Office of Family Life

Role of the Office

 The Office of Family Life assists Pastors in preparing couples for marriage and seeks to support and strengthen family life.


Marriage Preparation

The Church rejoices with you and is grateful for the gift of your loving commitment to each other. The Church offers her loving support including special graces from the Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of Marriage to strengthen you in living the fullness of your lives together in marital love.

Marriage Enrichment

Find out more about marriage enrichment programs.

Separated & Divorced Couples - Books


Annulments and the Catholic Church: Straight Answers to Tough Questions – Edward Peters, J.D., J.C.D.

Many questions abound regarding this issue, one which unfortunately touches the lives of many in the Church today. In this helpful book, canon and civil lawyer Edward N. Peters clears up some of the confusion by answering the most commonly-asked annulment questions in a thorough yet easy-to-understand style.

Courage to Love… When Your Marriage Hurts – Gerald Foley

Building on the experience of Retrouvaille, a successful church-sponsored ministry, this book focuses on building relationships. It invites couples to reconciliation, to rebuilding trust, to learning the skills necessary for healthy communication, and to growing spiritually through the lived reality of married life.

December Roses: Pastoral Reflections on Divorce – Hector M. Medina

Though much literature has been written on this topic, this book details the thought processes associated with the planning and execution of a divorce and the painful emotions and feelings which occur, while at the same time providing a means of prayerful healing for those involved in the divorce situation.

The Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7-Step Program for Saving Your Marriage – Michele Weiner Davis

In a down-to-earth style, Weiner Davis outlines a realistic, solution-oriented seven-step program for managing marital problems, which, when left unchecked, can drain the life out of a relationship.

How to Understand & Petition for Your Decree of Nullity – Rose Sweet

Only God can see deeply into the human heart. He knows how human frailty and weakness, and inabilities of some people to enter into marriage freely and fully despite their best attempts. After careful study of such an attempted union, the Church may be able to declare that no valid marriage bond was created. And this book will help you understand the process.

Marriage 911: How God Saved Our Marriage – Greg & Julie Alexander

Greg and Julie Alexander thought divorce was the only way out of their lifeless, loveless marriage. Quite unexpectedly, a faithful priest guided them back to the truths of the Church, and as they began to incorporate these truths into their lives, they were able to restore the love they once had for each other. Marriage 911 chronicles their journey back from the brink of divorce to marital happiness built on a strong Catholic faith.

Rebuilding After Divorce: Making Your House a Home Again – Rose Sweet

Whether you’ve recently divorced or it’s been a few years, you can rebuild a life rich in faith, hope, and lots of love. But first, you’ll need blueprints, clear directions to make your house a home again. For over 20 years, Rose Sweet has brought her wit and wisdom to the separated, divorced, and remarried.

Separated & Divorced Couples - Resources

Answers to Common Questions about Separation and Divorce  A document prepared by the Archdiocese of St. Louis, with material from Rose Sweet

Divorced Catholic We invite you on a journey back to a life filled with promise and peace. Allow Christ to walk with you as you rediscover His healing and rejuvenating power through the wisdom, richness, and truth of your Catholic faith.

Catholic Divorce Ministry Since 1974, CDM has been committed to the healing and recovery of those who have experienced separation and divorce.

Separated Faithful: Divorced or separated Catholics who remain faithful to marriage. Catholics who were reluctantly divorced or separated can continue to fulfill their marriage mission – to sanctify themselves and your spouse. Discuss the ongoing seven stages from the book, “The Gift of Self, A Spiritual Companion for Separated and Divorced Faithful to the Sacrament of Marriage.” See book review on USCCB. A conference phone call, second-Mondays monthly, at 9 pm.  Contact [email protected], with your name, parish, city.

The St. Raymond Nonnatus FoundationWe help families affected by divorce and separation through prayerful accompaniment and support groups.

The St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation for Freedom, Family, Faith offers spiritual accompaniment for those affected by divorce and separation and families in crisis. They are headquartered in Philadelphia. For more information about the foundation go to Please subscribe to their YouTube Channel to receive notifications about upcoming podcasts.  Subscribe by clicking here. For more information about their services click here to send an email to the director.

Wedding Anniversary Celebration

The Diocesan Wedding Anniversary celebration is an opportunity to affirm couples who are faithfully living their sacramental vocation of marriage. Each year Bishop Edward Rice gives special recognition to married couples from around the diocese who will celebrate or have celebrated their 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, 45th, 50th, or 50+ wedding anniversaries anytime during the current year. The event includes Holy Mass followed by a reception with finger foods, cake, and punch. Those celebrating their 25th or 50th year of Marriage will receive an Episcopal Blessing and a special gift from Bishop Rice. Couples are invited to bring their family and friends.

Please mark your calendars for the 2025 Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Celebrations:
St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield  – Sun., Feb. 9, 2025,  1:30-3:30 p.m.
St. Mary Cathedral, Cape Girardeau  – Sun., Feb. 16, 2025, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Registration will open in November 2024.

Family Life

Natural Family Planning

Modern Natural Family Planning is 100% natural and up to 99% effective as a family planning method. Read More.



Springs of Love: Catholic Foster and Adoption Support
Springs of Love walks with Catholics to discern adoption as a path for their family. Connect with Springs of Love to find real stories shared by adoptees and parents, joys and challenges of the process, and join a supportive community. Springs of Love also encourages Catholics to discern and consider fostering children. Visit their Website for more resources at


Adoption is a very personal — very loving — choice for birth parents and adoptive parents. If you’re considering adoption, Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph will walk with you every step of the way. Read more.

In response to the call of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, to help those in need, we connect children with families and keep families connected. Read more.

Infertility Resources

Almost 1 in 10 couples will face some degree of infertility and rates of infertility have been rising in recent decades. The infertility journey can be frustrating, confusing, and lonely.

Springs in the Desert is a Catholic ministry group which offers support, encouragement, and resources for couples of all ages and stages of fertility. Read more.
Are you seeking to achieve pregnancy through a means that is not only good science and good medicine but also morally good? Read more.

Raising Catholic Families

View Resources
Compass is a database which aims to anticipate the needs of Catholic parents, accompany them through the trials and joys of family life, and point them to faithful answers to life’s difficult questions. Parents may search various topics to find explanations based on Church teaching and suggestions for dialogue with children about some of life’s challenges.

For more information, visit:

The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has partnered with the Diocese of Bridgeport to offer families The Family Bible Challenge. Families of the diocese may subscribe free of charge. Each Sunday, families will receive an email identifying a new Scripture passage that they are asked to read together as a family, reflect upon, and discuss. You will be provided with the passage and the questions. You just have to make the time.
The “challenge” is to engage your family with Sacred Scripture. There is no contest. There are no rules. There is, however, the great benefit of falling in love with Jesus through the power of the Good News found in the Bible.

For more information, visit:

Freedom from Pornography Resources

The diocese has compiled a list of resources to help those struggling with the harmful effects of pornography. Read more.


Church Teaching on End-of-Life Issues

The bishops of the State of New York developed the following summary of Catholic Church teaching on end-of-life issues. It has been updated and revised in order to reflect and be consistent with Missouri law. For more information on Missouri’s Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Planning Tools. Read more


Lynn Melendez

Lynn Melendez

Director | [email protected]

Sharon Ostendorf

Sharon Ostendorf

Marriage Preparation Coordinator | [email protected]