JULY 2016

Welcome All to the New Year!

As we begin the 2016-2017 program year, we would like to welcome you to the InFo!  This is our monthly means of communication from our offices.  Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions regarding this newsletter.  Enjoy July!
Welcome to New FFLs
  • Jerica Christensen, St. Pius X, Cedar Rapids
  • Chelsea Evett, Spires of Faith Cluster, Dyersville, Earlville, New Vienna Petersburg, Worthington
  • Blakely Gardner, St. Athanasius, Jesup
  • Emily Gignac, St. Matthew, Cedar Rapids
  • Rosi Gueerrero, St. Patrick, Cedar Falls
  • Kelsey Kaiser, St. Joseph, Bellevue
  • Denice Rausch, St. Patrick, Cedar Falls
  • Julie Testin, St. Matthew, Cedar Rapids
  • Deacon Michael Ward, IC, Charles City

Gratitude And Best Wishes To The Following FFLs Who Are Leaving Their Positions…

  • Sara Danielson, St. Matthew, Cedar Rapids
  • Susan Dazey, Nativity, Dubuque
  • Megan Moore, St. Mary, Waverly
  • Amy Priem, Spires of Faith Cluster, Dyersville, Earlville, New Vienna Petersburg, Worthington
  • Jarrett Wendt, St. Henry & St. Mary, Marshalltown

Looking For A Great Parent Meeting To Start The Year?

Joe Paprocki, in his blog called Catechist’s Journey, has offered a free PowerPoint presentation, complete with suggested script for hosting a parent gathering.  So, as you are planning for the new catechetical year, schedule a start-of-the-year gathering to meet parents and encourage them in their role as their children’s first catechist.  Click on this link for information about how you can get this PowerPoint.

This year brings another opportunity for adults and children to grow closer to God. Start the journey by welcoming parents in a positive way. Just add coffee, treats, and comfortable seating, and you’re ready to go!

Register for the August FFL/CSA Gathering Day!

August 9, 2016 is the FFL and Catholic School Administrator (CSA) Day with Denise Utter.  Denise is the Director of Parish Faith Formation at the Catholic Community of St. Jude in New Lenox, Illinois, and the Catechetical Associate for Family Faith Formation in the Religious Education Office of the Diocese of Joliet.  Though many ministers are still challenged by the added level/layers of work family formation calls us to, Denise will share the experience of ministers and families proving that it’s maintenance which is exhausting – family ministry focused on the mission of Christ and the vision of the Church is life-giving and transformative!

The day will include the celebration of the Eucharist with Archbishop Jackels presiding and lunch. The daylong meeting takes place at Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Middle School, 3225 West Ninth Street, Waterloo 50702. Click here to register.  The cost is $40.00 (includes continental breakfast, lunch and additional resources).

New and Nearly New Faith Formation Leader Day

  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016
  • Archdiocesan Pastoral Center, Dubuque
  • Raphael Room
  • 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

This day is especially designed for all new Faith Formation Leaders and we look forward to meeting you in person on that day. Others who would like a “refresher” course are also invited to attend. The day will include time to pray, learn, ask questions, share ideas, visit the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center and the Education Resource Center, as well as connect with other new Faith Formation Leaders in the Archdiocese.  In addition we will celebrate Mass with Archbishop Jackels. Please bring any questions or concerns you may have to this gathering.  Cost: $35.00 (includes lunch and materials). Click here for more information and to register.

Mark Your Calendar

  • August 9, 2016—FFL/CSA Day: We will meet at Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Middle School in Waterloo. The keynote speaker for the day will be Denise Utter. The day will be informational as well as inspirational, highlighted by Mass with Archbishop Jackels.  See above or click here for registration information.
  • August 24, 2016New and Nearly New Faith Formation Leader Day.  All new and nearly new FFLs are invited to come to this day at the Pastoral Center in Dubuque.  See above for more information.
  • September 10, 2016Workshop for Facilitators of Small Groups, Saturday, September 10, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at. St. Patrick, Cedar Falls.
  • October 18, 2016—Pastoral Leadership Study Day.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Kathleen Wiskus who will be speaking on Multi-Parish Ministry.
  • November 15, 2016—CSA/FFL Renewal Day:  Watch for more information.
  • February 4, 2017—Women's Conference, "Beauty In Christ," at St. Pius X in Cedar Rapids. Watch for more information!
  • March 9-10, 2017—Art of Accompaniment Workshop.  Watch for more information.
  • April 20, 2017—Spring Pastoral Leadership Day:  The keynote speakers will be Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran, the authors of Rebuilt.

Confirmation In-services

The Office of Adolescent Faith Formation has been working with Faith Formation Leaders and Archbishop Jackels to develop new Confirmation guidelines and resources. These new guidelines and resources will be presented in training sessions throughout the Archdiocese this Fall. Pastors, Faith Formation Leaders, and anyone else in parish leadership who works with Confirmation is invited to attend. There is no cost to attend. The dates and locations are:
  • Tues., Sept. 13. 1:00 - 3:30 PM at St. Patrick, Cedar Rapids
  • Thurs., Sept. 15. 9:00 - 11:30 AM at Resurrection, Dubuque
  • Tues., Sept. 20. 9:00 - 11:30 AM at Holy Family Church Hall, Mason City
  • Tues., Sept. 20. 7:00 - 9:30 PM at Holy Family, New Hampton
  • Tues., Oct. 4. 1:30 - 4:00 PM at St. Patrick, Monona
  • Tues., Oct 4. 7:00 - 9:30 PM at St. Patrick, Monona
  • Thurs., Oct 20. 1:30 - 4:00 PM at St. Patrick, Cedar Falls

We will be asking for people to RSVP so we know how many to expect. Stay tuned for more information and registration instructions.

Teens Encounter Christ

The Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) retreat dates have been set for the 2016-2017 school year. They are:
  • #565 Calmar- November 19-21, 2016
  • #566 Marquette- January 28-30, 2017
  • #567 Beckman- March 4-6, 2017
  • #568 Xavier- March 11-13, 2017
  • #569 Wahlert- April 8-10, 2017

TEC is a three-day retreat for high school seniors. More information, including registration will soon be available at

VLCFF of Dayton Update

The following received certificates from Dayton for courses completed:
  • Lugene Berning, Dubuque - Survey of Catholic Doctrine
  • Allyson Brawner, Vinton and Walker - Principles for Addressing Diversity Issues in Youth Ministry
  • Sarah Casey, Hiawatha - Principles for Addressing Diversity Issues in Youth Ministry and Planning Youth Ministry Events
  • Catherine Humpal, Lawler - Praying With Children
  • Stephanie Klapatauskas, Dubuque - Introduction to Scripture
  • Wendy Osterberger, Dubuque - Introduction to Prayer
  • Charlene Vig, Mount Vernon - Principles for Addressing Diversity Issues in Youth Ministry
  • Melanie Vobr, Cresco - Introduction to Practical Morality
The following completed a certificate:
  • Allyson Brawner, Vinton and Walker - Certificate in Youth Ministry
  • Wendy Osterberger, Dubuque - Certificate in Catechesis Level I

Register soon for Cycle 5! Registration for Cycle 5 runs from May 25 through July 6, with classes beginning July 10 and ending August 13. Summer is the perfect time to treat yourself to some personal, intellectual or spiritual formation! Here are Top Ten Reasons to take a VLCFF this summer:
  1. It is wonderful formation.
  2. You can put in the 4-6 hours per week for course whenever you wish.
  3. You can do the coursework from your deck or your porch or even at the beach.
  4. You deserve to do something for yourself this summer.
  5. You will grow in faith and knowledge.
  6. Registering for a course is so easy.
  7. With the variety of topics offered, there is a course you will like.
  8. You will make new friends online with others who also take the class.
  9. You can incorporate what you learn into your ministry.
  10. You will be eager for more quality formation after you take a class.

Go to: for a list of the courses offered during Cycle 5. If you have not yet used your free voucher for a class, email Julie Sanders at for assistance. For more information go to or email Julie Johnson at

Witness Grant Application

Information for the 2016-2017 Witness Grant was sent out through $dbqffl on May 17.  Please take a minute to respond with your "initial" intention for participating in The Witness Grant for 2016-2017 as soon as possible. We ask all faith formation programs and Catholic schools to opt-in or opt-out of this great opportunity for your parishes and schools. This allows us to contact those sites we have not heard from so everyone has an opportunity to participate if they so desire.  

If you need assistance with this online application, please contact Julie Sanders at or 563.556.2580 ext. 267.

Please go to to opt in or out of the grant.

The 2016-2017 FFL/CSA Book Club Book

The faith formation leaders' and Catholic school principals' study book for 2016-2017 will be: A Church on the Move - 52 ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion by Joe Paprocki © 2016.

The book is aligned with the Mission Priorities of the Archdiocese. It is divided into 52 short sections that include practical ideas and questions for reflection and discussion.  Each FFL and CSA will receive a copy of the book from the Archbishop Kucera Grant.  Books will be distributed at the FFL/CSA Day on August 9.

Items from the June/July Executive Calendar

  • Evaluate May programming
  • Write a summer newsletter to parents with ideas for prayer time and family formational ideas with a summer theme
  • Direct Vacation Bible School
  • Order needed texts/materials
  • Organize and update files
  • Update/print handbooks for catechists and guardians
  • Make initial class groupings and room assignments
  • Continue recruitment of catechists
  • Review resources
  • Attend professional development opportunities if desired
  • Supply information regarding the Parish Status Report (if requested)
  • Ensure Confirmation Scheduling Form is sent in by Monday, July 18 for 2017 Confirmations
  • Register for Annual Archdiocesan FFL Day

Discussion Topics for Every Faith Formation Leader and His/Her Pastor

  • How have things gone this year?
  • What changes need to be made for next year?
  • How can we best serve parents, who are the primary catechist of their children without “taking over” for them?
  • How is Faith Formation ministry fitting into the whole parish structure?

Need Help with Catechist Recruitment?

You are probably in the process of recruiting catechists for 2016-2017.  Consider using the flyer called “What is a Catechist?”  You can find it by clicking here. The brochure details frequently asked questions about teaching in a faith formation program, highlights the spirituality that is generated in a catechetical setting and explains some of the responsibilities of a catechist. You can personalize the brochure with your name, parish email address and phone number.  Send the flyers home in the bulletin or a newsletter or distribute them at up-coming parish meetings.  The brochure was designed to help you, the FFL, recruit interested and willing individuals to share the stories of their faith with others.

Catechetical Sunday 2016

This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 18, 2016 and will focus on the theme "Prayer: The Faith Prayed."  For resources click here.

From Mary Pedersen, Director of Adult Faith Formation

Workshop for Facilitators of Small Groups scheduled for this fall! Saturday, September 10, 9:00 3:00 p.m., St. Patrick, Cedar Falls. Contact your small group facilitators now (RCIA, small group leaders, catechists) to mark their calendars for this interactive day. For more information and to register, click here.

Ideas for Evangelization:  

Protection of Children Information

For questions regarding any Safe Environment issues, please contact Carol Gebhart, Director of the Office for the Protection of Children at

Persons with Disabilities Newsletters

You can view newsletters with resources for providing ministry with Persons with Disabilities at  For more information, regarding ministry to persons with disabilities, please contact Mindy Hart, Director of the Office for Persons with Disabilities at

To Teach as Jesus Did

The offering, “To Teach as Jesus Did”, designed particularly for new catechists (but can be distributed to all catechists), is distributed separately through the host group $DBQFFL and is also available by going to

Upcoming Events


Fall FFL & CSA Day


Workshop for Facilitators of Small Groups


Catechetical Sunday: "Prayer - The Faith Prayed"


Pastoral Leadership Study Day


CSA/FFL Renewal Day

Contact Us:

Director of Catechetical Services
Joanne Pohland

Director of Adolescent Faith Formation
Kevin Feyen

Associate Director of Catechetical Services
Julie Johnson

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