUS is! And Scripture tells us to give honor where it is due and prophesies that all generations will call Mary blessed.

January 4 – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton 
Learn about the first citizen born in the United States to be given the title of "Saint." This foundress of the Sisters of Charity also opened the first American parish school and established the first American Catholic orphanage.

  • St. Elizabeth's story
  • Learn more about SEAS here

January 24 – St. Francis de Sales 
Learn about this intelligent, patient and gentle spiritual director who believed that "the key to love of God is prayer."

January 28 – St. Thomas Aquinas 
Learn about this famous philosopher, theologian and Doctor of the Church, who regarded "parents as the principal agents in the moral formation of their children." (Summa theologiae (ST) II-II, q. 10, a. 12.)

January 31 – St. John Bosco 
Learn about the colorful life of this "Father and Teacher of Youth," who changed the lives of juvenile delinquent boys by encouraging them to consider a vocation to the priesthood.

  • The history of St. John Bosco  
  • Click here for more information about St. John Bosco

Website Spotlight

Pastoral Solutions Institute

The Pastoral Solutions Institute was founded in 1999 as an organization dedicated to providing the resources religiously-committed Catholics need to live more faithful and abundant marriage, family, and personal lives. Since that time, The Pastoral Solutions Institute has become nationally-recognized for its leadership in integrating cutting-edge counseling psychology with solid Catholic theological principles.

The Pastoral Solutions Institute offers a wide variety of resources and professional services intended to help committed Catholics overcome problems like marital conflict, childrearing problems, depression, anxiety, stress, and the difficulties associated with major life transitions.

There's An App For That
9 Days for Life

9 Days for Life is a "digital pilgrimage" of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person's life. A multi-faceted novena highlighting a different prayer intention each day provides reflections, bonus information, and suggested actions to help you increase your prayer, put faith in action, learn about important life issues & share the joyful Gospel of Life!

• Different intercession, reflection, actions & info each day
• Customizable reminders to pray
• Shareable image gallery
• Multi-feature menu
• Social share options
• NEW list of U.S. bishops’ latest pro-life e-resources!

Download on iOS or Android devices.

Interest in Pinterest

January Pinterest Highlights for Families
from the Education Resource Center, Archdiocese of Dubuque

Check out these Pinterest topics!

Book of the Month

A Catechism for Family Life
Insights from Catholic Teaching on Love, Marriage, Sex, and Parenting

by Sarah Bartel and John Grabowski

A Catechism for Family Life: Insights from Catholic Teaching on Love, Marriage, Sex, and Parenting presents the teachings of the Catholic Church as they relate to specific questions in marriage and family life. Many Catholics are under-catechized and have trouble both understanding and articulating Church teaching on sexuality and marriage to an increasingly challenging culture. 

To address this need, the authors gathered pertinent questions facing men, women, and pastoral workers in marriage and family life. They found passages relevant to these questions by researching Church documents on marriage and family from the past one hundred years, including papal encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, and addresses, Vatican II documents, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (from

For more information and to purchase the book, click here

This book is available for sign-out from the Education Resource Center: BK #241480.

January Movie Pick

Check out this month's movie pick:

Christopher Robin

In this heartwarming tale from Disney, Christopher Robin, the boy who had countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood, has grown up and lost his way. Now it's up to his spirited and loveable stuffed animals, Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and the rest of the gang, to rekindle their friendship and remind him of endless days of childlike wonder and make-believe, when doing nothing was the very best something.   (from

  • Watch the movie trailer by clicking here.
  • Purchase a DVD of this movie here.
  • Discussion questions can be found here.
Prayers and Reflections

Ten New Year's Resolutions for Catholic Parents

This year, with God's help, we resolve:

To make spending time with God a priority,
and to encourage our children to spend time with Him
in prayer, in our home, and at Mass

To teach our children about God, His ways,
his promises, and His love for us

To treat our children with respect and love,
and to always have their best interests at heart

To forgive one another,
and to ask forgiveness from our children
when we have wronged them

To allow ourselves the grace and humility to be imperfect,
and to avoid punishing ourselves over imperfections

To rejoice in being the parents God made us to be,
and to resist the temptation to compare ourselves to other parents

To play more, and pray more
with our children

To show our children that they are loved
by making time for them, 
especially when life gets busy

To work on strengthening our covenantal marriage relationship
in order to strengthen our family

To love our children as God loves them,
and to make sure they know it every day.

All Are Welcome

Celebrating the New Year
Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy a celebration of the New Year. Here are some creative ideas for hosting an inclusive celebration to ring in the New Year:
  • Create countdown bags filled with ideas to do 
    every hour leading up to midnight
  • Make New Year’s party hats
  • Play 20 Questions to reflect on the past year
  • DIY Balloon Drop
  • New Year’s Eve Bingo
  • Have a milk and cookie “champagne toast”
     Printables and other fun ideas available here.

Winter Retreat for Persons with Diverse Abilities:

Saturday, January 5, 2019: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM, Holy Ghost Church, Dubuque
This retreat day is designed for adults with disabilities, family members, friends, and caregivers who wish to deepen their faith. For more information, contact Jim Betzner at 563-556-2580, ext. 286 or email 

For additional information and resources for inclusion of persons with diverse abilities, please contact Mindy Hart, Director of the Office of Disability Inclusion.

Upcoming Events

3rd Annual Archdiocesan Women's Conference
Saturday, January 26, 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton, Cedar Rapids, IA.
Keynote Speakers: Kate Wicker and Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle
Learn more here: 

23rd Annual Catholic Men's Conference
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Xavier Catholic High School, Cedar Rapids
Keynote Speaker: Anthony Digmann
Learn more here:

Essential Elements for a Strong Catholic Marriage
April 27, 2019

All married couples are invited to strengthen their marriage by attending the Archdiocese of Dubuque “Essential Elements for a Strong Catholic Marriage” renewal day led by Greg and Julie Alexander on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at St. Ludmila Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids. Learn more and register by visiting and clicking on the date. For questions, contact Matt Selby, Director of Marriage and Family Life, at 563-556-2580, ext. 233.
Copyright © 2019 Archdiocese of Dubuque, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Office of Marriage and Family Life 
Archdiocese of Dubuque
1229 Mt. Loretta Ave
Dubuque, IA 52003

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Archdiocese of Dubuque · 1229 Mt. Loretta Avenue · Dubuque, IA 52003 · USA

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