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Proven Resources for Stronger Marriages and Families
Familia USA launches new web site with solid, accessible resources that have already transformed thousands of marriages and families. Visit the new site at

familia web site
The new Familia web site is full of user-friendly features.

February 24, 2009. Have you ever wondered what more you could do to be a better wife and mother, or a better husband and father?  Familia USA is an apostolate that can connect you to the resources and mentors you need to grow and develop in your specific vocation as a spouse and parent.

Built around small-group studies of Catholic teachings on marriage, parenting, and family life, Familia USA has already proven its effectiveness at transforming lives, marriages, and families.

Now it can offer even more help with a new and improved web site full of resources that can meet the needs of first-time visitors, participants, and program facilitators. The redesigned site went live on January 20 with expanded content, audio clips and conferences, new navigational tools, and interactive training for people who are interested in leading study groups.

Innovative Content and Tools

"The new site has a one-stop portal for marriage enrichment resources, as well as wide-ranging tools for leadership training, program updates, conference centers, and our fundraising program,” said Jean Stolpestad, project coordinator for Familia.

For new participants who want to find out where the nearest Familia team is located, the “find a team” locator instantly connects visitors to their local contact, making it easier to connect and communicate.

For parents who wonder how to get their squirming children to get something out of Sunday Mass, the free download “Next Sunday Ideas” is a practical solution. Each download offers a simple lesson on next Sunday’s Gospel passage, games and projects to apply the lesson, and a brief story of one of the saints who lived the week’s virtue with style. The games and projects do not require any special materials beyond what is ordinarily found in the home.

Want to take a first peek at what a Familia lesson is all about? Interested visitors can now preview the first lesson of every program. The web site also has an expanded resource library providing quick and direct access to a variety of resources.

For Familia facilitators and leaders, there are formation packages offering deeper levels of formation and support materials.

And finally, resource links connect visitors to other tried-and-true family sites.

Building a Virtuous Circle

Familia was created in 1993 when a group of couples saw the deep need to create an apostolate at the service of marriage and family. Under the guidance of the Legionaries of Christ, they worked with a team of
motherhood study circle
The study circles are adapted to the needs of spouses, mothers, and fathers.
theologians and experts to develop a curriculum for small-group study based on the Gospel, the Catechism, and papal documents.

Over the past 15 years, the apostolate has reached over 30,000 families. There are currently 8,000 registered participants in 10 programs.

Familia has been highly successful in transforming the lives of its participants because it creates a kind of “virtuous circle” that engages the mind, heart, and will.

“The curriculum was developed to help the message go from the head to the heart to real life,” said Karen Sester, a national director of Familia along with her husband Todd.

“First, they discover a concept intellectually by reading and reflecting on the Gospel, the Catechism, and the teachings of the Church,” she said. “By discussing it and seeing it lived out in the lives of their teammates and mentors, they start to value it. And then they start living it in their own lives. Once they start living it, their conviction deepens, and then they want to share it with other couples.”

From learning an idea to valuing, living, and then sharing it, the virtuous circle is complete. And it is no surprise that conversions are the result.

Lives Transformed, Stories Shared

One couple that experienced this “virtuous circle” was Trent and Cheryl Carlson, whose marriage was on the rocks when they met Familia. It was through Familia that they came to embrace the Church’s teachings on life and realized that Trent’s vasectomy was undermining their marriage. With the support of their Familia friends, they decided to go forward with a vasectomy reversal. Since then, they have had three additional children and their commitment to the Church’s teachings on life became so deep that they spent a year speaking in parishes to share their testimony with other couples.

Another woman found that her years of participating in Familia had given her the strength and the faith to accept the death of her 11-year-old daughter from cancer. Thanks to her newfound faith, which she had passed on to her daughter, she was able to accompany her daughter through a holy and peaceful death. After this experience, she felt called to share her testimony with others as a speaker, so that her story could help other parents who were struggling with the early death of one of their children.

And there are also cases of conversions. One woman decided to repeal her divorce papers after just four sessions of her first program. Another man came to his third Familia session with news of a radical change: he and his family had begun attending Sunday Mass again, all because of the previous week’s Gospel reflection and discussion.

When asked why Familia has been so effective at changing lives, Karen Sester said, “It all hinges on the facilitators being well prepared, well formed, and ready to love and mentor the participants.”

“That’s why this new web site is so important,” she said. “It will give the facilitators access to consistent resources that will help them to serve their teams even better.”

Find out more about how Familia can help you strengthen your own marriage and family by visiting the web site at



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Pilgrim Queen of the Family

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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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