July 2020


Happy summertime! On July 12 we celebrate the feast of Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, which is also their wedding anniversary! You may know them as the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, but they are also the first married couple to be canonized together and patron saints of marriage.

Their simple, ordinary life, while holy, was also filled with trials and sufferings. The Martins lost four children at a young age and parented five sick and occasionally rebellious daughters. Zelie died of breast cancer at 45, just a year shy of their 20th anniversary. Before her death, they operated a lace business together, helped the poor and needy in their town, prayed with their children, and pursued virtue together. Their life was not perfect (Zelie's letters about raising their daughters reveal both triumphs and failures!), yet their faith in God and devotion to each other carried them through all the storms of life. They are now reunited in heaven, powerful intercessors for you and your spouse!

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week is also this month, July 19-25. This year's theme is "celebrate and reverence God's vision of human sexuality." Natural Family Planning, or Fertility Awareness, is often misunderstood as Catholic birth control or a monthly honeymoon. NFP is a way of naturally spacing births or achieving pregnancy - it works with every woman's body and can even identify health issues! We will be featuring posts about NFP on our ministry Facebook page later this month. If you'd like to learn more now, visit our diocesan NFP page for more info .

Wishing you a blessed month!

The Marriage & Family Ministry Staff
6 ways to spend quality time together without leaving the house
Many married couples will tell you how important it is for your marriage to have a weekly date night. Indiana is still slowly opening up and for various reasons, many people are hesitant to go out too quickly. But you don't have to brave the crowds at a restaurant to have a good date night! Here are six ways to spend meaningful time with your spouse without ever leaving the house…
12 ways to alleviate wedding day stress
There’s so much pressure for a wedding day to be perfect. These days a wedding is often a complex extravaganza, necessitating the coordination skills of an army general. So in the lead up to the big day, couples are often very stressed out, which can trickle down to the rest of the wedding party. In order to focus on what’s most important on the big day — the actual marriage! — here's a list of key points to consider that will help the happy couple truly get their married life off to a peaceful start.
The unexpected ways your parents influence your romantic relationships
We all know that our parents impact how we experience romantic relationships. We know how to spot “daddy issues”; many of us accept the popular advice to look to how your guy treats his mother to know how he'll behave when you're married. But if you want to really understand how your relationship with your parents will impact your life, it helps to understand how the way we bonded with our parents as children shapes and defines our relationships.
Podcast: Racism in the Family, Part One
The primary place for education on human dignity is the family. Racism has no place in Catholic families. Today’s episode features Bishop Fabre of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Danielle Brown, Associate Director of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism for the USCCB, and Louis Damani Jones, intern at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in St. Louis. 
Real couples share what it's like practicing fertility awareness together
You’ve probably heard that the Catholic Church supports Natural Family Planning (NFP) because it’s the only method of family planning that respects God’s design for married love. You may have also heard about the many benefits of NFP—especially the effectiveness for achieving and postponing pregnancy and the lack of health side effects. But, sometimes it’s also helpful to hear from couples themselves.
Marriage Tip of the Month

Married couples are supposed to help each other become holy and get to heaven. Take some time this month time this month to reflect of how your spouse or fiancé has helped you grow in holiness and what you can do together to strengthen your prayer lives. Be specific!