Trials teach family to lean on God, each other

By Bridget Ryder For The Visitor When Patricio Peña and Enriqueta Alfaro came to the United States 16 years ago, they didn’t expect to find a new home, a new family and a new vocation in the church. “We only planned to stay for two years,” Peña said, “but God had other plans. Now, he won’t…

Gift of self is foundational to both married and celibate vocations

The following is the sixth in a 10-part series focusing on the 10 themes of the preparatory catechesis for the World Meeting of Families Sept. 22-27 in Philadelphia. By Sister Candace Fier For The Visitor God, in his plan of love and wisdom, has created man and woman for communion. As human beings, we find…

Kindergarten teacher is spiritual mother to many children

By Sam Patet For The Visitor Paula Dudgeon knows she made the right decision at age 29. After spending nine years with the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary of Waukesha, Wis., she discerned that God wasn’t calling her to spend her life as a religious sister. Instead, she thought he wanted her to get married and…

Top stars, Philadelphia parishioners will sing for Pope Francis

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Though thousands may be drawn to the Festival of Families Sept. 26 where Andrea Bocelli, Juanes and the Philadelphia Orchestra will be performing, local parish members may have the opportunity to grace the very same stage. Each parish choir in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been asked to nominate four members to…

Marriage, parenting vocations for Wadena couple

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Christian and Tamara Breczinski, parishioners of St. Ann in Wadena, will celebrate 10 years of marriage in August. They adopted a piece of wisdom early in their relationship that keeps them grounded and helps them persevere through tough times. “We recognized early on that by getting married, we were not…

Creating a future

The following is the fifth in a 10-part series focusing on the 10 themes of the preparatory catechesis for the World Meeting of Families Sept. 22-27 in Philadelphia. By Chris Codden For The Visitor The first commandment God imparted to us is in the book of Genesis: to be fertile and multiply, fill the earth…

Spouses’ love depends first on God’s love

The following is the fourth in a 10-part series focusing on the 10 themes of the preparatory catechesis for the World Meeting of Families Sept. 22-27 in Philadelphia. By Sister Candace Fier For The Visitor The last time you saw a child receiving a gift, do you remember the joy and excitement on their face…

Worldwide Marriage Encounter helps couple’s marriage to thrive

By Sam Patet For The Visitor Ten years into her marriage, Sandy Tuszynski was discouraged. The year was 1978, and the 33-year-old mother of two didn’t know what to do. Unlike her husband, who had steadily been advancing in his career at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, she had been at home, caring for…

Catholic publishers will be part of World Meeting of Families

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In an effort to promote Catholic publications dedicated to the family, the Pontifical Council for the Family is organizing initiatives for Catholic publishers at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Together with the Vatican publishing house, the Catholic Biblical Federation and the Association of Catholic Publishers, the pontifical council is…

Couple’s purity while dating becomes fruitfulness in marriage

By Susan Klemond For The Visitor Dan and Sarah Driver come from polar opposite backgrounds: She grew up in a strong Catholic family in Grand Rapids, Mich., and never left the faith, while he received less Catholic formation in Reading, England, and then adopted a hedonistic lifestyle until his conversion. “Dan’s conversion was pretty radical,”…