Board Meetings

CFM USA National Board Meetings

Full CFM Board Meetings are held twice a year. Minutes of the meetings are available on the Leaders page.

Upcoming Meetings
July 13-15, 2016 Summer Board Meeting San Antonio, TX
July 15-18, 2016 ICCFM World Assembly San Antonio, TX





Winter CFM Board Meeting

January 29-31, 2016, Chicago, IL


The Board of Directors met January 29 – 31, 2016 at Techny Towers Conference and Retreat Center (Chicago, IL) for the Winter Board Meeting.  In addition to CFM-USA board members, Fr. Don Conroy participated in the weekend’s meetings and prayers.  Fr. Conroy is the North American Chaplain for the International Confederation of Christian Family Movements.  Friday evening’s discussion included a review of the mid-year Annual Office Report, the President’s Report and planning for the upcoming International CFM Assembly in San Antonio in July 2016.  CFM-USA wants to send delegates from as many parishes as possible.  Members are encouraged to view the website  for more information about the conference.  Please let the office know if you are interested in attending or register on-line.


Saturday morning, the group started with prayer led by national Spiritual Director Fr. Tom Rzepiela.  Membership, Program and Operations & Structures committees met to plan for growth in the movement.


Bishop Rassas joined the group for Saturday lunch and early afternoon.  Family life is still one of the main initiatives for Church leadership.  The Bishop encouraged CFM to continue to organize families into networks to do good and help each other.  Fr. Tom Bradley led an afternoon retreat about “Mercy Within the Family.”  CFMers from St. Joseph, St. Thomas, Our Lady of the Wayside and St. Cletus participated in lunch and the retreat.  At the end of the retreat, the CFMers shared their experience related to growing CFM, children at group meetings and helping new groups get started.

Andy Pozdol received the first annual “Above & Beyond” volunteer award.  Andy deserves to be recognized for over 10 years serving as the CFM webmaster.  He told the group, he always saw it as a ministry.  CFM is grateful that he will continue as webmaster.  The Above & Beyond award will be an annual recognition.  Members are encouraged to send nominations to  
Summer CFM Board Meeting
June 26-28, 2015, Severna Park, MD

The CFM Board welcomed seven new members on Saturday, June 26 at the Summer Board Meeting in Millersville, MD. 23 members from across the country came together for the bi-annual in-person meeting. The weekend started Friday the 25th at the home of John & Lauri Przybysz, past CFM-USA presidents and current USA representatives to ICCFM. Fr. Don Conroy led the group in prayer and gave an update on the Church’s focus on families evidenced in the ongoing Synod on the Family. The 25th was the day of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage and Fr. Don reflected on CFM’s mission to give an example of Christian marriage and love. New President couple John and Mary Poprac kicked off the meeting with a fun get-to-know-you icebreaker. The board played the M&M game (a great game for new groups). Each member took a handful of M&M’s and then they were instructed to share favorite travel destinations, foods, funny stories, embarrassing situations, etc. based on the colors they were holding. The National Office Report and Minutes from the Winter Board meeting were reviewed. On Saturday, the group met at Our Lady of the Fields parish. The parish was a wonderful host and provided meeting rooms at no cost. During the weekend, the pastor and parish staff visited the meeting to welcome the board members, thank CFM for their work in Our Lady of the Fields (12 families currently participate) and express solidarity with CFM’s mission to grow strong families and marriages.

After a morning prayer, the new Board Members (Steve and Donna McCullough, Jason and Brigid Smith, Sam and Juliette Tirone and Sue Condon) were officially inducted. The board met as a whole to discuss membership. The Program Committee and Operations & Structures held concurrent meetings. Program Committee finalized plans for introducing the 2015-16 program book Be A Light to the World: Christian Families Engage the Culture. Most of the meeting time was spent discussing the process and schedule for producing next year’s program Encountering Jesus(working title). Going forward, the committee will work from a three year plan. Ultimately, CFM will provide suggested series of programs so that CFM groups can develop their discussion year after year.

The Operations & Structures committee discussed the new membership management platform and decided on next steps for upgrading our technology and use of social media. Members will be introduced to new membership and donation forms this year. These forms were created using NationBuilder and reduce time spent on data entry at the National Office. The NationBuilder suite provides tools for targeted campaigns and communications to the membership. Regular e-communications (ACT, Marriage Moments and Parenting Pointers) are currently generated using NationBuilder. The new system also enables the membership to interact and build relationships with other CFM groups. Next year, there will likely be a migration from our current website to the NationBuilder system. In addition, the board is working on a project to make all program materials digitally available. Once this project is complete, active members will be able to login and download program materials. Saturday evening, the group celebrated together at the 5 p.m. Mass. Afterwards, the Our Lady of the Fields CFM group hosted a fun potluck in the parish hall. The kids had fun with games organized by the CFM parents and singing led by Sam and Juliette Tirone.

On Sunday, the meeting included a review of the Winter meeting minutes and recap of the committee discussions. New subcommittees were formed to look closer at fundraising and preparations for next Summer’s international CFM convention to be held in San Antonio, TX. The World Meeting of the Christian Family Movement will be July 15-16, 2016 and CFM–USA will organize prayer and liturgy during the convention.

Board Meeting at Our Lady of the Fields Parish
Our Lady of the Fields Pastor meets the Board
Kids Activity


Winter CFM Board Meeting
January 23-25, 2015, Miami, FL

Members of the CFM-USA board of directors met in sunny Miami, FL for the Winter Board Meeting on January 23–25, 2015. Host couples Bob and Anne Tomonto and John and Ana Stanham of St. Louis Catholic Church prepared a wonderful Argentinian barbeque dinner on Friday evening. During the weekend of meetings, the board discussed information related to growing CFM membership, developing programming and enhancing member interaction through social media and our website. We enjoyed the company of our Episcopal Moderator, Bishop George Rassas of Chicago. With him, we discussed the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, September 2015, and CFM's participation in that event.

Membership reports revealed that the current year membership levels are about the same as last year’s. Our largest concentration of members continues to be in California, Iowa and Illinois. The office encourages members to remember to mail their donations and registration forms. The Executive Director will reach out to new and existing groups to help them get started and stay active.

The programming committee reported plans to convert last year's program For Happier Familiesto digital version by June this year. The new program book, Families Engage the Culture will be ready for release in June 2015. It will be published in digital and hardcopy. We also discussed plans to publish a mini-series entitled Marriage: A Spiritual Journey, in the summer of 2015.

On Saturday, Bishop Rassas from Chicago participated in the committee meetings. He shared the latest plans from the Vatican for the continuing Synod on the Family and the World Meeting of Families. The Bishop thanked CFM for the work we do to promote the Gospel and support and strengthen families. The board celebrated Mass together that evening at the host families' parish, St. Louis.

Throughout the weekend meetings, our discussion focused on the importance of reaching out to all people. Each person is part of a family and all should be invited to the Church family. The World Meeting of Families theme "Love is Our Mission; The Family Fully Alive" inspires us to love our neighbors; those in our homes and friends we make each day. In CFM gatherings, we have the opportunity to encounter Christ in one another. That encounter inspires us to share our experience with others. Let's continue growing the Christian Family Movement. What can you do to share the gift of CFM in your parish?

Board Meeting at St. Louis Church
Men from the Board
Women from the Board


Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 18-20, 2014, Chicago, IL

St. Clement Parish offered hospitality to 12 families who traveled to Chicago from every corner of the United States as well as from Mexico. These families represent the national and international leadership of the Christian Family Movement (CFM). Four groups of CFM families thrive at St. Clement as "Clement Couples." While their children joined host St. Clement family, the Lothrops, and several volunteers for a movie night, a perfect-weather trip to the zoo, games in the gym and crafts in the café, the parents came together to discuss how CFM can best implement the New Evangelization called for by Pope Francis. They reviewed the new CFM program book, "For Happier Families," which will be available in August. This guide is directed toward helping families grow in wisdom and grace as they meet the challenges of contemporary living. On Saturday evening, the visiting families shared a potluck supper with several St. Clement families. After the meal, small group round table discussions were held so that St. Clement families could share with the national group their hopes for the future of CFM and the Domestic Church in the United States.

Meeting in St. Clement School
Dinner at St. Clement School
Winter CFM Board Meeting
February 14-16, 2014, Redondo Beach, CA

Representatives of CFM from around the United States convened in Redondo Beach, California on Valentine's Day for the 2014 winter meeting of the CFM-USA Board of Directors. The 18 volunteer Directors were joined by their newly appointed Episcopal Moderator, Bishop George Rassas of the Archdiocese of Chicago, who opened the board meeting with an inspiring reflection and discussion on Pope Francis and the New Evangelization. (The role of our Episcopal Moderator is act as liaison between the Christian Family Movement and the US Council of Catholic Bishops.) President couple Tom and Mary Kay Halpin commented in their report to the board, "The CFM board has a long history of collaboration with the USCCB and we are thankful to Bishop Rassas for sharing his insights with us regarding the needs of Catholic families today." Following a day of committee meetings, CFM Families from the host parish, St. Lawrence Martyr, provided dinner and feedback to the board during a Saturday evening social and focus group session. CFM families from other southern California parishes were also in attendance as the assembled members provided valuable suggestions and insights to the board about the direction of future programming and communications.

The Board of Directors approved the newest program book, For Happier Families, which will be released in early summer 2014. For Happier Families reflects the roots of the Christian Family Movement, sharing its title with the original "little yellow book" which served as the one and only CFM program book for the first few decades of the movement. New this year, the 8 chapters include additional discussion questions for parents to share with their children at home, aimed at carrying the discussion of the adult CFM meeting into each family. The board continues to make plans to improve the efficiency of our National Office record keeping by approving updates to our database system. Additional improvements to our website are being explored. Ideas for supporting local CFM group leaders and improving communications were discussed by the Membership Committee. A proposal to provide an option for Parish Membership in CFM is also under development and continues to be fine-tuned. Increasing membership remains a priority for the Board of Directors, as the President Couple noted in their report, "As always, the guiding mission of the board of directors of the Christian Family Movement is to serve marriages and families, by making CFM available to as many people as we can. We know that couples and families in today’s world need the Christian support and community of CFM now more than ever..."

Secretaries Dave Langer and Donna Richard-Langer (Des Moines, IA), long time CFM leaders and advocates, will retire from the Board this summer. Mike and Kathy Glazzy (San Ramon, CA) were elected to serve as Secretary couple and will begin their term July 1, along with newly elected Directors Rick and Sandy Hoenig (Winterset, IA).

Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 14-16, 2013, Omaha, NE

The CFM National Board members met in Omaha, Nebraska on July 14-16, 2013 and several board members made it a family event. Mary Kay and Tom Halpin and St. Vincent de Paul parish were wonderful hosts for the board, organizing a trip to Werner Park for a baseball game, providing activities and fun for the children and serving delicious meals. The CFM board joined local CFM families on Sunday evening for dinner and discussion about CFM in Omaha. The board learned about what is working well with CFM and what might be addressed to better meet the needs of CFM families.

Lots of CFM board business was accomplished during the two days. Tom & Mary Kay Halpin (Omaha, NE) began their term as President Couple, and Brian & Mary Ann Thelen (Ann Arbor, MI) began as Vice-President Couple. Ana and John Stanham from St. Louis parish in Miami, Florida and Mike and Cathy Glazzy from St. Joan of Arc in San Ramon, California were installed as new CFM board couples.

The board received a copy of the new program book, We Hold These Treasures: Christian Families Sharing Our Gifts, which is now available to CFM groups. Planning for program materials for CFM families across the country is exciting and challenging work. The board is developing future program books as well as miniseries that will be available electronically. The website is being updated and will soon have a new look. Training materials for leaders was an important focus of the board as leaders help keep the membership strong. The CFM national board is committed to growing and strengthening CFM across the country and to participating with CFM internationally.

Winter CFM Board Meeting
February 15-17, 2013, Des Moines, IA

Bringing ideas and experiences from around the country, CFM National Board members gathered at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Des Moines, Iowa February 15th-17th for the annual Winter Board Meeting.

Looking toward the future, the Board discussed: how best to use technology to further our mission, what future program materials would best serve our members, how to communicate our mission to local pastors, and how to make CFM better known among family life ministers. While considering how to grow the movement, Board members explored avenues for reaching new parishes and expanding existing chapters. Improving communication with local action group leaders also remains a prominent concern of the Board.

In an informal focus group session, members of local Des Moines CFM action groups, including a couple from Movimiento Familiar Christiano Catolica (Spanish-speaking CFM), provided valuable feedback to the Board about directions for future program materials and membership tools. Local group leaders from St. Francis who were interested in understanding how the National Board functions were warmly welcomed to sit in on committee meetings.

The Board elected new officers. Beginning in July 2013, Tom & Mary Kay Halpin (Omaha, NE) will serve as President Couple, and Brian & Mary Ann Thelen (Ann Arbor, MI) as Vice-President Couple. Treasurer Couple John & Mary Poprac (Torrance, CA) and Secretary Couple Dave Langer & Donna Richard-Langer (Des Moines, IA) were re-elected. The Board is blessed to welcome two new couples who will serve on the CFM Board beginning this summer: Mike & Cathy Glazzy (San Ramon, CA) and John & Ana Stanham (Miami, FL).

Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 20-22, 2012, South Bend, IN

The National CFM Board of Directors met at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in South Bend, IN. The annual summer National Board meeting was held in South Bend, Indiana the weekend of July 20 – 22, 2012. The attendees included CFM representatives from Illinois, Maryland, Florida, Southern California, Iowa, Nebraska, Virginia and Michigan. The Board members and their families had the opportunity to tour the University of Notre Dame and reflect on the rich Catholic traditions that mark this university. The tour of the Basilica and Grotto and the shared history of the university by a Notre Dame undergrad emphasized the importance of the blessed Mother to our faith. The tour of the university was wonderful and gave many of the long time CFMers the opportunity to reflect on the role Notre Dame has played in the history of CFM. Growing up in a CFM family, I can remember many wonderful national conventions held at the university.

Notre Dame Tour

The Board discussed the current action book “Acting on Faith: the Acts of the Apostles and Today’s Christian Families”. The Board also developed the outline for future actions books; reviewed communication and promotional materials for CFM; reviewed membership activities and the financial outlook of CFM. The meeting was a wonderful opportunity for the Board members to share what actions they have ongoing in their immediate areas, and what direction they would like to encourage CFM to move in the future.

John and Lauri Przybysz, ICCFM Reps; Bishop George Rassas of Chicago; Donna and Dave Langer, CFM Secretaries
Winter CFM Board Meeting
March 2-4, 2012, Palatine, IL

The National CFM Board of Directors met at St. Thomas of Villanova in Palatine, IL. The Board worked on promoting membership, producing new program materials for action groups, and expanding CFM to families in new dioceses. Chicago Bishop George Rassas, member of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, visited the Board at their meeting and encouraged them to participate with other Catholic family organizations in the National Summit of Marriage to be held in July in Dallas, Texas. Mary Kay Halpin, Coordinator of Member Services, presented the Winter 2012 National Office Report. 

A new blue and white logo for CFM-USA was approved by the National Board. In the spirit of the New Evangelization, the image of the Holy Family accompanies today’s family as they go into the world to make a difference for Christ.

Father Tom Rzepiela, Spiritual Advisor, Presidents Bob and Anne Tomonto, Bishop George Rassas of Chicago
Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 30-August 1, 2011, Des Plaines, IL

The National CFM Board of Directors met at the Cabrini Retreat Center in Chicago, July 30-August 1, 2011, to work and plan new initiatives for inviting more families to join the Movement. New board members Jule and John Ward of Indiana and Beth and Dan McKenna of Virginia attended their first board meeting and participated actively in the work of leading the Movement in the U.S. As is our custom, children of board members also attended and enjoyed a special program and activities planned just for them while their parents worked on program guides based on the Acts of the Apostles and “stewardship” in all its dimensions. They committed to executing energetic membership expansion strategies and communications with local CFM leaders. The Board began planning for a National Convention for Summer 2013 in South Bend at Notre Dame or St. Mary’s that will gather new CFM families as well as CFM veterans for a reunion and leadership formation. All the families gathered for Mass and prayer, lead by Spiritual Director, Fr. Tom Rzepiela, who is also pastor of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish in Palatine, IL. The Board welcomed a visit by his Eminence Francis Cardinal George of Chicago. Cardinal George listened to ideas from the Board about strengthening marriages and family life and he blessed the Board members and encouraged them to continue spreading CFM in more parishes.

Father Tom Rzepiela, Spiritual Advisor; Francis Cardinal George of Chicago; Presidents Anne and Bob Tomonto
Winter CFM Board Meeting
March 4-6, 2011, Miami, FL

The CFM Board gathered for a special evening of food, fellowship and reflection on Friday, March 4, 2011 at the home of our president couple, Bob and Anne Tomonto in Miami, Florida. This propelled the team into a weekend filled with planning, decision making and recognition at the Winter Board meeting.

Planning was directed at the operation of the National Office following the resignation of Missy Parkinson, Executive Director. The board is so appreciative of the two years of excellent work that Missy and Paul have provided for the Movement. The transition plan is underway, with board members stepping in to cover many of the responsibilities of the position.

Recognition to current board members who will complete their terms went to Paul and Jane Leingang and Dan and Noreen Thomas. Father Don Conroy was presented with the Reynold Hillenbrand award for his years of dedicated service to CFM.

The board also partook in some of the special events at the Festival of the Poor, sponsored by St. Louis Parish.

ICCFM 11th World Assembly / 15th General Assembly
September 10-14, 2010, Goa, India

Several members of CFM USA attended this meeting in Goa. International meetings are held every three years. Click here for photos and copies of all the speeches.

Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 28-31, 2010, St. Meinrad, IN

This year, the summer board of directors meeting returned to Saint Meinrad Archabbey, just west of Louisville, Kentucky, in a small town called St. Meinrad, Indiana. Families gathered from Florida, California, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Maryland and Indiana to discuss the future of CFM. Dave Langer and Donna Richard-Langer of St. Francis of Assisi CFM in West Des Moines Iowa (pictured below), were installed as directors at this meeting.

Discussions focused on programming materials, efforts to reach out and spread CFM, the financial stability of the movement, operating activities at the national office, and participation at the international level. As a community of believers we gathered in prayer for families, chaplains and priests, CFMers who came before us, and the many CFMers who work very hard to advance our mission. We also gathered in fun and fellowship to swap family stories, play games, discuss the progress of CFM in each of our geographical areas and visit the near-by theme park, Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari.

The children’s program included an opportunity to help Fr. Harry in the Archabbey garden (see photos below). Adults enjoyed a presentation by Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB, rector for Saint Meinrad School of Theology. Fr. Denis discussed six trends that have a bearing on the life of the Church today and participants considered how CFM fits in this “future Church” as a lay movement ministering with families as they nurture the next generation.

Dave Langer and Donna Richard-Langer
Helping Fr. Harry in the Archabbey garden
Helping in the Archabbey garden
Helping in the Archabbey garden
NACFLM Conference
June 23-26, 2010, Cincinnati, OH

CFM attended the NACFLM (National Association of Catholic Family Lay Ministers) conference on June 23-26 at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Director Couple Missy and Paul Parkison staffed a booth and presented a workshop focused on starting a CFM group using the Marriage Study starter kit. The theme of the conference, “Marriage-Building Parishes,” focused on implementation of the USCCB’s (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) pastoral initiative for marriage. Materials prepared for the NACFLM conference last year and for the LA RECongress this year were used. CFM purchased ad space in the 2010 NACFLM Parish Assessment and Resource Guide, which has been distributed to every diocese in the U.S to be forwarded to every parish. Next year’s conference is August 3-6 at Marquette University.

Religious Education Conference
March 2010, Los Angeles, CA

The Christian Family Movement hosted an exhibit booth for the first time this year at the Religious Education Congress hosted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. This annual event draws 40,000 Catholics together each year to celebrate and explore ways to better share their faith. Executive director couple Paul and Missy Parkison traveled to California to represent CFM alongside local CFMers from St. Lawrence Martyr parish in Redondo Beach.

CFMers from all over the country - and beyond - came by our booth to say hello and share stories of how their family has grown in faith through membership in the Christian Family Movement. Those less familiar with CFM were introduced to our process of family faith formation through action and took away some information and review book copies to share with others in their home parishes. Our invitation to participate in this event provided an opportunity to work on some new promotional material. A sample of our new brochure is available on the resources

CFM table
CFM booth
Winter CFM Board Meeting
February 19-21, 2010, Arlington Heights, IL

The Board of Directors and Executive Director couple of CFM-USA gathered in Arlington Heights, IL for their winter meeting, February 19-21, 2010. The meeting was hosted by St. Edna parish CFM. The national leadership team also had an opportunity to spend time with Holy Family CFM in neighboring Inverness, and St. Thomas of Villanova CFM in nearby Palatine. CFM in the Chicago area is vibrant and inspiring!

The Board of Directors meets twice a year to coordinate their work in service to the families of CFM. They observe CFM’s current membership and financial information, judge this national picture in light of the Movement’s mission to families, and adopt specific actions that will better advance that mission. One essential component of CFM at the national level is programming. The Program Committee discussed social inquiry book concepts for 2010, 2011, and 2012.

This board meeting was the first for our new Spiritual Director, Rev. Thomas R. Rzepiela, pastor of St. Thomas of Villanova parish. Fr. Tom was a wonderful source of spiritual support for the board throughout the weekend. This board meeting marked the end of tenure for directors Andy and Judy Pozdol, Our Lady of the Wayside CFM, Arlington Heights, IL. Andy will remain as webmaster for CFM-USA. The board also took the opportunity to publicly recognize Les and Kathleen Miller, also of Our Lady of the Wayside, for their ongoing commitment to CFM and for Kathleen’s service as editor of ACT newsletter. Past-president Lauri Przybysz is now serving as ACT editor.

The work of CFM on the national level is ongoing, just as it is on the local level. The mission of CFM is bold and challenging. It takes the efforts of all the member families of the Christian Family Movement to advance that mission in our homes, parishes, and communities. Just as the fun and fellowship of each action group meeting energizes families for action locally, the fun and fellowship the national leadership team enjoyed at their winter meeting will carry them forward in their work on behalf of CFM-USA.

St. Edna CFM Group in their church kitchen
The Board conducting a meeting at St. Edna
Statue of the Holy Family at St. Edna
Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 9-12, 2009, Alexandria, VA

The summer meeting of the CFM USA Board of Directors was held July 9-12 at Christ Episcopal Church in Alexandria, VA. The newly elected slate of officers began their terms at the meeting, led by President Couple Bob and Anne Tomonto of Miami, FL; Vice President Couple Tom and Mary Kay Halpin of Omaha, NE; Secretary Couple Tom and Laura Toussaint of Arlington Heights, IL; Treasurer Couple John and Mary Poprac of Torrance, CA and Chaplain Father Tom Rzepiela of Palatine, IL.

Winter CFM Board Meeting
February 20-22, 2009, Arlington Heights, IL

The winter board meeting of the Christian Family Movement was held Friday through Sunday, February 20-22 at Our Lady of Wayside (OLW) in Arlington Heights, Illinois. During the board meeting, new officers were elected for a two-year term beginning on July 1. They are: Bob and Anne Tomonto, Miami, FL, president couple; Tom and Mary Kay Halpin, Omaha, NE, vice-president couple; Tom and Laura Toussaint, Arlington Heights, IL, secretary couple; and John and Mary Poprac, Torrance, CA, treasurer couple.

On Saturday evening, Bishop George Rassas celebrated a Mass and a renewal of wedding vows for area CFMers and friends. In addition to the national board and OLW parishioners, couples attended from six Chicago area parishes that have CFM: St Edna, St James, Holy Family, St Thomas of Villanova, St Cletus and St Clement. Bishop Rassus is an auxiliary bishop for Chicago and bishop liaison for the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers. Father Ed Fialkowski, pastor at Our Lady of Wayside, and Father Tom Rzepiela, pastor of St Thomas of Villanova, concelebrated. Deacon of the Mass was OLW CFMer Don Grossnickle.

frtom09.jpgAt the end of Mass, CFM president couple John and Lauri Przybysz awarded Father Tom Rzepiela the Hillenbrand award in
 recognition of his service as a CFM chaplain. Mary Lou Gorman recruited Father Tom for CFM while he was stationed as a seminarian at St. James-Arlington Heights. He was chaplain of a group at St. Thomas of Villanova from 1972 to 1979. He remained involved in CFM while he lived at OLW from 1979 to 1987 when he was on the faculty at Mundelein seminary. He served as chaplain of the Chicago federation from 1982 to 1987. He is current chaplain of CFM at St. Thomas. The award is named after Msgr. Reynold Hillenbrand, who was the first national chaplain of CFM.


During the Mass, Bishop Rassas acknowledged that CFM was celebrating its 60th anniversary. Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, greeted the attendees at a reception following the Mass and gave a blessing to CFM on the occasion of its anniversary year. In his remarks he acknowledged the important role CFM had played in the formation of many parishes in the Chicago area. He also talked about his own connection to Young Christian Students who, along with Young Christian Workers and CFM, used the same method created by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn: Observe, Judge, Act.

A popular feature of the reception was an entertaining 16-minute presentation of more than 80 wedding photos and musical selections created by Claire Stewart, daughter of Glen and Teresa Stewart. Each couple took home a CD of 20 “first dance” songs chosen from among those submitted by the attendees.

The longest married couples in attendance were OLW parishioners Marge and Joe Foreman – 50 years – and Winnie and Jim Stapleton – 55 years, along with Ardy and Fred Grosskopf from St Cletus Parish in LaGrange – 60 years!

OLW chair couple Glen and Teresa Stewart coordinated the vows renewal event and hospitality for the weekend. CFMers from St. Edna in Arlington Heights brought lunch for the board on Saturday. Tom and Laura Toussaint, members of the national board, coordinated the meeting at OLW.

Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 13-16, 2008, St. Meinrad, IN

The board of directors of CFM gathered July 13 though 16 along with CFM chapter leaders and several couples interesting in starting CFM at Saint Meinrad Archabbey for several days of activities and family fun, in addition to their normal summer meeting.

The heart of the meeting was provided by two talks from Father Denis Robinson, OSB, newly appointed president-rector of the Saint Meinrad School of Theology. Father Denis talked about the changing generational landscape of the church and especially the rise of the new faithful, those Catholics under the age of 45. Father Denis’s engaging presentation provided the group with a new and valuable perspective about the issues facing CFM.

A site visit to the Guadalupe Center, the Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Evansville, in Huntingburg, demonstrated the way the American heartland is changing with the influx of a new population of Catholics from South America and Mexico. CFM children participated in a simple rendition of the celebration of Posadas, a Christmas custom of Mexico, with local immigrant children. Children played the roles of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter at the inn. CFM parents played the role of the innkeeper who refuses entry to the couple many times before they recognize who they are. Sister Karen Durliat related the celebration to the US bishops’ teaching on the issue of immigration. Since no celebration in Hispanic culture is complete without food, local families provided a feast of Chicken mole, rice, beans, churros and bunuelos. Fresh pineapple juice rounded out the menu. The program allowed families of the two cultures to get to know each other in a new way.

The group was also treated to a visit to Holiday World/Splashin’ Safari, an award winning theme park only fifteen minutes from Saint Meinrad. Father Donnon Murray and Father Don Conroy delighted the group by riding the Voyage Roller Coaster, which was voted the top wooden roller coaster on the planet last year. Father Murray, who has spent 50 years as a missionary in China, reported he hadn’t been on a roller coaster in 60 years. When he was asked what he and Father Don did after they rode the coaster, he said, “We found a bench in the shade and sat and talked.” CFMers were impressed by the young staff at the park who were very helpful to the children as they enjoyed the rides and water features.

Past CFM and ICCFM president couple Wayne and Sue Hamilton joined the group at Saint Meinrad as did Nop and Elma Muangkroot, who were ICCFM president couple from 2001-2007. Gary and Kay Aitchison, ICCFM North American representatives, were also present.

New board members John and Mary Poprac of Torrance, CA and Brian and Mary Ann Thielen, Ann Arbor, MI were installed for a two year term. The board said goodbye to Robin and Pat Hafey, Sun City, AZ.

The meeting closed with a prayer service enhanced by several songs from the children led by Sister Teresa Gunter, OSB, who led the children’s program with volunteers from her youth group at St. Peter and Paul, Haubstadt, and Holy Cross, Ft. Branch, Ind. Several families reported that children were singing the songs that “Sister T” taught the group and providing a lasting memory of the time spent with CFM friends from across the US.

For a video of the meeting, click here.

Winter CFM Board Meeting
February 22-24, 2008, Palatine, IL

The CFM USA board met at St. Thomas of Villanova parish in Palatine, IL on Feb 22-24. New directors were elected for a two year term: John and Mary Poprac from St. Lawrence Martyr CFM in Redondo Beach, CA; Andy and Judy Pozdol from Our Lady of the Wayside CFM in Arlington Heights, IL; and Brian and Mary Ann Thelen from St. Thomas CFM in Ann Arbor, MI. Tom and Laura Toussaint from Holy Family CFM in Inverness, IL, were re-elected. They have served on the board since 2004. Andy Pozdol continues to serve as webmaster for CFM, a position he has held since 2000.

During the discussions which preceded the board meeting several items were reviewed. The program book for next year, Marriage Makes a Difference, which is nearly finished and ready for the printer was distributed and reviewed for final corrections. The membership committee discussed the effectiveness of the new strategies that have been implemented for establishing new groups and retaining members. Plans for the upcoming expanded board meeting at Saint Meinrad Archabbey were reviewed by the conventions and meetings committee. The operations committee reviewed current communications and decided to employ a new service for e-mail distribution of our column “Taking the Time to Make a Difference,” ACT, Parenting Pointers, and Marriage Moments.

The board members attended St. Thomas' 5 p.m. Mass on Saturday evening and were pleased to receive a public blessing from Father Tom Rzepiela for their service to the Church. Father Tom is a former Chicago federation chaplain. The local CFM group has been very grateful for his support.

After the Saturday evening parish Mass, local CFM families joined the board of directors for a “Western Extravaganza.” The night of square dancing, chuckwagon food and fun was a welcome break for the board. Kevin and Kate O’Connell, leaders of the St. Thomas CFM, group leaders Anna and Ken Kieliszewski and Danny and Barbara Howell hosted. The Kieliszewskis are members of the board.

ICCFM 10th World Assembly/14th General Assembly
July 25-29, 2007, Fatima, Portugal

William and Esilda Cheng, Panama City, Panama were elected to the presidency of the International Confederation of Christian Family Movements at the 14th General Assembly of ICCFM on July 29 at the Paul VI Center, Fatima, Portugal. The Chengs will assemble their secretariat in the coming months; they will lead the movement for the next three years when the next assembly is held. The site of the 11th ICCFM World Assembly of Families/15th General Assembly to be held in 2010 will be Goa, India. Cyril and Carmen D’Souza, president couple of CFM-India and Father Socorro Mendes, director of the Family Service Center of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman (India) will coordinate the gathering. Dates will be announced at a later date.

The Cardijn award was presented to two persons. Msgr. Charles Vella of Milan, Italy, retiring ICCFM chaplain, was honored. Msgr. Vella started CFM in Malta almost 50 years ago and he continues to work with CFM in Malta and Italy. He met Pat and Patty Crowley as a seminarian and their work inspired him and shaped his priesthood. Msgr. Vella also started the Cana movement in Malta which prepares couples for marriage with the help of many CFM couples.

Passionist Fr. Pedro Richards was recognized posthumously with the Cardijn. Father Richards hosted a retreat in 1952 in Montevideo, Uruguay out of which MFC grew. He remained active in MFC both in Argentina and Uruguay until his death in 2002. A representative of the Passionist order headquartered in Rome accepted the award on his behalf.

The presidents of the three CFM movements in North America were present at the meeting. MFC president couple Juan and Teresa Rodriguez were present along with their chaplain, Rev. Rafael Davila. Erwin and Nora Lopez, president couple of MFC-LA and John and Lauri Przybysz, CFM-USA president couple, met with Gary and Kay Aitchison, ICCFM representatives for North America, and the Rodriguezes to discuss how the movements can work together to advance the mission of the movement. The Przybyszes also gave the World Assembly opening presentation on the Family as Domestic Church. Afterwards the representatives met in language groups to discuss the presentation. The meeting was conducted in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Discussions revealed that family problems have become more universal as the world becomes smaller due to technology and the Internet.

The conference attendees had an opportunity to visit Aljustrel and the homes of the visionaries Lucia and Jancinta dos Santos and Francisco Martos. Many representatives participated in a candlelight Way of the Cross on Friday evening. The English language group was led by Father Mendes. Prayer intentions before each station offered by the participants reflected the social problems in countries around the world. On Saturday night participants joined in the multilingual recitation of the rosary and candlelight procession in the Sanctuary plaza.

For a video report, click here.

For more info and photos on the ICCFM web site, click here.

Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 6-8, 2007, Redondo Beach, CA

Early arrivals for the CFM board meeting enjoyed a ballgame and fireworks at Dodger Stadium on July 4 along with St. Lawrence Martyr CFMers. They were delighted to see CFM in lights on Dodger scoreboard.

See below photo from the Dodgers baseball game.


The meeting was convened on Thursday night by President couple John and Lauri Przybysz. Newly appointed Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the bishops committee on Marriage and Family, celebrated Mass for the board and their children as the meeting opened. Friday morning Archbishop Kurtz reported on the status of National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage. The initiative is entering its third year and the bishops have recently unveiled their website, The website's thrust, "What have you done for your marriage today?" is echoed in a TV and radio campaign of public service announcements. The PSAs were screened for the board by Sheila Garcia, assistent director of the USCCB secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Women and Youth who accompanied Archbishop Kurtz. Mrs. Garcia led a discussion about the campaign and board members offered reactions to the announcements, issues that remained for the committee in regard to the initiative and opportunities for cooperation. The CFM program book for 2008 studies the state of marriage and its impact on society.

The balance of the meeting was taken up in discussion of the new membership initiative, programming plans, plans for a expanded summer meeting next year at St. Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, Ind., and updates for the CFM website.

After the meeting concluded on Saturday, July 7, board members and their families enjoyed participating in the CFM "Olympics" and chili cook-off organized by St. Lawrence Martyr CFMers. Several families were able to stay long enough to attend Sunday Mass where they were introduced to the congregation.

Front: Directors Paul and Jane Leingang, Presidents Lauri and John Przybysz. Back: Deacon Jim Egnatuk, Chaplain of St. Lawrence CFM, Bishop Kurtz of Knoxville, TN, Chaplain Fr. Don Conroy.



Winter CFM Board Meeting
February 16-18, 2007, Omaha, NE

The CFM Board of Directors met in February 2007 in Omaha, Nebraska, hosted by incoming Treasurers Mary Kay and Tom Halpin at St. Vincent de Paul Parish. Although the blowing snow was a challenge for all, especially board members used to balmy Florida and California, the Board generated creative plans to implement now for growing CFM in all regions of the US. Presidents John and Lauri Przybysz, Maryland, urged the board to make every effort in their local areas to ignite excitement and enthusiasm for our Movement: “We believe that the way forward is to recruit more members and attract new sources of charitable contributions to support CFM. Because we want CFM to be available to future generations, we are kicking off a National Membership Drive. Growing CFM is our priority initiative!” Read the Presidents’ Report in its entirety on the home page of the web site.

Local group members can start now to invite new families to experience the hospitality and fellowship of CFM, even before the new CFM season begins in the Fall. End-of-year family activities, evenings of reflection, picnics: all are ways to introduce new families to your groups, the Przybyszs said. Personal invitation is the key to success. More ideas for expanding CFM will be coming out on our website, in Contact Leaders’ Newsletter, and in future issues of ACT. CFM is blessed to have members on our board with professional expertise in marketing that can design effective tools for recruiting new families. Tom Toussaint, board member from Arlington Heights, IL, recommended strategies for strengthening existing CFM groups around the country, based on his professional marketing experience. The Halpins shared the details of their successful expansion drive at St. Vincent’s, which doubled their membership to four groups in 2006. Membership Chair Robin Hafey described this renewed effort to spread CFM: "In this day of many challenges that marriages and families face, CFM has provided a place to share our faith, our lives and to develop meaningful friendships! We're inviting each family that's experienced CFM to share the good news with another family!! EACH ONE--REACH ONE. Your personal invitation is the most effective way to grow our Movement and help strengthen other marriages and families. Check with your Parish office and get the names and numbers of new families in your Church. Give them a call and extend an invite...have a "new couple night" at your meeting, inviting others to come and find out what CFM is all about. Let's work together and E-X-P-A-N-D CFM!"

The Board recognizes that now is a critical moment for CFM. The Presidents said they are eager to work with the Board and local CFM leaders for our mission: To promote Christ-centered marriage and family life; to help individuals and their families to live the Christian faith in everyday life; and to improve society through actions of love, service, education and example. They said, “We believe that this is a mission given us by Jesus. We trust the Holy Spirit to guide us to be his co-workers in the vineyard, unified by love. May God, who has begun this good work in us, continue to bless CFM.”

As an organization of Catholics and their families, CFM urges its members to remain connected to their local Church, in partnership with their pastors, taking full advantage of the faith formation opportunities in their parishes and dioceses. While CFM cannot replace the catechetical efforts of the parish, the movement will create program books that will reliably guide the discussion at their meetings. In addition, with the guidance of our chaplain and our diocesan family life offices, our program committee will produce family enrichement tools that have been successful in real CFM groups. The program committee will continue to use ACT and our website to recommend supplementary resources from authoritative sources.

At a Mass to open the Board’s gathering, National Chaplain, Fr. Don Conroy, of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, encouraged all to keep the Spirit of evangelization alive in CFM. He reminded the board of the lessons in leadership CFM learned from the holy priests, particularly Fr. Louis Putz and Fr. Sam Palmer, who guided and shaped our Movement. CFM. Fr. Conroy urged CFM to reintroduce itself to a new generation of priests.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth is working with CFM for input on their upcoming National Pastoral Initiative on Marriage. In response to this pastoral initiative, CFM’s 2008 Program book will call our members to explore how everyone can support and strengthen marriage in our society. Veteran CFMers, Ed and Sheila Osterhaus, who will be co-editing the 2008 book with the Halpins, attended the Board Meeting and shared their wisdom with the board. Two new couples joined the Board. Missy and Paul Parkison, Evansville, Indiana, and the Anna and Ken Kieliszewski, Palatine, Illinois, will be sharing their talents with CFM. Tom and Laura Toussaint, of Arlington Heights, IL, Peter and Jane Buchbauer, of Winchester, VA, and Robin and Pat Hafey, Ramona, California, will continue to work on the national level and bring their gifts and experience to CFM. CFM Board members are invited from among successful local leaders to represent and encourage the growth of CFM nationally.

The Board bid farewell to Gary and Kay Aitchison, Ames, IA, from the National Board after many years of faithful service, first as area couple, then as presidents and as Executive Directors. John and Lauri said, “Gary and Kay have been our role models for leadership in the Movement. We learned from them the importance of calling and visiting local leaders and the power of friendship in leading CFM.”

The Board expressed their gratitude for the service of our web master, Andy Pozdol, of Arlington Heights, who volunteers many hours and talents to manage our web page, which is our most valuable tool as we go into the future. They also applauded the dedication and creativity of ACT editor, Kathleen Miller, Arlington Heights. ACT will continue to provide resources and ideas for family enrichment to our members. Bob and Anne Tomonto, Miami, FL, will serve another term as Vice-presidents, and Dan and Noreen Thomas, Torrence, CA, will continue as Secretaries. Terry and Jean Smith completed 12 years on the CFM board. Tom and Mary Kay Halpin, Omaha, have stepped forward to be the Treasurers, beginning in July 2007. The Board thanked the Smiths for their dedicated service and financial guidance and welcome the Halpins, who also bring with them experience in finance and marketing.

Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 21-23, 2006, Winchester, VA

The Summer meeting of the National Board of Directors of CFM was held July 21 to 23 at Sacred Heart Parish in Winchester, Va. Tucker and Becky Conaboy, who are members of the board and parishioners of Sacred Heart, were hosts for the meeting. The board viewed the new CFM promotional DVD at their meeting and developed plans for its use and distribution. They agreed to plan a gathering for CFM leaders in the summer of 2008. The conventions and meetings committee recommendation for Colorado for the location of this meeting was tentatively accepted. The membership committee proposed a new strategy for keeping in touch and promoting communication with parish leaders which will be implemented in September. The program committee reviewed progress on the 2007-2008 program book on life issues. First drafts of most chapters have been written. Jan Rogers of Winchester, Va. is the editor. Mary Kay and Tom Halpin and Ed and Sheila Osterhaus, all of Omaha, Neb., are editors of the 2008-2009 book. The topic of the book is challenges regarding marriage in the 21st century.

Click here for the 2005-2006 CFM Budget, presented at this meeting.

The board also celebrated Mass with Sacred Heart CFM families and participated in their annual summer picnic. Click here to open a new window with Meeting Photos.

Winter CFM Board Meeting
February 24-26, 2006, Miami, FL

Sunny days greeted the CFM board of directors as they met for their winter board meeting in South Florida Feb 24-26. St. Louis Parish CFM in Miami hosted the group for their semi-annual meeting for the first time. Vice President Couple Bob and Anne Tomonto are parish leaders.

The group convened Friday night at Bob and Anne’s house for a light supper. They spent time reconnecting with each other and listening to reports of CFM activity and issues around the country. On Saturday the group met and St. Louis and participated in a reflection process with the help of Benedictine Sister Geraldine Hedinger. They identified the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing CFM at present as a move towards defining direction for the movement in the next five years. They were assisted in their reflection by a survey of leaders and members conducted in January and February through the CFM website. Growth of the movement was of primary concern for all board members. Under the leadership of President Couple John and Lauri Przybysz the group plans to develop specific strategies for positioning CFM for growth. The day concluded with Mass celebrated by Chaplain Father Donald Conroy. On Sunday the group met for a business meeting before most departed for home. Tom and Laura Toussaint of Arlington Heights, IL and Holy Family Parish in Inverness, IL were re-elected as members of the board at the business meeting.


The meeting was enlivened by the opportunity to participate in the Festival for the Poor, an annual fundraiser that St. Louis has for outreach ministries. The board purchased lunch from among Cuban, Haitian, Mexican and American offerings prepared by parishioners and dined on an Italian supper catered by a local restaurant. The food was delicious and the proceeds benefited the poor. In addition, the board had a chance to shop at booths selling handicrafts and specialty items that had been rented by parishioners. Many St. Louis CFMers were involved in the festival and in hosting board members during the weekend.

The board next meets July 22-24 in Winchester Va. Sacred Heart Parish CFM in Winchester, Va. is hosting. Tucker and Becky Conaboy of Winchester are handling arrangements.

Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 13-15, 2005, Inverness, IL

The board of directors of the Christian Family Movement gathered at Holy Family Parish, Inverness, IL.

John and Lauri Przybysz were installed as new presidents of CFM at board of directors meeting at Holy Family parish in Inverness. New board members present were Tom and Mary Kay Halpin, Des Moines, Iowa; Tucker and Becky Conaboy, Winchester, Va.; and Robin and Pat Hafey, Pewaukee, Wisc. The new secretaries of the movement are Dan and Noreen Thomas from Redondo Beach, Calif.

Father Don Conroy, and CFM past presidents Peter and Jane Buchbauer and presidents John and Lauri Przybysz.

With so many new members, the board engaged in some team building activities in order to get to know each other better. One evening's activities included a special home-grown family edition of Guesstures. The board quickly discovered who were the more inventive and coordinated members of the new team.

Board members Pat and Robin Hafey (Wisconsin), Mary Kay Halpin (Nebraska), and VP Anne and Bob Tomonto.

On a more serious note, the board discussed new directions in programming and meetings. The 2006 winter board meeting will move out of Chicago to Miami with attendees being hosted by members of St. Louis parish at the invitation of Vice Presidents Bob and Anne Tomonto. The summer board meeting will be in Winchester, Va., hosted by Sacred Heart CFMers. Future sites for meetings are Redondo Beach, Calif. and Evansville, Ind.

The board noted the hard work of Tom and Laura Toussaint and Mary and Phil Whiteside who acted as local chairs of this summer conference. The board was well pleased with the arrangements and the response to the event.

The generous response to the Phil and Mary Lou Gorman Membership Development Fund was noted. The board discussed ways that this fund will be used. Plans were made to have the DVD under development professionally produced.

The board and their children engaged in an outreach activity on Friday morning, July 15 at WINGS, an agency in service to women facing homelesses and domestic violence in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. In the afternoon, members met with Bishop Jerome Listecki and Rick McCord from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Marriage and Family Life about the bishops initiative on marriage.

Board members and families work at WINGS.
Winter CFM Board Meeting
February 25-27, 2005, Techny, IL

The board of directors of the Christian Family Movement gathered at Divine Word International, Techny, IL, on Friday, February 25 for a weekend of meetings on issues concerning the direction of the movement.

The board dealt with issues such as a policy regarding safe practices for the prevention of child abuse and sexual misconduct. They also discussed the progress of the marriage and family life conference to be held this summer at Holy Family Parish in Inverness. They also got their first look at the DVD that is being developed for membership recruitment and the next year’s program book, Discovering Jesus.

On Saturday evening the board visited with local CFMers who had gathered at St. James parish in Arlington Heights to view the new DVD. A listening session surfaced ideas for improving it and ways it could be used by parish leaders.

At their official meeting on Sunday, February 27, the Board elected new officers, effective July 1, 2005:

President: John and Lauri Przybysz - Severna Park, MD
Vice-President: Bob and Anne Tomonto - Palmetto Bay, FL
Secretary: Dan and Noreen Thomas - Redondo Beach, CA
Treasurer: Terry and Jean Smith - Des Moines, IA
Past President: Peter and Jane Buchbauer - Winchester, VA
Chaplain: Fr. Donald Conroy - Latrobe, PA

Officers also act as members of the Board of Directors. Other Directors elected for a two year term commencing July 1, 2005:

Tucker and Becky Conaboy – Winchester, VA
Pat and Robin Hafey - Pewaukee, WI
Tom and Mary Kay Halpin – Omaha, NE
John and Beth O’Neil – Arlington Heights, IL

The following begin year two of their two year Board term on July 1, 2005:

Tom and Laura Toussaint - Arlington Heights, IL
Tim and Kerry Fahey - San Ramon, CA

The board also honored the 80th birthday of former Chicago area Board member Phil Gorman by establishing the Phil and Mary Lou Gorman Membership Development fund. Several present and former board members attending a party honoring Phil on Sunday afternoon.

Fall CFM Service Team Meeting
October 22-24, 2004, Inverness, IL

The Service Team of the Christian Family Movement met in the northwest suburbs of Chicago in Inverness, IL at Holy Family Parish the weekend of October 22-24. The service team consists of the officers of CFM and the executive directors.

Peter and Jane Buchbauer, Lauri and John Przybysz, Terry and Jean Smith, Paul and Jane Leingang and Chuck and Jan Rogers met with local leaders to discuss the upcoming conference in July 2005, which will be held at Holy Family. They also met with leaders at Holy Family, St. Thomas of Villanova, St. Clement, and St. James to discuss group recruitment and formation and the types of activities chapters sponsor.

Other issues before the attendees included the development of DVDs for training and recruitment, a survey regarding satisfaction and expectations of members, and potential cooperation between CFM and other movements engaged in marriage ministry. Thanks to Tom and Laura Toussaint and their group at Holy Family for providing hospitality to the service team.

Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 25-27, 2004, Santa Clara, CA

The Board met at Santa Clara University on July 26-28 just before the Ninth ICCFM World Assembly. Topics discussed at the meeting included expansion efforts in California, planning for a new DVD to introduce the movement in parishes that do not currently have CFM, and project funding.

Preparation for the marriage and family life conference to be held in Chicago July 15 and 16 were also discussed. Tom and Laura Toussaint and Mary and Phil Whiteside are local chairs. Chuck and Jan Rogers, Winchester, VA are chairs of the conventions and meetings committee of the national board. The conference theme is "Fanning the Fire of Faith". Christian comedian Doug Brummel, Father Patrick Brennan and Andrew and Terri Lyke are presenters. Plans call for a pre-convention service opportunity in the Chicago area and a post-convention family outing.

The program committee announced that Carol Toussaint, Arlington Heights, IL. is editing next year's program, Discovering Christ, which will study the Gospel of Mark. Carol is an experienced CFMer with a MA in pastoral studies who leads Bible study in the Chicago area. Photos will be solicited to illustrate the book. The 2006-2007 program will be focused on topical concerns. The proposed titles at this time are Abundant Life or Be Not Afraid. Discussion also included how to make more effective use of the website to distribute meeting material to members.

Presidents Peter and Jane Buchbauer, executive directors Paul and Jane Leingang, and chaplain Father Don Conroy met with the leadership of the Movimiento Familiar Cristiano (MFC) USA and MFC-LA on Tuesday night while other board members enjoyed a night off. Peter and Jane reported to the board what they learned about the structures of these two Spanish-speaking CFM movements in the US and what was discussed regarding how CFM will respond to requests for materials in Spanish. The MFC leaders were in Santa Clara to attend the World Assembly of ICCFM. Many board members had an opportunity to meet the MFC participants during the assembly along with participants from 20 other countries who were represented at the assembly which followed the board meeting.

Winter CFM Board Meeting
February 20-22, 2004, Techny, IL

Leaders of CFM from Chicago and Wisconsin met with the national CFM USA Board of Directors on Friday evening, February 20, at Holy Family Parish in Inverness, IL (a northwest suburb of Chicago) for a presentation by national secretary couple Lauri and John Przybysz, Severna Park, MD, on next year's program book, Homemade Disciples. Using household objects that reflected their life as parents of six children, the Przybysz's detailed the ways that ordinary family life is holy. They quoted from the document of the U.S. bishops, "Follow the Way of Love" to bolster their point. "A family is holy not because it is perfect but because God's grace is a work in it, helping it to set out anew everyday on the way of love." During the evening participants had time to reflect with each other on the ways their family life has shared in the mission of the larger church. Tom and Laura Toussaint, Lisa and Joe Guerrero, and Curt and Maureen Rosenwinkel are the leadership team at Holy Family. The chapter turned out in force to hear the presentation using it as their February meeting. Holy Family Parish will be the site of the 2005 CFM USA convention.

The Board of Directors met on Saturday and Sunday at Divine Word International in north suburban Techny, IL to conduct business for the Movement. The Board discussed the progress of next year's book, plans for the 2005 Chicago convention, and multimedia membership support materials under development. Tom and Laura Toussaint of Arlington Heights, IL, and Kerry and Tim Fahey, San Ramon, CA were elected to the board of directors at Sunday's official board meeting. The next scheduled board meeting will be held July 26-28 in conjunction with the ICCFM World Assembly of Families in Santa Clara, CA.

Fall CFM Service Team Meeting
November 14-16, 2003, Des Moines, IA

The Service Team traveled to Des Moines November 14, 15, and 16 to visit with local leaders, soak up the Iowa sunshine and confer about upcoming projects for CFM. Board members Dave and Donna Langer, together with secretaries Terry and Jean Smith worked with leadership at St. Francis of Assisi parish in West Des Moines and St. Pius X in Urbandale to put together the meeting. Father Sam Palmer from St. Pius concelebrated with St. Francis pastor Msgr. Edward Hurley at the parish 4:30 Mass on Saturday. St. Francis leaders Mary and Dan Buscher and Julia and Jim Roegiers made arrangements for a potluck meal after the celebration. About 80 CFMers of all ages attended. Those present were from Holy Trinity, St. Pius, and St. Francis in Des Moines. St. Cecelia in Ames and St. Bernard in Omaha, Nebraska were also represented. After the potluck, Father Sam Palmer was recognized for his contributions as a CFM chaplain with the Monsignor Reynold Hillenbrand award. Jane and Paul Leingang made a presentation on Cardinal Joseph Cardijn and his message for CFM today.

Father Sam Palmer, who served as CFM national chaplain and also as international chaplain for ICCFM receves the Hillenbrand Award from the CFM vice presidents Bob and Anne Tomonto, during a weekend of meeting and celebration in Des Moines on November 15.

The board set direction for the 2005 CFM conference in Chicago at their meeting. They also discussed the leadership training and membership development initiative that is currently underway. Plans for the upcoming ICCFM gathering in San Jose, Calif. in July 2004 were discussed. Leaders of CFM USA hope to meet with the leadership of our Spanish speaking counterpart, MFC immediately before that meeting. The next scheduled board of directors meeting is Feb. 20-22 at Divine Word International, Techny, IL. Leaders in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana are invited to meet with the board for an evening of reflection and enrichment on Feb. 20 at Holy Family Parish in Inverness.

Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 23-25, 2003, Winchester, VA

The Summer Board meeting of the Christian Family Movement was held July 23-25 at Sacred Heart Parish in Winchester, Va. The board meeting convened Wednesday night after supper at the home of Chuck and Jan Rogers and continued the next day at Muldowney Hall on the campus of Sacred Heart. Items discussed included plans to seek additional funding through grants for the purpose of conducting an ambitious expansion and leadership development project. In addition the board reviewed plans for upcoming inquiry modules, set the 2004 summer board meeting to coincide with the ICCFM meeting In San Jose, CA, planned a Fall calling campaign to touch base with all CFM federations, and approved a new budget for the 2003-2004 fiscal year.

After the close of the meeting on Thursday, the national board and local Sacred Heat CFMer families met at the home of John and Anne Massale for a celebration of Mass and a potluck dinner. The official board meeting concluded at noon on Friday but in the evening, presidents Peter and Jane Buchbauer, executive directors Paul and Jane Leingang, past-presidents Chuck and Jan Rogers, and board member Dan Thomas conducted an evening of enrichment for area leaders. In addition to local leaders two couples from the Washington, D.C. area participated.

The service team will next meet on November 14-16 at St. Francis Parish in DesMoines, Iowa. There will be an evening of enrichment for Iowa and Nebraska leaders on Saturday, November 15.

The winter board meeting will be held February 20-22, 2004 at Techny Towers, Techny, Ill. in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The winter evening of enrichment for Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana leaders will be held at Holy Family parish in Inverness, Ill.

The CFM board of directors and other local CFMers met at the home of a Winchester, VA CFM member for a Mass and potluck on July 24.
Father Conroy leads CFM Board Meeting Home Mass, July 2003, Winchester, VA
Winter CFM Board Meeting
Feb. 28-March 2, 2003, Techny, IL

The CFM board of directors met at Techny Towers in Techny, IL for the winter board meeting, Feb 28 through March 2.

Friday night the board traveled to Our Lady of the Wayside parish in Arlington Heights, IL to meet with section leaders from the Chicago area, Wisconsin and Iowa for an "Evening of Reflection and Enrichment." The attendees heard presentations on Cardinal Joseph Cardijn and the mission of CFM from executive directors Paul and Jane Leingang and presidents Peter and Jane Buchbauer, followed by small group discussion. Assistant Wayside section leaders Mark and Michelle Iammarino hosted the event with the able support of Bill and Terry Mitchell who are the current leaders. Jim and Winnie Stapleton, long-time CFM members at Wayside, provided transportation support. Tom Toussaint, co-leader at Holy Family in Inverness, IL, provided music for the evening and also at the Mass for the board on Saturday evening in the Techny chapel.

Judging from the noise level in the room during the discussion everyone had a good time. Comments such as, "I learned so much." And "This was so good," were overheard. The Buchbauers honored former Area 9 representatives Jim and Mary Robertson, of Menomonee Falls, WI for their years of service to the board before the final blessing service conducted by CFM Chaplain Father Donald Conroy. Board plans call for conducting a similar evening in the Washington, D.C. area after the summer board meeting.

On Saturday the board got down to business with committee meetings. Among the topics under discussion were: the book creation and editing process, finances and fund raising opportunities, utilization of the CFM website, plans for future leadership meetings and conferences, membership retention and recruitment, and development of an expansion video.

In the evening the board was inspired by a presentation from Brian and Mary Ann Thelen and their daughters, Rachel and Mary Ann. They spoke about the camp their Ann Arbor, MI CFM group conducts each summer. For the past nine years the group has brought suburban families and inner city families from New York City and Detroit together for a week of personal development and faith enrichment They raise between $15,000 to $20,000 each year to support the camp.

During the official board meeting on Sunday morning, the board took action to raise dues by $5. The current officers were re-elected for another two-year term. Dan and Noreen Thomas, Torrance, CA, were elected as members of the Board of Directors. Peter and Jane Buchbauer, and Chuck and Jan Rogers, both of Winchester, VA; Terry and Jean Smith, Des Moines, IA; Bob and Anne Tomonto, Miami, FL; John and Lauri Przybysz, Severna Park, MD; Paul and Jane Leingang, Evansville, IN; Father Donald Conroy, Washington, D.C.; Gary and Kay Aitchison, Ames, IA; Larry and Margie Murchan, San Jose, CA; and Dave Langer and Donna Richard-Langer, Des Moines, IA were re-elected to the board of directors. The term of service for the Board of Directors is two years.

The meeting was interrupted by a phone call announcing the arrival of Mattia Therese Leingang. Mattia is the first child of Matt and Sonya Leingang, Highland Park, NJ, and first grandchild of executive directors Paul and Jane Leingang.

CFM Board Meeting, March 2003, Our Lady of the Wayside Parish, Arlington Heights, IL
Fall Service Team Meeting
Nov. 15-17, 2002, Redondo Beach, CA

The Service Team visited St. Lawrence Martyr parish in sunny Redondo Beach, CA in mid-November had a chance to meet their vibrant CFM federation and honor their retiring pastor for his long-term support of the movement. Local leaders Dan and Noreen Thomas along with Greg and Brenda Argano organized the weekend so that the national visitors had maximum exposure to the CFM community. We even had an opportunity to meet one of the people who established CFM at the parish in the early fifties.

On Friday evening November 15 the team met with long time CFMers and group leaders from St. Lawrence Martyr parish for dinner and a frank discussion of the CFM community there. Peter and Jane Buchbauer led the converation about recruitment, structure and program topics that lasted late into the evening. The service team gained valuable insights from the California group.

Saturday was a chance for the team to get an update about the reception of this year's program and work together on upcoming projects. One project that is moving forward is the development of an enrichment program for leaders. The program will be piloted this winter in Chicago and refined for presentation in the summer following the board meeting in Winchester, VA.

Other topics which came under discussion were an orientation video, and the development of a overarching structure for inquiry module topics.

The evening concluded with the service team attending the annual "Thanksgiving Feast." This evening, which has to be the most massive potluck ever staged, was attended by most of the 112 CFM families with their children. Peter and Jane Buchbauer and Father Michael Conroy started the evening with the presentation of the first Reynold Hillenbrand award to Monsignor Michael Lenihan, retiring pastor. For all of his 21 years at St. Lawrence Monsignor Lenihan has been supremely supportive of CFM. Monsignor Lenihan noted that he drew a great deal of support for the parish from the CFM group which was important in developing an active base of involved parishioners over his years as pastor.

The Hillenbrand award recognizes CFM chaplains for outstanding service to the movement. The Hillenbrand Award is named for the first national chaplain of CFM, Monsignor Reynold Hillenbrand of Chicago. Hillenbrand was key in setting the program agenda for CFM during the formative years of the movement in the 50s. In addition he worked with chaplains across the country to develop leadership for the movement.

Most of the service team was able to attend the vibrant 8:30 am celebraion of Mass on Sunday before heading for the airport back to family and job responsibilities. We were tired, but refreshed by the ideas and experiences we had had.

CFM Service Team Meeting, November 2002, St. Lawrence Martyr Parish, Redondo Beach, CA. "Thanksgiving Feast". St. Lawrence CFM leaders Dan and Noreen Thomas and family (foreground) and National Directors Jane and Paul Leingang (behind Noreen).
CFM National President Couple Peter and Jane Buchbauer presenting the "Msgr. Reynold Hillenbrand Achievement Award" to Pastor Emeritus Rev. Msgr. Michael Lenihan, P.A. of St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Redondo Beach. On Msgr. Lenihan's left, and holding the award, is the CFM National Chaplain Rev. Don Conroy and Dan Thomas, one of the current co-section leaders of St. Lawrence Martyr CFM ministry.
Summer CFM Board Meeting
July 2-4, 2002, Miami, FL

After a welcoming dinner at the home of Bob and Anne Tomonton on Tuesday evening, the group gathered for meetings on Wednesday morning on the grounds of St. Louis Parish which is home to an active CFM federation. Besides the usual officer reports and director's report, the group covered committee business in a committee of the whole format.

Membership discussion on Wednesday included efforts underway to expand membership. Some of the discussion involved increasing the functionality of the website for the benefit of our members. Another topic was the expansion of the use of the Covenant Experience weekend as a way of increasing membership.

Convention plans for coming years were discussed and a sub-committee to propose alternative formats was appointed. The 2004 board meeting will be held in conjunction with the International Confederation of Christian Family Movement meeting in July of that year.

Program committee announced that not only was the 2002-2003 book ready, but the committee had also updated the book "Your Marriage: The Great Adventure" and it was also available. The 2003-2004 book will be a challenging module on modern day saints with an emphasis on social action. Margie Murchan, San Jose, Calif. is editor. The meetings will be sent out for critique to groups around the country in September. The subject of the book for 2003-2004 is Old Testament stories. The book will emphasize the core spiritual values these stories teach. Jane Buchbauer, Winchester, Va. is editor. She presented an outline to the committee for review. She is looking for meeting authors.

New bylaws were adopted during the Operations and Structures committee meeting. The March board meeting will bring the next election. Chuck Rogers, Jane Leingang and Larry Murchan were appointed as nominating committee to find candidates for officers and to fill vacancies on the board. The board affirmed an initiative by Larry Murchan to establish a more formal relationship with the Institute for Church Leadership at Notre Dame. Father Don Conroy was appointed to assist.

On Thursday morning before the official business meeting, Father Don Conroy, Washington, DC was formally installed as national. Father Conroy will fill out the unexpired term of Father Bill Young, Cleveland, OH who served nine years as chaplain of the movement. The board concluded its meeting by participating in a lively parish Mass in honor of July 4 that was attended by approximately 300. They also joined parishioners for the picnic on the parish grounds that followed.

CFM July 2002 Board Meeting, St. Louis Parish, Miami, FL
Winter CFM Board Meeting
March 8-10, 2002, Techny, IL
National Board of Directors Meeting: Piloting CFM to Support Family, Improve World

Gale-force winds added drama to CFM's Board of Directors Meeting in Chicago recently. National CFM Officers and leaders representing many areas nationwide, met at Techny Towers near Chicago, Mary 8-10, 2002. The powers of nature seemed to echo the passion of the discussions and deliberations of the CFM leaders as they charted the course of our movement as a force for improving society, the family and the Church. Their task was to clarify and strengthen CFM's identity and mission for the years to come.

At prayer on Friday evening, the Board reflected on the work of a man who might be called the grandfather of CFM: Cardinal Cardijn of Belgium. Jane and Paul Leingang, Executive Directors, with Chaplain Rev. Bill Young, recalled for the group how Cardijn founded the Young Christian Workers movement in Europe in the early 1900's, based on a method that we know today as Observe-Judge-Act. Cardijn's method of social inquiry and action resonated with other groups, including the Christian Family Movement in America.

A priority was discernment and discussion of CFM's Mission Statement. The board members wanted the statement to express boldly what makes CFM a vital organization. Many new types of family organizations have arisen since CFM began in the 1950's, CFM remains unique in its focus on action. While many family organizations gather people in small groups, most focus on study and fellowship of their members. While CFM also educates and builds community, action makes us different. The Board is also working on revising and updating the by-laws to reflect current structures in the movement.

Leaders from all CFM groups are encouraged to participate in the Board's meetings, and representatives from Iowa and Chicago shared their groups' insights into the mission of CFM. Visiting members have the opportunity to give input into planning for future CFM books, actions, and future initiatives. Any CFM leaders interested in attending the Summer Board Meeting should contact the National Office.

ICCFM representatives Gary and Kay Aitchison announced that World Assembly of Families will be held in California in 2004, and CFM members will be welcome to participate. CFM's Website, thanks to the talent of web-master Andy Pozdol, has contributed to showcasing the value and vitality of the movement, and Board members offered both praise and ideas for expanding it.

Bob and Ann Tomonto, Vice-presidents, told how their groups are energized for the 2002 National Convention in Miami, July 4-7. The group expressed gratitude and admiration for Fr. Bill Young as he retired after 9 years as National chaplain. The board approved Fr. Don Conroy of Washington DC as National Chaplain beginning in July. Fr. Conroy has been a CFM chaplain in parishes and currently directs the Institute for Families.

Larry and Margie Murchan, of San Jose area, are facilitating a partnership between CFM and the University of Notre Dame Institute for Church Life to promote young adult ministry, social action, and marriage preparation.

The Board created the Christian Family Movement Endowment in honor of Past Executive Directors Gary and Kay Aitchison within the Catholic Foundation of Southern Illinois, to ensure continuing funding for the movement. A substantial gift to CFM made the endowment possible. Margie Murchan and the program committee announced the 2002-2003 program "Evidence of Faith" will be ready in September. This book explores characteristics that adults must exhibit if they hope to pass the Christian faith on to their children, and recommends actions to build those qualities. CFM's popular marriage enrichment program is being revised and reprinted this summer.

Action items were assigned to all members, especially a challenge to start one new group in their areas this year. Until they meet next Summer, before the National Convention in Miami, the National Board will continue to work at keeping CFM on the course Cardinal Cardijn set for us, expressed well in the first line of our new mission statement, from the Letter of James: "Be doers of the word, not merely hearers."

CFM March 2002 Board Meeting Operations Committee
CFM March 2002 Board Meeting Convention Committee
CFM March 2002 Board Meeting Program Committee
CFM March 2002 Board Meeting Mission Statement Review
CFM March 2002 Board Meeting Mass
CFM March 2002 Board Meeting Mass
CFM March 2002 Board Meeting Mass
CFM March 2002 Board Meeting Saturday Dinner
CFM March 2002 Board Meeting Saturday Dinner


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