April 2018 Edition        
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

Ways to Learn and Live the Faith

as a Catholic Family

April 1 - Easter Sunday

Celebrating the Easter Season

April 8 - Divine Mercy Sunday

April 22 - Earth Day

Spring Ideas for Your Family

  • Bring out photos of family members' First Communion Day, tell stories and reflect on what this special day means.
  • Fun Family Activities to Celebrate Spring
  • Springtime Family Activities to Celebrate God's Creation

Marriage Matters

Living Mercifully

In April, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Mercy is an essential component of successful marriages. Take a look at this article on "Rays of Mercy on Marriage" by Kathleen Beckman. Here's an excerpt:

Marriage is too precious a gift of God to discard because the sacrifice of love hurts occasionally. The sacrifice is beautiful when understood in the light of the dignity of marriage that reflects the spousal love of God for His Church. Marriage, worth every effort, is one of the greatest goods of divine mercy.

Absent God in the middle, marriage according to His plan is nearly impossible in our secular culture, where anything goes. Marriage challenges our selfishness, egoism, independence, and indulgence. Ideally marriage is where the male and female hearts intertwine with the merciful heart of the Redeemer to produce more charity.

Saints of the Month

April 4St. Isidore of Seville
Both as a child and as an adult, Isidore was a strong believer in education. He was one of the last of the ancient Christian philosophers and the last of the great Latin Church Fathers. Some consider him to be the most learned man of his age. He is the patron saint of the Internet.

April 16 – St. Bernadette Soubirous
Bernadette was a peasant girl from a poor family in France. When she was only 15 years old, Our Lady appeared to her, asking her to do penance and pray for sinners. Our Lady appeared to Bernadette 16 more times. 

April 23 – St. George
St. George is said to have gone into the public square of his town, and announced loudly that the Christian God is the only true God. For this he was arrested and was tortured unmercifully. Throughout his suffering, he knew that Jesus was with him, suffering with him. His courage became legendary, and we honor him for that today.

April 25St. Mark the Evangelist
St. Mark is the author of the second Gospel. Tradition tells us that St. Mark was requested by the Romans to set down the teachings of St. Peter, which is the record of the life of Jesus seen through Peter’s eyes. 

April 28 – St. Gianna Beretta Molla
St. Gianna Beretta Molla is a saint for our modern times with much to teach us through her life witness as a faithful Catholic, successful working woman, devoted wife, and loving mother of four. She is the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children.

April 29 – St. Catherine of Siena
St. Catherine of Siena's letters are considered the most brilliant  theological writings in the history of the Catholic Church. As a child, St. Catherine of Siena had mystical experiences, seeing the guardian angels of others. She continued to have visions of Christ, Mary and the Saints. She was given the stigmata which became visible after her death.

Website Spotlight

Strong Catholic Family Faith
The Strong Catholic Family Faith website has been created to assist parish and school leaders in finding the best and most relevant content and experiences for developing faith-filled Catholic families. 

Pages of interest on this site include Parent Faith Formation, Parenting, Partnering with Parents, Grandparents, and Having Difficult Conversations. Activities are listed for the liturgical year, as well as Faith Practices, Media Reviews, information on the Sacraments, and other information and resources for families. Please visit often for fresh ideas and resources to better partner with catechists and other parents in bringing home the faith.
Strong Catholic Family Faith is on Facebook
Check out the Strong Catholic Family Faith Pinterest Page
There's An App For That!
       Divine Mercy App
This FREE app offers the complete Divine Mercy message and devotion in an easy to navigate format. The app has three main chapters with these features:
The Message: Introduction to the message of Divine Mercy, Biography and quotes from the diary of St. Faustina, Divine Mercy Timeline, resources and more.
The Devotion: Interactive Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Stations of the Cross, Images of Divine Mercy, other prayers.
Mercy Plus: Information and resources about the Congregation of Marian Fathers, the Association of Marian Helpers, National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, and Divine Mercy apostolates, and more.
Download the iPhone App
Download the Android Phone App

Interest in Pinterest

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

Book of the Month

Pope Francis Family Devotional
365 Reflections to Share with Your Kids

by Rebecca Vitz Cherico

Let us make room in our heart and in our day for the Lord. As Mary and Joseph also did... Pope Francis

With the Pope Francis Family Devotional, you can take a few short minutes every day to grow in faith together as a family. You’ll be inspired by a daily quote from the Holy Father, and a simple reflection to spark discussion. Use at dinnertime to guide prayer and conversation, or at breakfast or bedtime as the perfect start or close to each day’s activities. It's appropriate for all ages, and offers Christian messages and teachings that are great for the whole family. (from

For more information and to purchase the book, click 

This book is available for sign-out from the Education Resource Center: BK #241384.

March Movie Pick

Check out this month's movie pick:


RISEN is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide, Lucius (Tom Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus (Cliff Curtis) in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem. (from

  • Watch the movie trailer by clicking here.
  • Purchase a DVD of this movie here.
  • Online Discussion Guide available here.
This movie is available for sign-out from the Education Resource Center: DV #31538.
Prayers and Reflections
On April 28 we remember St. Gianna Beretta Molla.....

Prayer of St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Jesus, I promise You
to submit myself to all that You permit to befall me,
make me only know Your will.
My most sweet Jesus,
infinitely merciful God,
most tender Father of souls,
and in a particular way of the most weak,
most miserable, most infirm
which You carry with special tenderness between Your divine arms,
I come to You to ask You,
through the love and merits of Your Sacred Heart,
the grace to comprehend
and to do always Your holy will,
the grace to confide in You,
the grace to rest securely through time and eternity
in Your loving divine arms.
Shortly after her death in 1962, the touching story of Gianna Beretta Molla, married woman, mother of a family and medical doctor, spread quickly throughout the entire world. Through Gianna’s married love she became a sign of Christ’s love for the Church and for humanity. Her action at the end of her life, in saving young Gianna Emanuela, her daughter, was heroic in that she prepared for her final action every day of her life. Her final decision for life was the natural flowering and culmination of an extraordinary life of virtue and holiness, selflessness and quiet joy. Learn more about St. Gianna's life here.
All Are Welcome
April is Autism Awareness Month
Efforts of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD)
The prevalence of autism is an increasing reality in the parishes and schools of the Catholic Church in the United States.  Children who have ASD display mild to severe impairments in social interaction and communication along with restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities. Click here to watch a brief video explaining autism spectrum disorder.
Many materials are now available for a variety of uses for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The NCPD offers numerous resources for family, parish and catechetical observation of Autism Awareness Month.  To view these resources, click here.

East Central Iowa Autism Society, Cedar Rapids (ECIASCR)
The mission of the ECIASCR is "to advocate for individuals and families living with autism spectrum disorder through support, resources, and education." The ECIASCR strives to inspire individuals with autism by providing a variety of resources and support, including education opportunities, support groups, and special events. Check out the ECIASCR Facebook page to learn about upcoming events.

For more information about Autism Awareness Month and other resources for inclusion of persons with diverse abilities, please contact Mindy Hart, Director of the Office of Disability Inclusion at

Upcoming Events

Spring Retreat Weekend for Adults with Varied Abilities
April 14-15, 2018 at Camp Albrecht Acres, Sherrill, IA. For information and registration, contact Jim Betzner at

Catholic Men's Conference
Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Xavier High School, Cedar Rapids
Keynote speaker: Matt Fradd
More information, including registration, may be found at
Copyright © 2018 Archdiocese of Dubuque, All rights reserved.

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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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