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Archdiocese of Dubuque Family Prayer Resources Web Page

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

September 8 - Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary

September 14 - Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 15 - Our Lady of Sorrows

September 18 - Catechetical Sunday"This is my body given for you."

  • 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 25 - Priesthood Sunday
Priesthood Sunday is a special day to honor priesthood in the United States. Find ways for your family to show their appreciation for your parish priest. Click here for information about Priesthood Sunday.

Back to School

September 5 - Labor Day

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

September 11 - Patriot Day

September 22 - Autumn Begins

  • Make autumn yard work a family event, go for a family walk in the cool, crisp air, or consider other Fall-Inspired Family Activities.

September 26 - National Family Day
Family Day is celebrated on the fourth Monday of September.
Celebrate families and the stories we share from generation to generation—especially around the dinner table—by introducing a fun question to spark creative conversations.

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 17 – St. Robert Bellarmine
Learn more here about this patron saint of catechists.

September 21 – St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Learn more here.

September 27 – St. Vincent de Paul
Look around your room, house, or pantry for items to donate to the needy.
Learn more here.

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.

Celebrate the September Saints: 
St. Giles (Sept 1); Gregory the Great (Sept 3); St. Pius X (Sept 3); St. Teresa of Calcutta (Sept 5); St. Peter Claver (Sept 9); St. John Chrysostom (Sept 13); St. Catherine of Genoa (Sept 15); Ss. Cornelius and Cyprian (Sept 16); St. Robert Bellarmine (Sept 17); St. Hildegard of Bingen (Sept 17); St. Joseph of Cupertino (Sept 18); St. Januarius (Sept 19); Ss. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Paul Chong Ha-sang, and Companions (Sept 20); St. Matthew the Apostle (Sept 21); St. Thomas of Villanova (Sept 22); St. Padre Pio (Sept 23); St. Cleophas (Sept 25); Ss. Cosmas and Damian (Sept 26); St. Vincent de Paul (Sept. 27); St. Wenceslaus (Sept 28); St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions (Sept 28); Ss. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels (Sept 29); St. Jerome (Sept 30)
Ordinary Time
The Church is currently in the liturgical season of Ordinary Time.
Have you ever wondered why the priest wears green during this time of year? 

During the liturgical year of the Church, Ordinary Time occurs from the end of the Christmas season until the beginning of Lent, and from the end of the Easter season until the beginning of Advent. The word "ordinary," from the Latin word orior, means to rise up, to be stirred up and to grow. Ordinary Time is, for Catholics, the opportunity to allow the Lord to stir up our faith, to allow our spirits to rise up and to grow. The color green brings this meaning to life, since it is a color that evokes life and growth.
Story Corner with Caroline

Join Caroline as she reads one of her favorite books! This webpage includes a playlist of Caroline's favorite stories. Don't miss any episodes! Enter your email address here and receive an email when new stories are added. 
Preparing for a New School Year

Children in kindergarten through fifth grade often look forward to the beginning of the school year. Here are some suggestions to help make the start of the school year great.
  • Prepare for the transition. Sharing positive memories of your own school days helps children to look forward to making their own memories.
  • Take advantage of teacher meet-and-greet events or school open house opportunities.
  • Encourage children to prepare for the next school day by packing their backpack, laying out clothes, and packing their own healthy lunch.
  • Get to bed early. The first few weeks will tire out any child - and parents, too! Make it a priority to wind down together with quiet stories, prayers and a prompt bedtime.
  • Keep smiling. Sadness or anxiety is to be expected when routines change. Smiling (and a big hug) as you drop the kids off at school helps them feel excited about the day ahead!
  • Consider the family schedule. Even the younger children like to be involved in activities, but try to avoid over-scheduling. Every child needs down time, especially at the beginning of the school year.
Facing Challenges with Grace

Teens and tweens can be faced with many challenges as the school year begins. In a society where tweens and teens are bombarded with peer pressure and high expectations, be sure to remind them that you love them as they are... special and unique, and made in God's image. Here are a few tips from
  • Learning (and life) is an individual process. Don't compare a child to anyone else.
  • Highlight the things you admire about each child, and point out their God-given gifts. 
  • Give them independence, but stay involved. Volunteer for school functions. Join a parents' group. Coach a team sport. Give your kids the freedom to become who they wish to be, but be a gentle guide who is always present to them.
  • Encourage new adventures. Help them to broaden their horizons and discover a new sport, school activity, or community service. 
  • Remind young people that their value lies in who they are, not in how they perform or who they associate with. Disappointments and frustrations are inevitable. Relationships will have ups and downs. Give them the opportunity to solve problems on their own, but the security of knowing you are always available to them.
Back-to-school sales started just after the Fourth of July. Most of them focused on the supplies kids need to make the shift from summer to fall — the stuff. But kids need more than stuff to be successful in school (and in life). They need a strong foundation of faith. This article can help you outfit your kids’ spiritual backpacks with the equipment they need, and it doesn’t cost anything extra! Cory Busse from OSVkids shares the top five “Catholic” school supplies to pack in your Spiritual Backpack as this school year begins, and how to use them.
Fall Resolutions to Spark Your Marriage

Has your marriage fallen into a rut? Even good marriages go through the doldrums. The arrival of Fall, however, can bring new energy and purpose. Why not use this energy to reinvigorate your marriage? offers four suggestions for dealing with challenges, maximizing your time together, and strengthening your faith.

September 11 - National Grandparents Day

Pope Francis once said, "How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society!" 

Parish Advocates for Disability Inclusion
Are you driven by a joy-filled passion for parish inclusion? Would you like to advocate for the spiritual and accessibility needs of persons with physical and intellectual disabilities in your parish, and connect with other parish advocates throughout the archdiocese? Become an advocate for persons with disabilities and their families in your parish/cluster! Contact your parish office or Lynne Chapman at to learn more!

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. Click here for informational, crisis, and awareness resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call or text 988 for The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 911 immediately.

For additional information and resources for inclusion of persons with diverse abilities, please contact Lynne Chapman at or 563-556-2580, ext. 246.

For additional information and resources for inclusion of persons with diverse abilities, please contact Lynne Chapman at or 563-556-2580, ext. 246.

Our Lady's Picture Book

by Anthony DeStefano

Our Lady's Picture Book highlights Mary's unique role in salvation history by explaining some of her most famous titles of honor, including Our Lady of Sorrows; Our Lady of Perpetual Help; Our Lady of Loreto; Our Lady of the Assumption; Our Lady, Star of the Sea; Our Lady of the Rosary; Our Lady, Mother of Mercy; Our Lady, Queen of Peace; and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Children will learn to ask Our Lady to intercede for them with Jesus at all times and in all circumstances. They will discover the main purpose of Mary's life: to love and serve Jesus Christ and to lead others to do the same.
  • Purchase this book here.
  • This book is available for sign-out from Faith Formation Resources (BK# 270609)

The Stray

The Stray tells the true story of a dog who saves a struggling family in more ways than one. "Pluto" comes out of nowhere and quickly makes himself at home with the Davis family, who are on the brink of falling apart. The last thing they need is another mouth to feed... or is it? In just a short time, Pluto the "wonder dog" manages to save a lost toddler, bring comfort and companionship to a hurting nine-year-old boy, help restore a marriage, and repair a broken father-son relationship. Pluto is a guard dog beyond their every expectation. Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places, our prayers get answered in strange ways, and one dog can change everything. This is the story of one of those times.

  • Watch the movie trailer by clicking here.
  • Purchase a DVD of this movie here.
  • This movie is available for sign-out from Faith Formation Resources: DV# 31684

September Pinterest Highlights for Families

from the Archdiocese of Dubuque Pinterest Boards:

Check out these September Pinterest topics focused on the family - the Domestic Church!
Cat. Chat for Kids

Discover something exciting! Make the Catholic faith come alive in your family! This website offers:
  • Powerful videos that teach, inspire and challenge kids to holiness
  • Contagious and wholesome music that helps kids pray and live a virtuous life
  • Audio dramas that ignite the imagination of kids while they learn about the Catholic faith
  • DVDs, Saint cards and posters, Book recommendations and more! 
You can also subscribe to receive tips and resources on how to teach the Catholic faith to kids.

Back to School Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the gift of all children.
Please watch over them as they begin a new school year.
Bless their teachers, school administrators, bus drivers,
school support staff, friends, and classmates.
Keep them safe every day.
I pray they may feel Your presence
and know that You are always with them.
Help them recall our loving words of support for them.
Give them wisdom to make good choices,
and an openness to learn new things.
Fill them with knowledge and positive thinking.
Help them overcome obstacles and shield them from negativity.
Surround our children with good friends who also know and love you. 
Help them treat each other with kindness, fairness, and respect.
May they treat each person they encounter as another child of God.
Grant them the grace to place their trust in You so they may know Your peace.

Additional Prayers for families as children go back to school:
Prayer for Students (from USCCB)
Upcoming Opportunities for Teaching the Faith
October 2 - Respect Life Sunday
October 7 - Our Lady of the Rosary
October 10 - Columbus Day (observed)
October 23 - World Mission Sunday
October 24 - United Nations Day
October 31 - Halloween
Check out these online resources with prayers and reflections, blogs,
discussion groups, tools for catechists, and more:

Catechetical Institute for the Archdiocese of Dubuque
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
FORMED - a streaming video resource
Catechists Journey - Joe Paprocki from Loyola Press offers ideas and tips for catechists
eCatechist - ideas, inspiration and resources for catechists
Teaching Catholic Kids from Our Sunday Visitor
The Religion Teacher - practical resources and teaching strategies
St. Mary's Press Resource Center - a variety of online resources
Resources for Catholic Educators - resources, links, handouts, lesson plans and more
Loyola Press Presentations - powerpoint presentations for use in the classroom
Catechism of the Catholic Church online 
Directory for Catechesis online
Guide for Catechists - USCCB document online
Archdiocese of Dubuque
Children and Family Formation

1229 Mt. Loretta Ave.
Dubuque, IA 52003
(563) 556-2580, ext. 255

Director of
Children and Family Formation

Joanne Pohland

Faith Formation Communications Manager:
Lynne Chapman
Copyright © 2022 Archdiocese of Dubuque, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Children and Family Formation
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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