Promoting the dignity of the family-Alumna Julia Dezelski ‘18
The official delegation from the US for the World Meeting of Families in Rome this past October had a member of the Angelicum family at the lead.
Julia Dezelski, STD is dedicated to serving family life in her mission as Assistant Director for Marriage and Family Life Ministries for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
This includes serving as a liaison to diocesan directors of marriage and family life, as well as advancing and recommending priorities of pastoral concern.
Originally from western Massachusetts, Julia lives in Hyattsville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC with her husband (also part of the delegation), three daughters, and neighborhood of friends.
One recent project from her work is the development of the National Pastoral Framework for Marriage and Family Life Ministry, “Called to the Joy of Love,” which is intended to assist dioceses with pastoral planning that places married couples and families at the forefront of pastoral care, accompanying every family in its struggles and joys.
She also oversees the USCCB website for engaged and married couples and families, ForYourMarriage.org.
Reflecting on her time at the Angelcum, Julia shared that it was a gift to be able to study in English, after taking classes at other Pontifical faculties that teach exclusively in Italian. “The Angelicum certainly provided a solid foundation on which I can rely in my career and as a mother. I am grateful for the individual care that was demonstrated to me as a young student who was in need of support and guidance. The one-on-one attention may have been the most valuable aspect of my education at the Angelicum.”
However, her memories reach beyond the classroom walls to the relationships she shared with fellow students, the cloister orange trees and the silence of student-led Adoration. “The opportunity to pass a few moments or a full hour in prayer in the adoration chapel was something I rarely missed. I normally had strenuous days since I taught long hours at an English school alongside my studies. The adoration chapel was a refuge during that time of intense work and study.”
For Julia, the impact of her education comes back to the family. “In my ministry, I am constantly returning to the truth that Pope St. John Paul II (our illustrious alumnus!) declared: “as the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”(Familiaris Consortio, §86) I continue to observe in my work how accurate these words are. In a similar way, the experience of the Angelicum was of a family that took real steps to care for its members. I think that this is the most valuable aspect of my experience there, along with the excellent academic formation.”
Learn more about these initiatives and find resources for families at: https://www.usccb.org/topics/marriage-andfamily-life-ministries
Julia visiting the Angelicum during the World Meeting of Families, 2022