Ways to Live the Catholic Faith in Your Family

Archdiocese of Dubuque Family Prayer Resources Web Page

Winter Activities for Catholic Families

  • Take Your Family (all of you!) to a Daily Mass 
  • Start Each Morning with a Daily Prayer 
  • Spend a Day Volunteering 
  • Have a Visit from Saint Nicholas (Dec. 6)

A New Liturgical Year!

The Advent Season

December 8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 12 - Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • The Virgin of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego. She is depicted with brown skin, an angel and moon at her feet, and rays of sunlight that encircle her. Learn more about this feast day here
  • Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Watch this video of the story of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady for children
  • Hymn to Our Lady of Guadalupe as sung by 11 year old Molly Chesna

December 25 - The Nativity of the Lord – Christmas Day

Wishing you and your family a Blessed Advent Season,
and a very Merry Christmas!

December 26 - The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

  • The Holy Family Activity from Sadlier Religion Resources
  • Learn more about his feast day here.

December 28 - The Feast of the Holy Innocents

  • Bethlehem was a small town, and the estimated number of boys two years old and under would have been about 20. Mary and Joseph would have known the families of these children. One can feel their pain when they later heard about the news of their deaths.
  • To learn more about the Holy Innocents, click here.
Saints of the Month

December 3 - St. Francis Xavier

  • Facts about St. Francis Xavier
  • Learn more here

December 6 - St. Nicholas 

December 7 - St. Ambrose

December 9 - St. Juan Diego

December 13 - St. Lucy

December 14 - St. John of the Cross

December 26 - St. Stephen

  • Learn more about St. Stephen here.

December 27 - 
St John, Apostle and Evangelist

  • Learn more about the Feast of St. John here.

Year of St. Joseph

Advent 2021 - Journey with St. Joseph
The Year of St. Joseph comes to a close on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2021. As a way to continue to honor St. Joseph, particularly as we enter into the Advent season, sign up for Journey With St. Joseph, an Advent email series.

Spend a few moments each day of Advent on a journey with St. Joseph. This special e-mail series will explore Joseph as a man of courage, love, and acceptance. The messages also include suggestions for further exploration of Advent themes through additional online articles and prayers.

Featured authors include Bishop William D. Byrne, Barbara Lee, and Joe Paprocki. End this Year of St. Joseph by joining us!

Sign up HERE to receive the daily messages beginning the First Sunday of Advent, November 28, 2021, through Christmas. The messages will come from the Year in Our Church from Loyola Press.

Year of the Amoris Laetitia Family

Pope Francis has declared a Year of the Amoris Laetitia Family from March 19, 2021 through June 26, 2022 when the World Meeting of Families will take place in Rome. Learn more about this year, read a statement by Archbishop Jackels, and find resources for celebrating it, by visiting:

Additional Resources can be found here:

  Website Highlight   


Real+True (The Catechism Project) is an interactive resource with components designed for your own spiritual growth and to share with others in your life. Real+True uses new forms of media to introduce the timeless truths of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The name Real+True is a reference to the real and true God.
Real + True believes the catechism isn't a textbook, a collection of ideas, or a set of rules. It is the faithful echo of a God who wishes to reveal himself to us and desires us to respond. The heart of the Catechism is Jesus. And Jesus changes people! That's why Real + True is creating videos, stories, animations, podcasts, social media to show and share. All content is FREE and available in multiple languages.
New content will be published in monthly units, each covering a section of the Catechism, with 12 units for each of the Catechism’s four pillars. Parishes, dioceses, apostolates, and ministries can incorporate the videos and content in their catechetical and evangelization programs and efforts.

Movie Pick
The Star

A small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.

  • Click here and here for family discussion questions.
  • Family movie night discussion questions in both English and Spanish
  • Family discussion/activity guide can be found here.
  • Watch the movie trailer by clicking here.
  • Purchase a DVD of this movie here.
  • This movie is available for sign-out from the Education Resource Center: DV# 31627.

  There's An App For That!

The AMEN App

From the Augustine Institute, the Amen app is the free Catholic prayer app that inspires your daily conversation with God through faithful meditations and nourishing Scripture. Connect with your catholic faith daily. Build better habits. Quiet your mind through Christian meditation. Let go of stress. Sleep better. Find Calm and peace with exclusive content, and connect kids to their faith with stories.

Put your phone at the service of your soul! This FREE mobile Catholic prayer app leads you toward peace and rest in mind, body, and soul through Catholic prayer and meditation. Find the joy and peace that you were made for—and that can be found only in God.

AMEN provides beautiful prayers rooted in Tradition to calm restless hearts; Catholic meditations to deepen your relationship with Christ; and nourishing Scripture to feed hungry souls. Download this app to help you grow in the peace of our Lord. Peace of mind isn’t only attainable. It’s in the palm of your hand.

Sign up here to create your free AMEN account.
Click HERE to download on iPad or iPhone.
Click HERE to download on Android.

Book of the Month

The Light of Christmas Morning

by Susan Joy Bellavance

This story shares a family tradition honoring the divine gift of the Savior who comes to us, arms open wide, desiring to be received and longing to be loved. Awakening Christmas morning, one child in the family finds the infant Jesus at their bedside. Together the family celebrates with candles, song, and prayer to fill the house with light --- the light of the Christ Child. Of course, the opening of the other gifts soon begins, as the Light of Christmas morning shines through the home. If you are looking for a new tradition to help your family keep Christ Jesus at the center of your Christmas morning celebration, this book offers a delightful suggestion in story format.
  • Purchase this book here.
  • This book is available for sign-out from the Education Resource Center (BK# 200116)

Interest in Pinterest

December Pinterest Highlights for Families
from the Archdiocesan Education Resource Center:

Check out these December Pinterest topics focused on the family - the Domestic Church!
All Are Welcome
National Days of Prayer for Inclusion
December 3 - 5, 2021

Please join Catholic parishes and schools across the country in prayer during the National Days of Prayer for Inclusion of People with Disabilities and the Families Who Love Them, as we ask for God’s blessing on children, parents, teachers and families. CLICK HERE for a prayer from the FIRE Foundation of Northeast Iowa. Catholic Schools will pray together on December 3, and parishes/families are invited to join in the prayer during the weekend Masses on December 4-5.

Recommended Book:
Better Than Okay: Finding Joy as a Special-Needs Parent

Sometimes parents of children with special needs need practical tips. Sometimes they need prayers. And sometimes they just need to know they are not alone.In her down-to-earth way, special-needs parent and author Kelly Mantoan shares the steps parents can take to shift their focus away from the negatives of a diagnosis and towards acceptance, renewed faith, and joy. Published by Our Sunday Visitor, the book is available for purchase here. Download a free chapter here to find support and hope from Kelly's own story. This book is available for sign-out from the Education Resource Center (BK# 269930).

For additional information and resources for inclusion of persons with diverse abilities, please contact Lynne Chapman at or 563-556-2580, ext. 246.
Prayers and Reflections
During Advent, we not only prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but we also check in to see if we are doing all the things that will keep us ready to receive Jesus when he comes again. Talk to your family about how you are doing in attending to your spiritual life as a family. Recommit yourselves to praying daily, reading scripture, and staying faithful to God's commandments. Pray together that through this Advent season your family will be more prepared to receive Jesus when he comes again.

Advent Family Prayer

Heavenly Father,
your Son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us,
a great sign of your love.
Guide us as we strive to walk in that love together
as a family this Advent.
As we prepare our hearts for Christmas,
bring us closer to each other and to your Son.
Give us the grace and strength we need every day.
Help us to always trust in you.
Come, Lord Jesus, lead all people closer to you.
Come and dispel the darkness of our world
with the light of your love.

Upcoming Events

2022 Archdiocesan Women's Conference
Beauty in Christ: Holy Women of the Visitation

Saturday, January 29, 2022 - 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM 

Join women in your parish/cluster for this teleconference event, as together we explore the Visitation between Mary and Elizabeth! This year's theme, Holy Women of the Visitation, features two national speakers: Liz Kelly, author of Love like a Saint, and Emily Jaminet, author of The Friendship Project, and more! Talks will be available in English and Spanish. This year's virtual conference enables women to participate from the comfort of their own homes, or to gather in parishes to experience the virtual event together! Group rates will be available. Click here to learn more! Please contact Joanne Pohland with any questions.

2022 Archdiocesan Men’s Conference
Saturday, March 19, 2022  9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Xavier High School, Cedar Rapids (with live-stream available)

Mark your calendar for the 26th Annual Men’s Conference! This conference will be held on the Feast of St. Joseph, and will highlight the example of St. Joseph as a model for all men. The keynote speaker will be Mark Hartfiel, vice-president of Paradisus Dei, a ministry that produces the “That Man is You!” men’s program. The lunch session will be presented by Devin Schadt, the founder of the Fathers of St. Joseph men’s ministry. Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Michael Jackels. For more information and registration, please visit

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 Communications Manager:
Lynne Chapman
Copyright © 2021 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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