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 on Sunday, September 24th, 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.
The Couple that Prays Together
Is Happier Together
July 13, 2017 (From

In modern society, is it still true that “the family that prays together, stays together”? A recently published essay by W. Bradford Wilcox from the Institute for Family Studies responds in the affirmative: yes, religious married couples and families are happier than non-religious couples. In general, religious families seem to have “more happiness, greater stability, and a deeper sense of meaning in American family life.”

Drawing from research in Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage Among African Americans and Latinos (a book co-authored by Wilcox), the essay stated that couples where both partners attend church reported a higher marital satisfaction than couples who do not attend church. Among whites, blacks, and Latinos, 70%, 69%, and 71% of respondents, respectively, who do not attend church qualified their marriage as “very happy” or “extremely happy,” while 79%, 78%, and 80% of respondents who do attend church together qualified their marriage in the same way.
Why Pornography Has No Place In The Bedroom
When writer Luke Gilkerson’s wife was eight weeks pregnant, she stumbled upon a conversation about pornography use in an online forum for pregnant women. Gilkerson was confused by the reaction women had towards their husbands increased use of pornography during their wife’s pregnancy. “To some women this was deplorable. To other women this was seen as all right,” Gilkerson wrote in an  article  published by Covenant Eyes. “I think wives who allow this to go on in the bedroom need to stop and think about the consequences,” wrote Gilkerson.

Gilkerson challenges wives to think about what their standards are for a healthy sexual relationship and to think about all the psychological harms that come with repeatedly watching pornography. According to  Dr. Judith Reisman , pornography causes men to be impotent, in the classic sense of the word: unable to function with their own sexual power.

Viewing pornography has been proven, for both men and women, to decrease sexual satisfaction in marriage, cause viewers to escape into fantasy and avoid connection in authentic relationships, lower the viewers perception of women and create a thirst for watching more pornography. Gilkerson concludes by encouraging women to fight for the sexual health of their husbands. (From Abstinence Clearinghouse)
Aggression in Twenty-somethings' Cohabiting, Dating, and Marriage Relationships

A number of studies have shown that cohabiting couples are more likely to experience physical aggression in their relationships than married couples. 1  Here, we look at two studies that shed light on this subject by exploring how aggression in the relationships of individuals (mostly) in their 20s is associated with various commitment dynamics. Wendy Manning, Monica Longmore, and Peggy Giordano’s new study,  Cohabitation and intimate partner violence during emerging adulthood: High constraints and low commitment , 2  shares some themes with an earlier study of ours (Rhoades et al., in 2010):  Physical aggression in unmarried relationships: The roles of commitment and constraints . 3
Teaching Teens How to Treat the Opposite Sex with Dignity

In an article published by Family Life’s co-founders Dennis and Barbara Rainey, the couple explains how they would often tell their teenagers, “When you go out with someone, you’re going out with either your future mate or someone else’s future mate.” The couple found that this knowledge helped their children to treat the opposite sex with dignity and honor.

According to the Rainey’s article, there are a few other specifics teens need to learn about the opposite sex prior to dating:

What a girl needs to know about boys:
  1. Girls must be prepared to set the physical boundaries in the dating relationship.
  2. Boys are stimulated by sight and touch.
  3. Girls should allow a young man to take the initiative in a relationship.

What a boy needs to know about girls:
  1. Boys need to be taught how to be moral leaders and draw boundaries for behavior on dates ahead of time.
  2. Boys need to know that girls are typically stimulated by words of kindness.
  3. Some girls today desire affection they are not receiving from their fathers.
  4. A young man must treat a young lady with dignity.

Click  HERE to learn more about each of these points outlined by Dennis and
Barbara Rainey in their article,  Teaching Your Teen to Treat the Opposite Sex With Dignity. (From Abstinence Clearinghouse)
How to React When Your Child Has Viewed Pornography 
For parents maneuvering their way through the thick fog of pornography, it can be easy to fall into despair and negativity. Parents can be angry and guilty by the fact that their child has viewed porn while the child too is ashamed and fearful of seeking counsel and healing from his or her parents. However, Protect Young Minds advocates a parent remaining on the same team as his child can easily lift the fog of confusion pornography creates.
From Abstinence Clearinghouse
Kids Under 10 Make Up 10% of Porn Site Visitors
Kids Learn More Effectively While Running, Jumping and Throwing

Reading helps kids learn faster if it is done in concert with exercise. That is the finding a British study that saw a group of schoolchildren running, jumping, and engaging in active movement while engaging with material from  The Gruffalo, a bestselling children’s book about a buffalo grizzly bear hybrid (not a combination of Grover and Mark Ruffalo as one might hope). Roughhousing actually helped three and four-year-olds learn at twice the rate of the peers, a counterintuitive result.

“We didn’t really know what would happen when we integrated the storytelling and movement together as no one had really done this previously,” Michael Duncan, Professor in Applied Sport and Exercise Science at Coventry University and co-author of the study, told Fatherly.
Read More
Duncan and his team looked at 74 kids from three different preschools who made of three parts of the study. One cohort (27 children) engaged in storytelling activities only, another (25) took part in movement based activities only, and the third group (22) participated in a combination of the two. Each group was involved in 20-30 minute sessions of the assigned intervention, twice a week for six weeks. The combined group’s story discussions were complemented with jumping, leaping, hopping, sliding, galloping, sipping, throwing and catching based on different characters in the book, such as a mouse, owl, fox, snake and The Gruffalo. The rest of the kids either learned from sessions that focused only on storytelling, or just movement activities without reference to the story. Motor competence and language ability were assessed before and after the six-week experiment, and again eight weeks later. (From Fatherly)
Sunday, September 10
National Grandparents Day
Book of the Month  
A Grandparent's Gift of Memories: A Pilgrimage with the Saints
By Nancy Groves, Reviewed by Mary Ann Paulukonis  
Grandparents are indispensable members of every family. Inspired by the words of Pope Francis and her time as a medical social worker, Nancy Groves' workbook provides a space for grandparents to bless their grandchildren with their treasured memories, life experience, wisdom, and love.
Respect Life
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
Life in the womb
(9 months in 4 min.
Presented to You from PSNX
Mass of Hope & Healing
Thursday, October 26
7 PM St. Assumption Parish in Eden Valley. This special Mass is for couples experiencing infertility, as well as those who have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage, abortion, SIDS, illness or accident. Part of this event consists of a candle-lighting ceremony remembering those who have died. 
Right-Handed or Left-Handed? Unborn Babies Show Handedness as Early as 10 weeks

Which hand is dominant is related to the organisation of cognitive systems in the human brain, and because left-handedness has been associated with a number of developmental disorders, scientists are eager to understand how it comes about.

While it used to be believed that you can’t tell which hand is dominant until a child reaches toddler years, it seems that it may be decided very early indeed.

Strong correlation

A study in 2004 found that which thumb the baby sucked in the womb is a strong indicator of handedness after birth, especially right-handedness. This study followed-up 75 individuals who were observed sucking their thumb as fetuses and examined their handedness at 10–12 years of age. Of 60 right-handed unborn babies, all were right-handed postnatally; 10 of 15 left-handed fetuses were left-handed and five right-handed.
Natural Family Planning
Faithfully Yours: Discover Natural Family Planning (NFP)!
God has a plan for your marriage. NFP cooperates with nature and God's plan for married love. It is effective, healthy, and marriage building. The Billings Ovulation Method is a natural, highly effective method for postponing or achieving pregnancy without the use of drugs or devices. 
A First Instruction in the Billings Ovulation Method will be offered in:
  • Little Falls: Tuesday, September 5 & October 3 at 7:30 PM
  • Long Prairie: Monday, September 25 & October 23 at 7:00 PM
  • Rice: Monday, September 11 & October 2 at 6:30 PM
  • St. Cloud: Monday, September 18 & Thursday, October 26 at 6:30 PM
  • St. Michael: Monday, September 11 & October 2 at 6:00 PM
  • Wadena: Friday, September 22 & October 27 at 5:30 PM
October 21, 2017
10 Am to Noon
Pastoral Center, St Cloud

Anthony G. Jay, Ph.D. will present, The Science of Artificial Estrogen: How It Is Making You Fat, Sick, and Infertile, October 21, 2017, 10am -12pm   This presentation will be a part of our NFP Teacher Update at the Pastoral Center in Saint Cloud. There is no cost, a free-will offering is suggested. Anthony is a biochemist and President of The International Medical Research Collaborative. He is CEO of AJ Consulting Company and author of the book, “Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics Are Making You Fat, Sick, and Infertile.”

No fee, but please R.S.V.P. your attendance below.
Or contact Sheila Reineke /
Three Benefits of Marriage
Many people are hesitant to take the deep plunge into married life. Such a commitment is a sacrifice. Yet amidst the hardships that inevitably come with marriage, the personal and social benefits are unprecedented. Here are three unique benefits that come with the commitment of marriage.
  1. Lower Cortisol Levels: This stress hormone, when produced in excess, can contribute to inflammation and chronic disease. High cortisol levels interfere with the body’s ability to regulate inflammation, which could eventually lead to various health conditions, such as heart problems, diabetes, lower immunity and cancer.
  2. Better Monetary Earnings: Research scientist Jay Zagorsky from Ohio State University states, “While some people are in long-term, unmarried relationships, many cohabiting couples may not have committed to the idea that they will be together forever. That means they aren’t combining resources as significantly as married couples.” He continues with a piece of good advice concerning money: “Getting married and staying healthy is a wonderful way to increase your wealth. Getting married with the idea it will make you rich is a terrible idea.”
  3. Deeper Respect: Psychologist and researcher at Ohio State University, Christopher Fagundes, claims that a deep level of respect comes with couples engaged in the commitment of marriage. Those in such a relationship are “less likely to be involved in risk-taking behavior, including substance abuse and addiction.”
September 5 - Healing Hearts of Suicide Survivors
When a loved one has died by suicide, a group to work through the complex emotions with support and hope of other survivors who will walk alongside "through" the grief. For more information contact Roxann at (320) 248-1563
September 14 - Encourage Meeting
A ministry dedicated to the spiritual needs of parents, siblings, children, and other relatives and friends of persons who have same-sex attraction. For information contact Chris at (320) 252-4721
  September 15, 2017 - Worldwide Marriage Encounter
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:
September 15 - Options for Women Evening for Life
In Sauk Centre. Annual fundraiser for this crisis pregnancy center. For more information, contact Colleen Cianflone at 320-351-4025
September 22, 2017 - Retrouvaille Weekend
Retrouvaille weekend in St Cloud- Weekend for couples struggling in their marriage. For more information, call 651-464-5855 or click here
September 30 - 40 Days for Life Opening Rally
10 a.m. to Noon outside the Planned Parenthood Clinic, 451 E St Germain St, St Cloud, MN

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.
October 6-8 - Beginning Experience
A Catholic based weekend program for adults grieving the loss of a relationship due to separation, death or divorce. For more information, call (888) 565-0178 or click here to visit their website. 

October 22-25 - The Gift that is our Family
The parish cluster of Holy Spirit, St Anthony and St. John Cantius is holding their parish mission from October 22-25 focusing on marriage and the family. Nationally known speakers, Dr. Ray Guarendi, Kari and Steve Colella, as well as on our local expert on Theology of the Boby, Nic Davidson, will be presenting. Childcare, food and prayer will round out the line up. See flyer for more details. All are welcome.