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Strengthening of families

Posted June 11, 2014 in Community Featured, West Des Moines
Julie Nelson has launched a Marriage and Family Ministry at Sacred Heart.

Julie Nelson has launched a Marriage and Family Ministry at Sacred Heart.

About two years ago, with the blessings of the church’s leadership, Julie Nelson launched a Marriage and Family Ministry program at Sacred Heart Catholic Church because she saw a need. A devout Catholic, wife, mother, radio talk show host and director of the program that she helped to create, Nelson says families and marriages need help more than ever before while striving to find balance between their family, work and faith.

“My heart is with families,” she says. “They are the building blocks of society. Everybody passes through a family and parents want to pass on their faith to their children. It’s where they learn their values.”

To help strengthen families, Nelson created a series of events to provide them some much-needed bonding time. They include an Easter egg hunt and “Breakfast with the Saints” in April, as well as the women’s group Walking with Purpose, which meets twice each month during the school year and offers free childcare while mothers discuss family matters and faith. The program will resume in September and be held on Fridays.

“We’ve started with simple activities to get people engaged in the program,” says Nelson.

This summer, the church will host Family Movie Night in which it will screen a family-friendly flick. Details regarding the upcoming midweek event will be available soon on the church’s website ( says Nelson.

Another women’s group, Mom Love, started last year, and Nelson hopes to launch a weekly event for married couples that would be held monthly. She says most of the events are focused on helping mothers, with the goal of adding more activities designed for fathers.

“A lot of child raising falls on the mother, so we’re starting there,” says Nelson.

The church’s director of Marriage and Family Ministry says that she simply wants to help families anyway she can.

“Parents need to see more opportunities like these, and if we don’t provide them those opportunities then we fail them,” says Nelson.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
1627 Grand Ave. • 225-6414

Mass Times
Saturday: 4 p.m.
Sunday: 8, 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. (Spanish Mass)
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.
Sacrament of Reconciliation: Saturday, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

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