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

Marriage & Family Life Witness Article
"Masses Held for Couples Married 50 or More Years" by Dan Russo
"In July and August, Archbishop Michael Jackels concelebrated six Masses for couples married 50 or more years with local pastors. Liturgies were held at the Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque (July 28), St. Henry in Marshalltown (July 29), St. Francis de Sales in Ossian (Aug. 4), St. Mary in Waverly (Aug. 5), St. Joseph Church, Epiphany Parish in Mason City (Aug. 11) and St. Patrick in Cedar Rapids (Aug. 12). About 1,000 couples participated overall, according to Matt Selby, director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life of the Archdiocese of Dubuque."
Click Here to Read the Article

Ways to Learn and Live the Faith

as a Catholic Family

Back to School

September 1 -  
World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

September 3 - Labor Day

  • Take time to say "Thank You" to someone who works hard
    for your family, parish, or community.
  • A Prayer for Labor Day

September 8 - Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 12 - The Most Holy Name of Mary

  • Learn more here and here 
  • Pray the "Hail Mary" as a family every day this month
    as the Church honors Mary.

September 9 - Grandparents Day

  • Make this a family day by doing something special with the grandparents in your family, or spending the day with an elderly person or couple in your neighborhood.
  • Models, Mentors, and Memory-Makers: An article written by Deacon Gary and Kay Aitchison from Ames, IA
  • Suggestions for celebrating Grandparents Day

September 11 - Anniversary of 9-11-2001

  • Prayer for Peace, Understanding, and an End to Terror

September 14 - Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 16 - Catechetical Sunday:
                 "Enlisting Witness for Jesus Christ"

  • Learn about this day set aside to reflect on the role that catechists play, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being witnesses to the Gospel.

September 22 - Autumn Begins

  • Make autumn yard work a family event, or go for a family walk and enjoy the cool, crisp air!

Marriage Matters

Mastering Love and Relationships

Who doesn’t want to have more constructive conversations in their close relationships? In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz explains how achieving this may be simpler than you think. So many times, we just don’t give the people we love the attention they deserve. Fr. Mike shows us
how to fix that and master our love relationships.

(From Ascension Presents)

Saints of the Month

September 5 – St. Teresa of Calcutta

  • St. Teresa saw people through God’s loving eyes. She chose to live her life in service to the poor, the suffering and dying, and those who longed for a kind word or a gentle touch.  Learn more about her life here.

September 13 – St. John Chrysostom

September 16 – St. Cyprian

September 17 – St. Robert Bellarmine

September 21 – St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

September 27 – St. Vincent de Paul

  • Learn more here
  • Look around your room, house, or pantry for items or food to donate to the needy.

September 28 – St. Wenceslaus

  • Be a peacemaker in your family or your school. Do something nice for someone that you sometimes argue with. Learn more about the feast of St. Wenceslaus here.

September 29 – Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

September 30 – St. Jerome

  • St. Jerome translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin. Spend some extra time reading Scripture together as a family.
  • Learn more here.

10 Saints Every Student Needs for Going Back to School

Website Spotlight

Natural Womanhood: Know Your Body
Natural Womanhood: Know Your Body is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of fertility charting, as a way to promote disease prevention, self-knowledge, relational intimacy, and effective family planning. Natural Womanhood helps young women and couples regardless of their income, ethnicity, or religion. Fertility Awareness is knowledge. That knowledge opens a whole world for understanding your individual hormonal processes, diagnosing and treating disorders, and planning your family.
To learn more about Natural Family Planning (NFP) and find local NFP teachers, check out the Archdiocese of Dubuque NFP website.
There's An App For That

Daily Family Prayer
This free app guides families through a short prayer each day. With beautiful images, scripture, meaningful reflection and an inspiring quote from Pope Francis, families can have an enriching prayer experience every day ... right in the palm of their hands. Prayer ... It’s a great way to start each day or even to share before dinner. 

  • Short scripture passage
  • Meaningful reflection that is applicable to family life today
  • Inspiring quote from Pope Francis
  • Beautiful images
  • Quick link to post your family's petitions so we can pray for you as you pray for each other
The family that prays together stays together. Let us help your family pray every day!

Download on iOS or Android devices.

Interest in Pinterest

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

Check out these Pinterest topics focused on the family - the Domestic Church!

Book of the Month

Praying For (and With) Your Spouse
The Way to Deeper Love

by Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak                

God wants to fill your marriage with the love that comes from his very own heart. Praying for (and With) Your Spouse will show you how to let God take every part of your relationship to the next level from living each day with your joys and struggles, to working out your decisions and disagreements, to setting aside time for love and romance. Prayer, in marriage, is more than checking off a box. It is time spent in the presence of the Author of love himself. Every time we pray for and with our spouse, God gives us greater insight into what it takes to love each other better, more deeply, more honestly, more authentically, and more passionately. Every time we pray for and with our spouse, we open our hearts to a love that can satisfy our deepest longings and allow our marriage to be a light to the world.     (from

For more information and to purchase the book, click here

This book is available for sign-out from the Education Resource Center: BK #241462.

September Movie Pick

Check out this month's movie pick:

I Can Only Imagine

It's the song that brings ultimate hope to so many…often in the midst of life's most challenging moments. Amazingly, the song was written by MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard. In reality, those lyrics took a lifetime to craft. Although he found faith at a young age, life wasn't easy for Bart. He leaned into an active imagination and his love of music as escapes from a troubled home life. As he grew older, Bart turned to football in hopes of somehow connecting with his abusive father. But a career-ending injury-combined with the vision of a teacher who saw unlimited potential-set Bart on a musical pathway. Chasing a dream with running from broken relationships with his father and Shannon, his childhood sweetheart, Bart hits the road in an old, decrepit tour bus with his new band MercyMe-named for his grandmother's favorite expression. With the guidance of a grizzled music-industry insider, the band begins a journey none of them could ever have imagined. A gripping reminder of the power of forgiveness, I Can Only Imagine beautifully illustrates that no one is ever too far from God's love - or from an eternal home in Heaven.

The film contains mature themes, including marital discord and the physical abuse of a child. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.     

  • Watch the movie trailer by clicking here.
  • Purchase a DVD of this movie here.
  • Additional resources are available here.

This movie is available for sign-out from the Education Resource Center: DV #31613.

Prayers and Reflections

A Prayer for the New School Year

Gracious God,
as the summer begins to fade,
new possibilities lie on the horizon.
Bless all of those who are beginning
or returning to their roles
as teachers and catechists,
as well as those who lead and support them
in their efforts.
May this school year be a time
of grace and potential
as they teach, share, and challenge others
to grow in faith, knowledge and wisdom.
Bless children and youth,
along with their parents,
as they begin a new school year.
May their minds be open to learning
and to the wonder of discovery and insight.
Be with us all as we embark on this new year.

Additional Prayers for families as children go back to school:
All Are Welcome

The Arts and Inclusion
People with learning disabilities can often find themselves feeling excluded when it comes to making decisions about their lives. This process can be made easier by including people with learning disabilities in decision-making, and offering sensitive personal assistance and support. Read this article to discover how active participation in the arts can lead to meaningful inclusion for people with learning disabilities.

Watch this one-hour video documentary which follows several junior and senior high school students with Autism, Down Syndrome, behavioral issues and other learning disabilities who collaborate with their teacher, Mary Jo, to create artwork.

September is Suicide Prevention Month
Open Letter from NCPD Council regarding "13 Reasons Why," Season 2
In May, 2018, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) Council on Mental Illness issued an open letter to the Catholic Faithful in response to the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why." The series revolves around a high school student, Clay Jensen, and his friend Hannah Baker, a girl who takes her own life after suffering a series of demoralizing circumstances brought on by select individuals at her school. A box of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah before her suicide details thirteen reasons why she ended her life. There are a number of resources available online for families, clergy, pastoral ministers, educators, and other caring adults to utilize in learning about the series, how to respond in working with youth, and other important factors and issues. 
Since 1982, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) has served the U.S. Catholic Church by providing resources, training, consultation and advocacy for the estimated 14 million U.S. Catholics who live with disability. Visit for more information on NCPD’s programs and services.

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

Grandparenting: Leaving a Legacy of Faith Conference - August 25, 2018
All grandparents are invited to participate in a day to celebrate the important role of grandparenting in family life. Connect with other grandparents and hear from dynamic speakers on how to leave a legacy of faith for your children and grandchildren. The day includes keynotes, breakout sessions, Mass with Archbishop Jackels, lunch, and more. The Grandparenting: Leaving a Legacy of Faith conference will take place on Saturday, August 25th from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM at St. Mary’s in Waverly. For more information and registration, please visit Please register by August 20th. The cost is $30 per person. For questions, contact Matt Selby, Director of Marriage and Family Life, at (800) 876-3546, ext. 233 or

Mass for Mental Illness Awareness
Sunday, October 7, 2018

Mark your calendars for the Mass for Mental Illness Awareness, which will be celebrated on October 7, 2018 at 2:00 PM at St. Patrick Church in Cedar Rapids. The Mass for Mental Illness Awareness is an annual event. Persons with mental illness, as well as their families, friends, caregivers and health providers are welcome. The purpose is to create a spiritual environment of hope, education and awareness to decrease the stigma of mental illness. 

Celebration of Life Mass
Saturday, October 13, 2018

Mark your calendars for the Celebration of Life Mass to be celebrated at St. Athanasius Church in Jesup on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 5:00 PM. The Celebration of Life Mass is held annually at a different location across the Archdiocese. The Mass recognizes, remembers and honors all people living with disabilities, their families and those who support and empower them.

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

Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Archdiocesan Women’s Conference, Beauty in Christ, Saturday, January 26, 2019, DoubleTree by Hilton, Cedar Rapids, IA.
Copyright © 2018 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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