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Archdiocese of Dubuque Family Prayer Resources Web Page
A New Liturgical Year!

November 27 - First Sunday of Advent

December 8 - Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 12 - Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 25 - The Nativity of the Lord – Christmas Day

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


December 28 - The Feast of the Holy Innocents

  • To learn more about the Holy Innocents, click here.

December 30 - The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Winter Activities for Catholic Families

December 7 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

December 24 - Christmas Eve

December 31
- New Year's Eve

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.
Celebrate the December Saints: St. Francis Xavier (Dec 3); St. John Damascene (Dec 4); St. Nicholas (Dec 6); St. Ambrose (Dec 7); St. Juan Diego (Dec 9); St. Eulalia of Merida (Dec 10); St. Damasus I (Dec 11); St. Lucy (Dec 13); St. John of the Cross (Dec 14); St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli (Dec 15); St. Dominic of Silos (Dec 20); St. Peter Canisius (Dec 21); St. John of Kanty (Dec 23); St. Stephen (Dec 26); St. John the Apostle (Dec 27); The Holy Innocents (Dec 28); St. Thomas Becket (Dec 29); St. Sabinus of Spoleto and Companions (Dec 30); St. Sylvester I (Dec 31)

The Catholic Church sets aside several special days in December to honor and celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus! Here are some ideas to share with your family!

The Immaculate Conception of Mary (December 8):
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day of obligation attributed to Mary, Mother of Jesus. It is part of our Catholic dogma that Mary could not bear the Son of God if she was a sinner, and so, from her conception in the womb of St. Anne, Mary was free from sin; even the original sin of Adam and Eve. This was given to Mary by the grace of God, preparing her to be the mother of Jesus. Celebrate this solemnity as a family by attending Mass together, and then enjoy these activities pages!
Our Lady of Loreto (December 10):
Unlike most other Marian feast days, the optional memorial of Our Lady of Loreto doesn't refer to an apparition or a Marian title. It refers to a building. Specifically, it refers to the humble home in which Mary was born and grew up, and where the angel Gabriel appeared to her at the Annunciation. This feast day was added to the Church calendar in 2019. Learn more about
the extraordinary story of Loreto, and about this feast day here.

Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12):
For people of Mexican and Latino heritage, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a powerful symbol of devotion, identity, and patriotism. She is a source of hope for the poor or marginalized people, and her apparition was the driving factor in the conversion of Mexico's indigenous people to Catholicism. Learn more about the story of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe here. Use these recipes to prepare a family feast celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe!
Advent is a time to prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for Christ. Getting your little ones involved in the details, like making your Advent Wreath together, will help them to remember, learn, and get excited about growing closer to God as a family. Jessica, from Sweet Little Ones website, has created a fun Advent Wreath craft that your family can make and use together, and also offers daily devotions and prayers to go along with the Advent Wreath! Check out this idea and more at Jessica's website,

Prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ and anticipate His coming each day of the Advent season with fun and simple suggestions for an action, prayer or reflection. This printable Advent calendar from Sadlier Religion includes suggestions such as the lighting of the candles in the Advent wreath and celebrating seasonal feast days. This resource is ideal for families with preschool and primary-aged children. Click below to access the calendar in English or Spanish!

Despite the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Advent is meant to be a season of stillness, eager expectation, and hopeful waiting. Leah Murphy from Lifeteen shares a list of Advent life hacks that can help your teens and tweens enter a bit more fully into the liturgical season of Advent. With suggestions from getting crafty, to prayer time and devotional reading, to helping those in need, to simply developing an attitude of gratitude, this article offers tweens and teens opportunities to embrace the season.
Building a Domestic Church: A Handbook for Parents

This small but mighty book is filled to the brim with hope. Encouraging, inspiring, and down to earth, John Bosio walks parents through the essential tasks of making their homes places of love, teaching children to pray, and forming the next generation of disciples with confidence and encouragement. A great tool for newlyweds, new parents, parents accompanying their children to the sacraments, grandparents passing on the faith --- anyone who wants to deepen their Christian life. The book also contains reflection questions after each section, providing conversation starters for the dinner table! This book is a true gift for young parents and seasoned parents alike! Click here to order the book!
The marriage of Mary and Joseph is often depicted as a rigidly formal and unattainably pious relationship that we can never hope to replicate in our lives. But the relationship between them was very real, very intimate, and the very longing of the human heart. By looking at the marriage of Mary and Joseph, we can discover how to love each other the way God loves us. Learn more about the Advent prayer resource Rejoice! Advent Meditations with the Holy Family (from Ascension Press), and reflect on your marriage in light of the Holy Family with the video below.


"Your grandchildren are likely to remember your family traditions more than the gifts you gave them."
Lorene Hanley Duquin, author of The Catholic Grandparents Handbook

Parents have a lifetime to create family traditions for their children. Grandparents don't have quite as long with their grandchildren, but they are able to enrich the family traditions because they have more memories of holidays past. One of the roles of grandparents is to keep holiday traditions alive so their children and grandchildren can pass them along. Check out this article by Bill Clarke of The Georgia Bulletin, to learn more about grandparents and holiday family traditions!

Please join Catholic families, 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.
 CLICK HERE for a prayer from the FIRE Foundation of Northeast Iowa. Schools will pray together on Friday, December 2, and parishes are invited to join in the prayer during the weekend Masses on December 3-4. 

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

From the Archdiocese of Dubuque Pinterest Boards:

Check out these December Pinterest topics focused on the family - the Domestic Church!
2023 Beauty in Christ Archdiocesan Women's Virtual Conference
"Fiat! Saying Yes to God!"
Saturday, January 28, 2023     8:00 AM - 1:30 PM

This year's virtual conference enables women to participate from the comfort of their own homes or to gather in parishes to experience the event together! The theme of the conference is "Fiat! Saying Yes to God!" and will include keynote presentations by national speaker and author Marcia Lane-McGee and local women's health educator, Jamie Rathjen.
Visit for more information and registration!

2023 Archdiocese of Dubuque Men's Conference
Saturday, March 25, 2023     9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
You’re invited to the 27th Annual Archdiocese of Dubuque Men’s Conference on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids (with live-stream available)! This conference will be held on the Solemnity of the Annunciation and will focus on the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our lives. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Edward Sri, a world-renowned author and speaker, and co-founder of FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students). The day will also include Mass celebrated by Archbishop Michael Jackels and breakout sessions presented by local speakers. For more information and registration, please visit
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 about how you are 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 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 Opportunities for Teaching the Faith

January 1 - Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; New Year's Day
January 2 - The Most Holy Name of Jesus
January 8 - Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord
January 9 - Baptism of the Lord
January 18-25 - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
January 22 - Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
January 25 - The Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle
January 29-February 4 - Catholic Schools Week
February 2 - Presentation of the Lord
February 2 - World Day for Consecrated Life
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

Faith Formation Resources
Kim Feldman
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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