Deanna Johnston, M.A.

Family Life, Marriage, NFP, Parenting

Deanna M. Johnston, M.A.

Deanna Johnston is the Director of Family Life for the St. Philip Institute. Her role is to focus on marriage formation and ongoing marriage enrichment ministries, as well as provide Fertility Awareness/Natural Family Planning (NFP) and other resources for families in the Diocese of Tyler.

She designed and implemented the Three to Get Married/Son Tres Los Que Se Casan marriage formation retreat for the Diocese of Tyler and continues to work on other formation opportunities for couples beyond the wedding day. She is passionate about the Church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality, and the importance of making fertility awareness/NFP resources more accessible to couples and women in every stage of life.

Deanna graduated from the University of Memphis with her B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish and later earned her M.A. in Theology from Newman University in Wichita, KS. She is also a certified Billings Ovulation Method NFP teacher. Deanna married her husband Michael in October 2013 and they have four children: Alexandria, Simon, Elena, and Leo.

Deanna has given presentations for engaged and married couples, clergy, women’s retreats, college campus ministries, young adult groups, and youth groups. She is also available to give some talks in Spanish.

The Sacramentality of Marriage and an Intro to NFP

Natural Family Planning is a tool that couples can use to be faithful to their wedding vows and also live the call to responsible parenthood.  In this presentation, we will first review what the meaning of marriage is and what the couple is saying yes to, and then dive into the “why and what” of NFP.  This presentation provides a solid introduction to Natural Family Planning and shows couples the next steps for learning a full course of a specific method. 

Mary’s Fiat and the “Feminine Genius”

In his Letter to Women, St. John Paul II wrote “The Church sees in Mary the highest expression of the feminine genius and she finds in her a source of constant inspiration.”  This presentation will explore what JPII meant by “feminine genius” and how Mary lived this out perfectly.  We will discuss why Mary’s fiat is so significant, the impact that this has on all of humanity, and specifically what this means for women today. 

If It’s “All About Sex”, What’s Sex All About?

We live in a world that is obsessed with sex and really misses the mark when it comes to an authentic understanding of who we are and who God created us to be.  In this presentation we will discuss God’s plan for marriage and sexuality and how the Church’s teachings are meant to help us live this out more fully. 

Empowering Families to Change the World

St. John Paul II said “As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live.” In a time that can often feel chaotic and overwhelming, it is crucial that the Church continues to support parents in their roles by affirming the beauty and truth of God’s plan for marriage and the family. In this presentation, we will discuss ways in which the parish can encourage families to live their call to be a “domestic church”, and empower them to change the world. 

Marriage Formation Program

In 2018, the Diocese of Tyler implemented new marriage formation guidelines.  This formation follows Bishop Strickland’s vision in the Constitution on Teaching and his desire for more intentional formation for the sacrament of holy matrimony and accompanies couples beyond the wedding day. In this presentation, we will review the formation guidelines for engaged and civilly married couples and how to effectively implement this (with a special emphasis on the Witness to Love mentor couple program) at the parish level with the marriage formation team.