January, 2014
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Dear Friend in Christ,

I pray that you and your family had a blessed Christmas and New Year! As we commit to resolutions for the coming year I invite you to consider the following words of our Holy Father from his Apostolic Exhortation, 'The Joy of the Gospel' :

"I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal     encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them;   I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since 'no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord'.[1] The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: 'Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace'. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost!" 

What better resolution to make than a deepening of our commitment to our relationship with Christ both personally and as a family? It is in this relationship that we receive the light, love and truth that we need to go forward and to bring Christ to the world through our joyful witness of the Gospel. 

I encourage you this year to take up the Holy Father's challenge to become a joyful part of the new evangelization within your family and community!  

A Look Back at the 2013
Event Season

Save the Date: 2014 Events

Girls and Guys Retreats
February 14th - 17th

Men's Retreat - March 13th - 16th

Women's Retreat - March 27th - 30th

June 14th - 20th
June 28th - July 4th
July 12th - 18th
July 26th - August 1st
August 9th - 15th

October 16th
in Cleveland, Ohio

** If you are interested in hosting a Benefit Dinner in your area, please contact us at info@familyland.org

Registration for all events now open!  Visit our website for details!

Remote Events:

  • Mini Holy Family Fest - Missouri
    •  August 7th - 10th at Eagle Hurst Ranch
    • More details to come
    • For further information please contact Jackie Baumgartner
  •  Holy Family Adventure Weekend – Illinois
    • May 29th - June 1st at Ave Maria Retreat Center
    • Theme - Conversion of Heart
    • Guest Speaker - Patty Schneider, Dr. Ian Murphy
    • Event details and registration information will be available beginning in February and can be found here: 
* If you are interested in hosting a remote AFC event in your area, please contact us atinfo@afc.org.

Pilgrimage with the AFC

The AFC is hoping to lead pilgrimages to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and World Youth Day in Poland. We are currently in the pre-planning phase and would like to see if there will be enough interest among our members and friends. Please go to our Facebook page and send us a message to let us know if you’re interested.At the end of February we will assess the interest and discern whether or not to go ahead with these plans.  
World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia
The 8th World Meeting of Families will be held September 22nd-27th, 2015 in Philadelphia. We have been in touch with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to see if we can be of any service to them as they prepare for this gathering of families. They are still working on the theme for the event; we will keep you posted as we hear more. 

http://www.worldmeeting2015. org/ 

World Youth Day, Poland

The 31st World Youth Day will be held July 25th-August 1st, 2016 in Krakow, Poland. Pope Francis has chosen the theme  “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” Mt 5:7.  We hope to piligrimage with alumni from the AFC's youth program, MARAD's.


Membership Updates

Lucy Lazum to Make Life Commitment in Catholic Corps

My name is Lucy Lu Mai J. Lazum. I was born in Yangon, Myanmar and I am a Jinghpaw/Kachin. I am the 4th child among 5 children of my parents, Dr. Yawhan and Mrs. Agnes Lazum. I finished college with a BS in Chemistry. I received the call from Our Lord when I was 24, in the year 2000, and 1 year later I came to the Philippines to look and see in the Catholic Corps Women's community. I love the beautiful gift of my Catholic Corps vocation and am so grateful to the Lord for His abounding love and mercy for me through our Blessed Mother. My desire is to continue do His will by serving Him through the AFC's ministry of serving families and saving souls in this new way of consecration of life.

Maggie Zbiegien furthers her commitment to Christ by becoming a 2nd Degree Member in the Catholic Corps.



Sabbatical Update from
Fr. Kevin Barrett

My Dearest AFC Family, 

A most Blessed New Year of grace to you!  Thank you so much for your prayers.  I assure you of my love, prayers and remembrance in my Masses, as always. 

I was blessed to have received a time of sabbatical during which I lived 3 months on the Wyoming/Montana border at a small parish dedicated to St. Joseph, with ample time for adoration, prayer, spiritual reading and many day trips into the spectacular beauty of God’s creation of the mountains, big skies, rivers, lakes, streams, wind, sunshine, clouds, snow, cold and wildlife of the west!  The clergy and lay faithful could not have been more kind and welcoming to me.  And the rectory even had a small Chapel with a kneeler and rocking chair.  So Jesus was my “Housemate”!   I entrusted the sabbatical to Our Lady of Guadalupe, offering Mass at her shrine in Lacrosse, WI, on my way out to Wyoming.  It seemed evident to me that Holy Family was looking after every detail of the sabbatical!  It was all a great gift of God!  I was living on “Mt. Tabor”! 

The sabbatical will continue with my taking a course on the New Evangelization at the Augustine Institute in Denver and a Sacred Scripture course at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.  I will also visit Fr. Liam Dunne, a confessor at our Holy Family Fests the past two summers, in Arklow, Ireland, on the east coast where he lives in retirement.  He told me he can see the ocean from his home!  I will be back home in Ohio at the end of March. 

May the Holy Family bless, guide and nurture you along the Way as you share this Good News with all throughout the New Year! I look forward to seeing you this summer!

United in the Holy Family,
Fr. Kevin



Spiritual Insights from
AFC Chaplain,
Rev. Klem Hasencox

As I write this message, it came on the news that a Christian Church was again the target of a car-bomb, and many Christians coming out of the church from attending holy mass were either killed or injured – These are the MODERN DAY MARTYRS! 

May our solidarity in prayer and deed be with all such people and their loved ones, and be a strength and consolation to them during their time of great trial.

What is the plan of God for us and for all Christians when faced with such situations? 

Pope Francis seems to indicate in his message for the ‘World Day of Peace’ (1st of Jan. 2014) that the answer lies in practicing fraternity. That means, practicing with others that which we are: Brothers and Sisters in Christ, all having the same Father and thus treating others in a fraternal way – not as rivals or enemies. 

The Pope  states that “In the heart of every man and woman is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced.

"Fraternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings. A lively awareness of our relatedness helps us to look upon and to treat each person as a true sister or brother; without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace.” 

Then the Pope points to the importance of the family as being the ‘wellspring’ of this fraternity: “We should remember that fraternity is generally first learned in the family, thanks above all to the responsible and complementary roles of each of its members, particularly the father and the mother.

"The family is the wellspring of all fraternity, and as such it is the foundation and the first pathway to peace, since, by its vocation, it is meant to spread its love to the world around it.”

But despite this deep need and longing in every person for fraternity, we find ourselves living in “a world marked by the ‘globalization of indifference’, says Pope Francis.
It becomes clear, therefore, that we must make a concerted effort to break out of this negative attitude of indifference and embrace that fraternity, which is manifested concretely by:
                 -        our “duty of solidarity,”
                 -        our “duty of social justice”
                 -        our “duty of universal charity.”

Exciting Things are Happening in 2014

We are excited to begin a new year, serving Our Lord through this misnistry for families. This year we will be producing some resources that will support families in understanding, making, and living, Family Consecration. Stay tuned for updates in the upcoming months.

Product of the Month: Reflections on the
Sermon on the Mount

Join Jerry Coniker, Founder of the AFC, in this thought-provoking series as he shares his reflections on the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew.

Visit our Familyland Store for complete details.

Quote from Mama C

"So what I am asking for - I want to see your life filled with God's grace, joy in your heart, a good shining example to others, work hard, pray hard and play hard. Go to the sacraments often, continue the devotions and prayer life we have instilled in our family life. God will use these good works for the good of others and protect us along the way.

"We may not realize the good until we reach heaven, but God knows, and He will bless us if we give Him our time."

May 2014 be a year of great grace, peace and joy for you and your family!

On behalf of the statff here at Catholic Familyland and united in the Holy Family,

Alan Zimmerer

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