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Upcoming Events

  • January 9, 2017—Digital Open House
  • January 17, 2017—Evangelizing through Small Groups, Peter Andrastek of the Evangelical Catholic
  • February 4, 2017— Archdiocesan Women's Conference, "Beauty In Christ"
  • 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.
  • May 5-6, 2017—Youth Ministry Leaders Conference and Retreat.  Watch for more details.
  • August 10, 2017—Fall FFL/CSA Gathering will take place at Blessed Maria Assunta Palotta Middle School in Waterloo.  Watch for more details.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. Thomas Aquinas Ames

At St. Thomas Aquinas, we offer Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) as another option for faith formation. Therefore a family is able to choose between regular faith formation classes on Wednesday nights, CGS, or the home schooling option (Family Faith Formation). CGS is a joint program offered with St. Cecilia, the other Catholic parish in town. Last year was our trial year. We offered only two sessions of Level I (ages 3-6) during the day. This limited participation mainly to home school families. Due to the enthusiastic response, both from people wanting to enroll their children and people willing to be trained as catechists, we have been able to expand to 10 sessions this year, with both Level I and Level II (ages 6-9), at a variety of days and times. Continue reading...

Digital Open House

We will be hosting the January “Digital Open House” on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM.  We will be utilizing “Zoom” as our means of connection.  This “open house” will be hosted by Kevin Feyen, Julie Johnson, Mary Pedersen, Mindy Hart, and Joanne Pohland.  We will dedicate time during this “open house” to offer some insights on Respect Life and Social Justice issues, including the “Formation For All” Program.  Mark Schmidt, Director of the Respect Life-Social Justice Office for the Archdiocese of Dubuque will be our guest presenter.  As always, we want this to be an ongoing opportunity for you to be able to connect with members of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center Staff and with others in the field to ask questions, share ideas, and learn about new developments.  To join on Monday, January 9 at 10:00 AM, click here: or join by phone at 408 638 0968--Meeting ID: 708 952 690.

Picture Wall

Thank you—the number of pictures keeps growing!  We would love to have pictures of all FFLs!  They remind us that we have so many dedicated people working in this ministry throughout the Archdiocese.  Are you “in the picture”?  If not, please send a digital picture of yourself (preferably a “head shot”) to Joanne at  We want to showcase ALL the wonderful FFLs in the Archdiocese!

NCCYM Conference Update

In December, almost a dozen faith formation leaders from the Archdiocese of Dubuque attended the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry. The NCCYM included general sessions and workshops that provided deep and uplifting insights for those of us in the field of faith formation. Those who attended have compiled their notes to share with all of us. To see their wisdom, visit the Adolescent Faith Formation website at:

Totus Tuus

The Archdiocese of Dubuque is looking for amazing, faith-filled and highly energetic missionaries to serve the children and teens of the Archdiocese through the Totus Tuus program this Summer. Totus Tuus missionaries spend the summer traveling from one parish to another leading Catholic catechetical programs during the day for children in grades 1-6 and at night for youth in grades 7-12. They work with a team of four as traveling missionaries, sharing faith and joy with those they meet, stay with host families and live off of the generosity of host parishes.  To serve as a Totus Tuus missionary, one must have at least one year of college. If you know of any faith-filled young adult men and women from your parish(es) who may be looking for a summer job of evangelizing others, please have them contact Kevin Feyen at the Archdiocese ( or go to for more information.

AFFR (Archdiocesan Faith Formation Report)—2016-2017

Thank you to everyone who completed the 2016-2017 AFFR.  If you have not yet completed the survey or have some sections that need updating, please contact Joanne Pohland at or Julie Sanders at Watch for reports based on the information you have provided. If you have any questions, please contact Julie Sanders at

Faith Formation Leader Evaluations

As with all employees, Faith Formation Leaders should have ongoing evaluations based on their job description.  This is especially important for new FFLs.  If our offices can be of service to you in providing resources or by working with you to respond to the needs of your parish/cluster, please contact us.

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

  • How are things going so far this 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?

NCYC Group Leader Monthly Update

Mark your calendars for the first of a series of monthly online NCYC update presentations.  Visit for more information. If you are hoping to have a group attend NCYC in 2017 and haven't reported your group estimate yet, please contact Kevin Feyen at

Moving With Mission

Relationship. Relationship. Relationship. Don't miss this energetic day on evangelization and formation through relationship! Last chance to register to hear Peter Andrastek of Evangelical Catholic speak of one-to-one and small group ministry, especially with young adults. Tuesday, January 17, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00American Martyrs Retreat House, $ 35.00 includes lunch and materials. Space is limited. For more information and to register click here.

Archdiocese of Dubuque Women’s Conference

Exciting Opportunity for Women! Please send out the following message on the Women’s Conference to your catechists and parents:
  • Join us for the first ever Archdiocesan Women’s Conference, Beauty in Christ, Saturday, February 4th, 2017, St. Pius X in Cedar Rapid. Come and be inspired by Leah Darrow and Kelly Nieto, who will touch the hearts of all ages—from teens to more seasoned women! For more information, to view videos of our presenters, and to register: (early registration discount applicable until January 15th)

Please “like” the Women’s Conference Facebook page and promote share through your parish and personal pages:

Offered in collaboration with the Office of Catechetical Services.

Impact 2017-2019

2017-2019 IMPACT Location: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hiawatha
Now is the time to begin to identify and invite members of your parish/cluster who would benefit from this two-year archdiocesan lay formation program, in collaboration with Loras College. (We have faith formation leaders who have completed IMPACT, which is based on the four pillars: personal, spiritual, theological, pastoral).

For more information or to register:
Please feel free to contact Mary Pedersen with any questions about joining IMPACT:

Budget Preparation

As you are preparing your 2017-2018 budget, please keep in mind the following Archdiocesan Events:  August CSA/FFL Day, the New & Nearly New FFL Day, the Renewal Day, the Fall & Spring PLSDs, and the Spring CSA/FFL Day.  Watch for more information and details.

Newsletter Resources from Publishers

Keep up on the latest from major publishers with periodic e-newsletters. Whether you’re looking for news, specials on books and other products, tips and resources for parishes, or even parenting advice, publishers’ e-newsletters are a quick and simple way to stay connected with great information from good companies. They are free, although you may need to sign-up to receive it. Continue reading....

Media Offerings From the Educational Resource Center

The Education Resource Center (ERC) has posted, for anyone working with the High School Theme #6: Life in Jesus Christ, a new mini-catalog of resources on the ERC Curriculum Catalogs web page ( Please forward this to your high school catechists and youth team. The ERC is also formulating a list of possible resources to use with the various MAC groups throughout the Archdiocese. For these and other resources, feel free to contact Kim at or Tricia at

Holy Hours for Vocations

Archbishop Jackels will celebrate Holy Hours for Vocations throughout the Archdiocese. Prayer is the basis of our relationship with God and discovering God’s call. Please come, and encourage others to join you, in praying for vocations to the priesthood for our Archdiocese as well as to listen to one seminarian’s experience of God’s call.
  • January 25, 2017 at Resurrection, Dubuque (Holy Hour only) from 6:45 - 7:45pm
  • February 22, 2017 at Basilica, Dyersville from 7:00 - 9:00pm
  • March 7, 2017 at St. Thomas Aquinas, Ames from 7:00 - 9:00pm
  • April 5, 2017 at Immaculate Conception, Charles City from 6:45 - 8:45pm

VLCFF Of Dayton Update

While no classes are offered during the month of December, Cycle 1 (2017) classes begin on January 15. Registration for these classes is open, closing on January 11, 2017. What a wonderful way to herald in the New Year but with a VLCFF course. The long months of winter may afford you extra time at home and on the weekends so certainly January is a great time to take a course. Consider taking a course as a formational gift to yourself. For a complete listing of courses, go to:  If you have not yet used your free voucher for a class, email Julie Sanders at for assistance with the voucher. For more information go to or email Julie Johnson at

The following received certificates from Dayton for courses completed:
  • Lugene Berning, Dubuque - Principles for Addressing Diversity in Youth Ministry
  • Julie Hill, Dubuque - On Bended Knee
  • Kari Hill, Cedar Rapids - Principles for Addressing Diversity in Youth Ministry
  • Michelle Kelly, Maquoketa - A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry
  • Wendy Osterberger, Dubuque - Introduction to Practical Morality
  • Charlene Vig, Mount Vernon - Introduction to Prayer
  • Amanda Weaver, Marion - Fundamentals in Deaf Faith Formation Methodologies (SN2)

Ministry-Affiliated-Cohorts (MACs)

If you have questions about this, please contact Joanne Pohland at

A Visit From Pastoral Center Staff Members

By now, most of you have already met with your MAC (Ministry Affiliated Cohort).  Perhaps you have even met more than once.  The staff would be happy to visit a MAC if the group would like a visit. Remember, this is your cohort led by a Faith Formation Leader.  However, if you would be interested, Joanne, Julie, Kevin, or Mary would be happy to visit, join in the discussion and learn from each of you.  Just ask and we would come!

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - January 18-25

The 2017 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been selected. On the occasion of the 500th anniversary year of the beginnings of the Reformation, the theme: "Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us" (2 Corinthians 5:14-20) has been chosen. The materials for the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have two accents: reflection upon the main concerns of the churches marked by Martin Luther's Reformation and secondly recognizing the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the unity of the Church. In selecting this theme, it is viewed as an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation. Continue reading...

The 2016-2017 FFL/CSA Book Club Book

Don’t forget that the FFL/CSA Study Book, A Church on the Move - 52 ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion by Joe Paprocki, can be used with your cohort or regional gathering.  Joe Paprocki insists that there is good news for the future of the Church. What is this good news and how do you put the right plans in place for your parish or cluster?

Remember that each chapter begins with a quote from Pope Francis. The quotes themselves are worthy of study but see how the quotes lead into how the Church moves, thinks, worships and forms disciples. Does your parish parallel the situations discussed by Paprocki?

Let us know your feedback on the book.  Your group may even choose to start a blog so everyone can weigh into the conversation electronically.

Protection of Children Information

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

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 clicking here.

From “Together In Faith”

Are families looking for a way to deepen awareness of their Catholic faith?  Together in Faith is an activity-based program developed to encourage family knowledge and discussion. It is built around three core strands: We Believe (faith); We Belong (church); We Respond (discipleship). This family-centered supplemental program was developed by three long time Catholic School educators and is intended to enhance the current religious education program. If interested in learning about this innovative program contact Patti Greenwood, Barb Kruth, and Jane Bolt at
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