The Online Newsletter of the

Christian Family Movement


October-November 2013       Volume 65 No. 16

Dear CFM friends,

Hopefully you have had a great start to the new CFM year with your group.  Welcome to all of the new families that have joined CFM this year!  We are so happy to have you join this very important movement.  And thank you to those that offer your prayers and support to CFM.

As you will read in the next article, one of the things that makes CFM different from other small groups is the action that we commit to each time that we meet.  It allows the sharing of our faith to become even more meaningful in action.

In what way are you and your family going to ACT on your faith?

Blessings to you and your family

Donna Richard-Langer, ACT editor


                                                          How is CFM different?

       CFM is different from small faith communities and study groups.  While all of these experiences can enrich our faith, CFM has some unique characteristics.

CFM is peer ministry.  Lay men and women invite their friends to join them in a faith building and family enriching experience. 

CFM involves the whole family.  Adults plan ways to include their children in the actions and social events they organize at their monthly meetings. 

An International Movement —CFM members become part of a network of families all over the world who are living their faith in action. 

A Shared Mission —CFM teaches members to see themselves as a vital part of the Body of Christ, engaging them in the mission of Jesus.

A Shared Method —CFM is an experience of faith formation that connects families and teaches them how to Observe their lives and society, Judge how Christians should respond, and then put their faith into practice. 

Action.  Action sets a CFM group apart from a study group.  A CFM meeting should result in a change in our way of living, or it is an empty exercise.  CFM groups are meant to form people through actions that result from the social inquiry and discussions.



CFM in Action in the Archives

                                                Check out these ideas for your CFM group!


Here are a few suggestions for actions from CFM groups across the country that has been meaningful for CFM families in the past.


About 125 CFMers and former members attended the federation’s annual Thanksgiving Feast at St. Gabriel’s parish in Poway, CA.  Current CFM families coordinated the event.


The CFM group in Alexandria, VA was honored for their project of providing birthday parties for children at the Bailey’s Crossroads Shelter.  Two members coordinate the project while all CFM families provide birthday gifts, cake mixes and canned frosting, personalized birthday cards and paper plates and napkins.  One group member makes and decorates a large cake each month.  A simple project has brought much pleasure to many people.


The CFMers and Holy Family Parish in Iverness IL joined other marriage and family groups in the parish to sponsor “An Evening of Romance” on Feb. 11.  Over 125 couples came to renew vows and enjoy a delicious dinner.




            Spiritual Director’s Discourse by Father Tom Rzepiela

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The months of October and November find us involved with an interesting phenomenon – football.  Whether it’s Pee-Wee, High School, College or Professional football, it seems to impact our lives.  We remember our own playing or coaching football and some of us even fantasize that we can still do it.                                            


I would like to share with you what I call -


CHURCH FOOTBALL              

·         Kickoff - Opening song of the Mass.

·         Huddle - Visiting with fellow parishioners before Mass begins.

·         Draw Play - What many children do with the bulletin during Mass.

·         Flex Defense - The ability to allow absolutely nothing said during the homily to affect your life.

·         Halfback Option - The decision of 75% of the congregation not to participate in the various ministries.

·         Backfield-in-Motion - Making a trip to the back (restroom or water fountain) during Mass.

·         Half-time - The period between Religious Education class and Mass when many choose to leave.

·         Trap – When you are daydreaming and you are called upon during the homily

·         Timeout - When the celebrant’s battery runs out in his wireless microphone.

·         Sudden Death - What happens to the attention span of the congregation if the priest goes "overtime".

·         Instant Replay - The priest loses his notes and falls back on last week's homily.

·         Punt - When Father can’t remember the third part to his homily.

·         Staying in the Pocket - What happens to a lot of money when the collection basket is passed.

·         Coin Toss - Second Collection

·         Penalty Flag - Cell phone going off during the Mass.

·         Touchdown - Receiving the Lord in the Eucharist.

·         Quarterback Sneak - Church members quietly leaving during Communion time.

·         Two-minute Warning - When announcements are being made and people are leaving early.

·         Favorite Pass - Hail Mary

·         Blitz - The rush for the restaurants following the final blessing.

·         End Run - Getting out of church quickly without speaking to anyone.

·         Stadium Sellout - Christmas & Easter Masses.

·         Benchwarmer - Those who do not sing, pray, work or apparently do nothing but sit in the pew at Mass.

·         Head Coach – God our Father

·         Winning Team – All of us because God loves us all!


                                         The only difference is that Church is not a game!


Father Tom Rzepiela is Pastor of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish in Palatine, IL.



                                                               CFM in Mumbai, India


Anette shares this reflection after reading the August-September ACT.

Your memories of the recitation of the family Rosary in your childhood home are very similar to mine, except that we were a joint family.  At 8.30 PM sharp, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and children were on their knees – children shifting from one knee to the other, tired after a hectic evening of play, and trying to count the beads correctly. We too recited the Rosary daily when our girls were growing up.

Mumbai is dotted with whitewashed crosses, some hundreds of years old, on roads and by-lanes.  In the month of May, Catholics gather around these crosses and recite the Rosary.  We did this too in our childhood.  On the Feast of the Holy Cross (May 3), refreshments are served to all who attend the Rosary.  It is a big occasion. 

As young CFMers, one of our actions was to visit all the apartment buildings in our neighborhoods to request the residents to gather and recite the Rosary daily in their building premises.  In this way we had the Rosary going in several buildings.  To continue the action, in the month of May, as there was no Cross in our neighborhood, we obtained a large statue of O.L .of Lourdes, set it up on a stool with two candles and invited the residents to recite a community Rosary daily.  While the building Rosaries faded away with the advent of television, the community Rosary in May continues with a good attendance.

When our children were little, the annual CFM picnic was looked forward to with great enthusiasm.  But, before the fun began, everyone sat down and recited the Rosary.  That has always been the rule.

Our children accompanied us to slums, aged homes and orphanages when we did action.  As a result, all of them (now married with children of their own) have a sense of charity and compassion which, we hope; they will pass on to their children.

CFM has done us a world of good!



                                                 National Board Members installed

Two new couples joined the CFM National Board at the summer 2013 Board meeting in Omaha, NE.

Ana and John Stanham (left) and Mike and Cathy Glazzy began serving their 2 year term in July 2013. 

Ana and John are from St. Louis parish in Miami, Florida while Mike and Cathy are from St. Joan of Arc in San Ramon, California. 

We thank them for their willingness to give their time and talents to CFM through serving on the Board.





                                           President’s Perspective by Tom and Mary Kay Halpin                      

Life in a family is full of tasks and chores and activities.  There are always lots of “things to do.”  Managing work, school, home and volunteer commitments often seems overwhelming in our family.  Our favorite nights are the rare weekend nights when nothing is planned and our family can “just be” together.  Our four children are still living at home, but with two in high school the time when we are all together is becoming a rare treasure.

We have been blessed to have been in CFM groups over the years with people of a variety of ages and stages in life.  Our older friends always told us to treasure the times when our children are home because it goes so fast.  They warned us that high school seems to be over in the blink of an eye.  When we were surrounded by diapers and baby gates and messes everywhere, this all seemed far off in the future.  Now we say, where has the time gone?

Family time truly is sacred time.  We live in domestic churches.  Our lives are filled with lists of things to do, but God gave us the Sabbath for a reason – to remind us to slow down and spend time in relationship with God and with each other.   We can have a little Sabbath time every day.  This is what life is about.  

Thanksgiving will be here soon so this is a great time to say “thank you” to all of our CFM mentors over the years.  We are also grateful to all the CFM parish leaders and members (past and present) who do so much to spread the mission of CFM.  In this age of the new evangelization, CFM members are making a difference in their families, parishes and communities.

Tom and Mary Kay Halpin live in Omaha, NE and are the parents of four children.  They attend St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. 


News from The National Office by Beth McKenna


     New Member Services Administrator Comes Aboard


Last month, Molly Dineen (pictured on the right) joined the national office as our new Member Services Administrator.  Molly will be the primary contact for members and prospective members who contact the national office.  In addition to answering the phone, she will maintain member records; fill orders, and process mailings.  Her work is vital to keeping the national movement connected and growing.  Please give Molly a warm welcome the next time you contact the office.

Molly comes from a CFM family.  A recent graduate of Benedictine College, Molly holds degrees in Youth Ministry and Theology.  While in college, she gained experience as an administrative assistant in the President’ office.  Her work for CFM is part-time, as she is also employed at a local crisis pregnancy center.  Conveniently, Molly is a Nebraska native, allowing the National Office to remain in Omaha. 

Hiring a Member Services Administrator became necessary as Mary Kay Halpin, Member Services Director for the past two years, was recently installed, along with her husband Tom, as the new President Couple of CFM-USA.  Mary Kay will be leaving the National Office to serve in her new role, representing and promoting CFM across the country and worldwide.  We thank her heartily for her continued service.

Beth and Dan McKenna are parents of 4 children, and are members of CFM at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Purcellville, VA.

Molly Dineen is the new Member Services Administrator for the CFM National Office in Omaha, NE



                                                                         ICCFM News by Lauri Przybysz


The International Christian Family Movement has three organizations in the USA:  CFM-USA (English), MFCC-USA (Spanish), and MFC-Los Angeles (Spanish). Presidents of the three movements met last spring to learn best practices from each other, and all three movements were represented at the International Convention in Colombia this summer. Attached is a map that shows where in the USA there are groups from the different movements. MFC-Los Angeles has about 600 families. MFCC-USA – Movimiento Familiar Cristiano Catolico -- has more than 8000 families across the USA (represented by the red symbol). The MFCC is planning a national convention in June 20-22, 2014 in New Mexico. Representatives from the Board of Directors of CFM-USA will attend to meet our friends in our sister movement. You can learn more about MFC-Los Angeles at  MFCC-USA at


Lauri Przybysz, D. Min and her husband, John, are the North American Presidents, International Confederation of Christian Family Movements.

CFM Is Thankful for its Many Donors   

By Mary Kay Halpin and Molly Dineen


Thank you for sharing our mission and making a difference…. For today and for the future!

The following people made supplemental donations to CFM in the 2012-2013 fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.   We are very thankful for this extra support for the mission of CFM.  If CFM has enriched your family, please consider making a donation this year to help keep CFM strong and growing for today’s families and for future generations. 


Donations to the General Fund

Joe & Jodie Adler

Gary & Kay Aitchison, in honor of Fr. Sam Palmer

Doug Andrew, in honor of Mike Giroux


Richard and Suzanne Bade

Drew and Tammy Blossom

Joseph Bonsignore, in honor of Madelyn Bonsignore

Ken and Nancy Bossong

Marianne and Richard Boyak

Matthew and Janice Bross

Chris and Greg Bush, in honor of Mary Kay DeCoster

Brendan and Theresa Cameron

John and Pat Ciprian

Fr. Don Conroy

Denise Dach, in honor of Richard Voellinger

George and Betty Jane Davis, in honor of Emily and Fred Ruffing

Dan and Corinne Dineen

John Dlugolecki

Lawrence and Carol Doeling

James and Louise Doering

John L Dogger Trust

Bob and Toni Elliott

Tom and Wendy Everson

Thomas and Bernadette Fitzgerald

Michael Galdo

Diane Gavin, in honor of George and Betty Jane Davis

Michael Ginther

Martha Gonzalez

Mary Lou Gorman

Kenneth and Sharon Gorski

Fred and Ardy Grosskopf, in honor of Harry Opila

Hilda Hahn

Tom & Mary Kay Halpin

Wayne and Susan Hamilton

Barbara Hans, in honor of Gil Hans, Fr. Sam Palmer and Bob Rezek

Don and Mary Hardy

Mark and Sheryl Havermann

Mary and Fausto Hidalgo

Dan and Sheila Hoffman

Marty and Don Huber, in honor of Mary Kay DeCoster

Lonnie and Jackie Janecek

Christopher and Dawn Kaczynski

Billie and David Kilman, in honor of Harry Opila

Robert and Michelle Koran

Anthony and Suzanne Kosiba

John and Janet Kowal

Dave Langer and Donna Richard-Langer

Jane and Paul Leingang


Pete and Jan LeTourneau

Frank and Elaine Lorenz

Mary and Dan Maher

Rev. Thomas Maher

Ray Maldoon

Barbara Mathey, in honor of Chuck Mathey

Steve and Donna McCullough

Kenneth McGinity

Harry and Patricia Michalski

Joanne Miller

Richard and Faye Miltenberger

Ronald Olech

Ed and Sheila Osterhaus

Paul and Missy Parkison

Joe and Margaret Pazderka

Ronald and Joanne Plavchan

Deacon Tom and Barbara Pluta, in honor of Erika Pluta Diamond and Msgr. Robert J. Harrington

DirecTV Matching Gift (Popracs)

John and Mary Poprac

Robert and Cathy Powers

John and Lauri Przybysz

Ann Reynolds

Robert and Mary Ann Rietveld

Douglas and Linda Rishel

Tom and Kathy Rothermich

Rev. Paul Sabo

Jerry and J.J. Schenkelberg

Patrick and Melisa Smet

Jean and Terry Smith

Jeni and James Spagnoli

St. Anthony on the Lake

John and Ana Stanham

L. William Staudenmaier

Pat and Pete Stevenon

Jack Sullivan, in honor of Barbara Sullivan

Brian and Mary Ann Thelen, in honor of our first grandchild, Joseph

Bob and Anne Tomonto

Irene Tomonto, in honor of Deacon Bob Tomonto

Stephen and Joan Tracy

Robert and Clare Trosclair

Dan and Jeannette VanBelleghem

Steve and Nicole Vandervoort

John and Jule Ward

Robert and Janet Wedig

Ben and Gladys Whitehouse

Maureen and Michael Wilkin, in honor of Rev. William Eckert

Douglas and Barbara Wyman

Raymond Zagorski

Rob and Katie Zimmerman

Clara Zoeller

Donations to the Gorman Membership

Expansion Fund

Donations to the Crowley Leadership

Development Fund

Lawrence and Carol Doeling

Martha Einloth

Mary Lou Gorman

Gail and Bob Mastrangelo

Tom and Kathy Rothermich


Gail and Bob Mastrangelo

Hugh and Catherine Rafferty

Donations to the CFM Foundation

Jan and Chuck Rogers, in honor of their 35th wedding anniversary

Mary Ann Stowell



       Taking the Time to Make a Difference by Paul R. Leingang   
                                                  (from the Archives)

              Something to think about while you wait


Did Jesus ever have to wait for anybody? That thought came to me as I sat in the waiting room outside a doctor’s office for over an hour past the scheduled time of my appointment, trying not to get angry about the medical salesman who was allowed immediate access. The salesman went in. The salesman came out. I looked for another magazine. What Jesus would do at this point, I wondered. Later that afternoon, on my way to another appointment, I sat in my car behind another car minute after minute as the driver passed up one opportunity after another to enter the flow of traffic. What would Jesus do in this situation?

 My thoughts that day were influenced, I am sure, by a book I started reading. It is The Year of Living Like Jesus, written by Ed Dobson. It is subtitled, “My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do.” Dobson is an Irish-born evangelical minister, ordained as a Baptist, now pastor emeritus of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was inspired by a New York Times best-seller, “The Year of Living Biblically,” by A. J. Jacobs. I haven’t finished Dobson’s book, so I don’t know how it will turn out, but so far, I am enjoying it. It is a thoughtful journey.

Living like Jesus does not mean wearing a robe and sandals, but trying to do today what Jesus would do in the circumstances of today. In his preface, Dobson says he doesn’t know where his journey will take him. I am drawn to his day by day account, in the form of a journal, and I, too, as a reader, wonder where the year will take him. Dobson knows that Jesus as a practicing Jew would have read the Scriptures. So Dobson reads the Scriptures, and also listens to recordings of the Gospels on his iPod. That’s an easy adaptation. Jesus also probably wore tassels on the four corners of his garment. Dobson finds it more difficult to adapt to that observance. Dobson learns to say the Rosary, an unexpected practice for an ordained Baptist minister, but he comes to realize that the words of the Hail Mary come straight from the Scriptures, and Jesus prayed the Scriptures, so that seems acceptable. The book includes good days and some not-so-good days, along with some days when nothing is written at all.

Here are my reflections for this day. At the doctor’s office, I had to wait for my turn, and I wonder what would be my attitude – anger, patience, long-suffering, or what. In traffic and in a hurry, what could I do to accept an irritating reality? And in a much more serious situation, what should I do when I see injustice? When is right to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s? And when is it right to throw over the tables of the money-changers? I have a car to sit in. There are people in my community who can’t get to available jobs because the city transportation system doesn’t go there. Maybe that’s when Jesus might be angry. Sitting for an hour in a waiting room might be a pleasant experience for someone who has no home at all, or no access to health care except in emergencies.

Here is a challenge. Take some time to read the Gospels. It doesn’t even seem possible to wonder what Jesus would do without knowing more about the Scriptural accounts of his life and ministry. Take some time to think about the social conditions then and now, the poor then and now, the outcasts then and now, the establishment then and now, the anger then and now, the frustration and the fear — and where hope might be found. Then do something about it, and make a difference.

Comments and suggestions are welcome. Email

 Paul and his wife, Jane, are members of CFM in Evansville, IN.

                                                                                In Memory

Most Rev. Timothy J. Lyne, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Vicar for senior priests, died Wednesday, September 25, 2013.  He was 94 years of age, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago for 70 years and an auxiliary bishop for 30 years.  Bishop Lyne passed away at his residence, named in his honor, the Bishop Lyne Rectory, at Holy Name Cathedral.

Bishop Tim Lyne was an avid supporter of CFM throughout his entire Priesthood.

 Ricki Getzschman, age 22, the grandson of Ed and Sheila Osterhous was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on 8/17/13.  He had been serving in the Army and had only been home for a week.  Ricki was the oldest son of Ed and Sheila's daughter, Mary Chris.

Ed and Sheila Osterhous have been active in CFM both on the parish and national level and have been members of CFM at St. Bernards in Omaha for about 50 years.