From the Office of Marriage & Family
V Encuentro
Diocesan Ministry Day
September 24 & 25

The V Encuentro (fifth encounter) is a national four—year process initiated by the Bishops of the United States, which calls all Catholic leaders to listen with profound attention to the needs, challenges, and aspirations that the growing Hispanic/Latino population faces in daily life.

In the Diocese of St. Cloud, the V Encuentro is a time for all parish leaders to gather and name our needs and brainstorm ways we might grow in the New Evangelization while strengthening our witness of the gospel as Missionary Disciples. It is a time to celebrate our rich diversity and explore ministry in our region as we look to the future.

Join us at Diocesan Ministry Day on Monday, September 25, 2017. The day will feature workshops in numerous areas of ministry, Mass with Bishop Donald Kettler, exhibitors, speakers, opportunities for fellowship, and a dynamic keynote presentation by Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Diocesan Ministry Day, which started as an annual conference for Catholic schools and parish staff in 2006, is now a diocesan-wide event geared toward all Catholics looking to deepen their faith, especially those who work in any kind of ministry.


Pope Francis’ Tips on Loving Faithfully, Freely, Fruitfully, and Totally

By Karee Santos

This past March, Pope Francis penned a moving tribute to married and family life called Amoris Laetitia, or “The Joy of Love.” This apostolic exhortation praises spouses who have learned to love each other faithfully, freely, fruitfully, and totally and who “‘now taste the sweetness of the wine of love, well-aged and stored deep within their hearts’” (231).


It also contains many practical tips for finding happiness together, including: 

  • Practice constant forgiveness in order to daily reaffirm our decision to love.
  • Trust one another and let go of the desire for control.
  • Bring out the best in one another and let our love expand outward toward the poor and needy. 
  • Give ourselves without losing ourselves.
  • Forgive faithfully
Traditional views of marriage have been declining worldwide for decades. This means more children are born outside of marriage or to cohabitating couples. This social change raises two important questions:
  1. Are such children less likely to enjoy stable family lives?
  2. Is the growth of non-marital childrearing, including the growth of childbearing within a cohabiting union, associated with more family instability for children at the national level?

A recent essay released by Social Trends Institute, The Cohabitation-Go-Round: Cohabitation and Family Instability Across the Globe, sought to answer these two questions. It was reported that children born to cohabiting, and especially single, parents experience higher levels of family instability in the first 12 years of their lives. Using data from 68 countries, it was discovered that the growth of cohabitation is associated with decreased family stability in countries around the world.

In other words, marriage seems to be associated with more family stability for children across much of the globe, whereas cohabitation is typically associated with less stability.


How to Take Young Children to Mass

Can parents with small children really bring them to Sunday Mass with good results? Yes, say Josh and Stacey Noem, parents of three. They offer some practical advice for parents who want the experience to be positive for them, their children, and their fellow worshippers..  Article from

6 Questions You Need to Ask Your Child

I had been out of college for a year when I was referred for a job as an executive’s personal assistant. When I went to interview I was expecting it to take about an hour. However, as his personal assistant, I was going to be given open access to his whole life so he needed to know he could trust me. The time flew by, but at the end, it had been three hours and he knew everything about me. What amazed me was his ability to ask incisive questions and the spirit with which he did it. It’s like he was a question artist. It never felt uncomfortable or invasive. His genuine interest and questions opened me up at a time when I was much more guarded. Article from All Pro Dad

5 Ways to Avoid the Worst Family Vacation Ever

It’s commonly known that the crowds around Christmas at Disney are super high. For some reason, I felt up to the challenge so I took my kids to Magic Kingdom two weeks before Christmas on a Saturday. My wife and I had just purchased annual passes and were ambitious about getting our money’s worth. I tend to be spontaneous so I decided to do it at the last minute without much of a plan while my wife was out of town. When we arrived we immediately had to fight our way through a crowd to get on the tram in the parking lot. Next, we fought our way through a sea of people to get on the boat to take us to the gate. After waiting in an amazing line at the gate our passes didn’t work. Apparently, there was a problem with our payment that needed to be resolved at Guest Relations. The line there was the longest of all the lines that day and after waiting ten minutes without moving I lost it, and so did my kids.

Have you experienced a summer family vacation like this? There’s a different way. Family vacations don’t have to become disastrous. Here are 5 ways to avoid the worst vacation ever with your family.  From All Pro Dad

Respect Life

Pope Francis has led tributes to 11-month-old Charlie Gard following his death as messages of support for the baby's parents poured in from around the world.

The Pope tweeted: "I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him."

40 Days for Life Campaign begins Sept 27th
40 Days for Life begins on Wednesday, September 27th through November 4th.  Please consider joining the peaceful prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood in St Cloud from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday. 

Beginning Rally is Saturday, September 30, Ending Rally is Saturday November 4 - each from 10 am to noon on the sidewalk n front of Planned Parenthood, East St. Germain

For more information, e-mail Judy Haag at or call at 320-453-7592
Natural Family Planning
  It’s time! Say “Yes” to God’s plan for married love. Natural Family Planning
Learn about the benefits of NFP as you plan your family in harmony with nature and God’s plan for married love.  NFP is effective, wholesome, and healthy! A First Instruction in the Billings Ovulation Method will be offered in:
  • Little Falls: Tuesday, August 1 & September 5 at 7:30 PM
  • Long Prairie: Monday, August 28 & September 25 at 7:00 PM
  • Rice: Monday, August 7 & September 11 at 6:30 PM
  • St. Cloud: Thursday, August 24 & Monday, September 18 at 6:30 PM
  • St. Michael: Tuesday, July 11 & Monday, September 11 at 6:00 PM
  • Wadena: Friday, August 25 & September 22 at 5:30 PM

Congratulations to Dr. George and Joan Jay - Recipients of the 2017 Humanae vitae Award!

And thanks to all who helped with planning, hospitality, and came to celebrate! July 27th was a wonderful evening in honor of the 49th Anniversary of Humanae vitae and a very inspiring and faith-filled couple! 

Photo courtesy of Andrew Wells

Or contact Sheila Reineke / 320-252-4721

Teen pregnancies in England fell dramatically after cuts to funding for a sex education program, according to a new study. The analysis, published in the Journal of Health Economics last month, examined the effect of budget cuts to government-run teen pregnancy prevention programs including sex education, free condoms and access to the morning after pill in the last decade.

Continue reading...

From Abstinence Clearinghouse


September 22, 2017 - St Cloud
Retrouvaille weekend - Weekend for couples struggling in their marriage. For more information, call 651-464-5855 or click here

September 15, 2017 Alexandria
The next Worldwide Marriage Encounter will be held in Alexandria, MN on the weekend of 9/15/2017.  For more information, call Alan & Missy Block at 888-455-3496 or visit their web-site:

Life After Divorce: A Catholic Survival Guide


6-week program beginning Oct 5, 2017

This 6-week program is specifically designed to bring healing and hope to separated/divorced Catholics. The video and facilitated discussion format will explore the challenges of the separated/divorced process to assist individuals to more fully live their faith life.

  • Part I – for the recently separated or divorced
    Session Content: Dealing with emotions/finding support, managing finances/lifestyle adjustments, supporting children/co-parenting, bringing about spiritual healing
  • Part II – for those past the initial trauma of divorce and looking for support as they move forward
    Session Content: Dealing with day-to-day matters, ex-spouse, ex-in-laws; learning how to recognize your own needs; forgiveness; finding your place in the greater community; new dating relationships

Parts I & II will run simultaneously for 6 weeks starting October 5, 2017. When registering, select Part I or II.