Marriage, Family and Life





Mission Statement

The Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Diocese of Duluth, in collaboration with other diocesan and community ministries, is devoted to building up the Body of Christ by promoting a Catholic vision that celebrates and encourages the sacredness of love, marriage, family and the dignity of every human life from conception to natural death. This Office engages the faithful through marriage preparation and enrichment as well as pastoral support services through educational initiatives and other programs. This Department seeks to serve as a resource that invites all people to embrace the Gospel message and the freedom that ultimately follows. 


What is the Catholic Family Camp?


In the midst of our busy lives, it can be hard to find time just for family that isn't taken up by work, school, or other activities. The intent of this camp is to give families a time to spend together where they can grow in relationship with one another in the midst of other Catholic families and have the opportunity to attend daily Mass and Adoration. There will be a priest from the diocese staying at the resort for the entirety of the camp.

The dates of the full camp are from August 25 – September 1, 2019; however, families are not expected to stay the whole time and are welcome to stay just a night or two if that is what works! When booking a room, guests choose between three distinct styles of accommodations: Lakeside Cabins, Lakefront Lodge Rooms, and Golf Course Villas. Pictures and information about the lodging options are available on the Sugar Lake Lodge website at the following link Families who are staying at the resort for the Catholic Family Camp get a 25% discount off all of the listed prices for the rooms- make sure to mention that you are staying for the family camp when purchasing a room!

 This time is for your family to rest, recharge, and spend quality time together, so the only formal schedule provided is the Mass, Adoration, and Confession times. Sugar Lake Lodge offers a variety of activities for guests to pursue at their leisure which are included within the price of the room: sandy beach, outdoor heated swimming pool, canoes, paddle boards, kayaks, paddle boats and rowboats, bicycles, tennis courts, and much more. In addition, activities like water skiing & tubing, golf, and guided fishing are available for a rental charge. For those interested in golf, the lodge is offering a discounted rate to Catholic Family Campers of $35 for 18-holes with a cart. More information on free and rental activities here

 The resort offers a complimentary continental breakfast each morning, and this is what their website has to say about it: "Here’s our version of continental breakfast: fresh-cut fruit, steel-cut oatmeal with every topping possible (nuts, dried fruit, bananas, and syrup, which is a secret ingredient up here and in Canada, signature FRESH homemade caramel rolls, bacon & scrambled eggs, homemade waffles (sometimes pancakes), Fideldy’s Maple Syrup (local), Heidi’s signature egg bake muffins, the greatest coffee ever brewed on this earth, plus cereal, doughnuts, muffins, and yogurt." There is also a full-service breakfast menu available, and lunch and dinner options at the on-site Otis Grille restaurant. For families who want to provide their own food, all of the rooms have a refrigerator and many have a full kitchen. The rooms with a full kitchen are the Lakefront Lodge Suites (two bedroom sleeps 6, three bedroom sleeps 10) and the Golf Course Villas (two bedroom sleeps 4, three bedroom sleeps 6).

 To register, simply call Sugar Lake Lodge at (218) 203-8919 and tell them that you are booking for the Duluth Diocese Catholic Family Camp in order to take advantage of the discounted price.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Bishop Andrew Cozzens shares a homily on this papal encyclical at a Mass preceding a gathering of young adults at St. Stephen, Minneapolis. The event took place May 6, 2018.

Humanae Vitae (HV) is an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968 to reaffirm the orthodox teaching of the Catholic Church on married love, responsible parenthood and the continued rejection of unnatural forms of birth control and abortion. It affirmed traditional Church moral teaching on the sanctity of life and the procreative and unitive nature of conjugal relations.

In summary, Pope Paul VI states that marital relations are much more than a union of two people. They constitute a union of the loving couple with a loving God, in which a new person can be created, and upon which God completes the creation by adding the soul. For this reason, Pope Paul VI says right in the first sentence of HV that the transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. This is a divine partnership that takes its origin from God, who is love, and from this basic dignity Pope Paul VI defines his position:

Love is total — that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.

Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other, and this until death. This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage. Though this fidelity of husband and wife sometimes presents difficulties, no one has the right to assert that it is impossible; it is, on the contrary, always honorable and meritorious. The example of countless married couples proves not only that fidelity is in accord with the nature of marriage, but also that it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.

Finally, this love is fruitful. It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being. “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.”

(Sources: Encyclical – Humanae Vitae; Wikipedia – Culture of Life & The Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul) 




For Your Marriage

M and F 1

“Willed by God in the very act of creation, marriage and the family are interiorly ordained to fulfillment in Christ and have need of His graces in order to be healed from the wounds of sin and restored to their ‘beginning,’ that is, to full understanding and the full realization of God’s plan.” (John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio #3)


Natural Family Planning

For immediate help with Natural Family Planning in the Duluth area contact Northland Family Programs. For their website click here

Northland Family Programs
A FertilityCare™ Center
403 East Third Street
Duluth, MN 55805
(218) 786-2378
(800) 842-0279


For immediate help with Natural Family Planning in the Brainerd area contact Natural Family Planning of the Brainerd Lakes Area Inc.

St. Joseph's Medical Center
523 North Third Street
Brainerd, MN 56401

Contact info:

218-786-2378 or 1-800-842-0279

Northland Family Programs




They teach the Creighton Method and are a FertilityCareTMCenter.


For more information on Couple to Couple League go to  Couple to Couple Method.

For information on a local teaching couple contact:

Brett & Meghan Jones


[email protected]


 Project Rachel

Call the Post-Abortion Ministry Confidential Helpline 1.218.421.711005nvvqhaw7sopyxwk2d0ht3bybl.PNG

This ministry offers:

  • A confidential helpline for you to speak to someone about your experience.
  • People specially trained to help you sort through unresolved feelings and conflict.
  • Priest sensitive to your particular needs.
  • Healing services, Masses, retreats and other events help to help you grieve the loss of your unborn child and know God's forgiveness.  

This ministry is sponsored by the Diocese of Duluth and is open to anyone in need regardless of their faith background. 


Contact Information

Betsy Kneepkens [email protected]                  Phone: 218-724-9111                                     Fax: 218-724-1056



Father Anthony Craig

Fr. [email protected]




Diocese of Duluth
Marriage, Family, and Life
2830 E. 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55812




Upcoming Events


Engaged Weekend Registration 



2019, Oct. 26th and 27th Information, Hibbing


2019 Fall 4-week series TBD call the Office of Marriage, Family, and Life for more information: