JULY 2015

Welcome All to the New Year!

As we begin the 2015-2016 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!

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

  • Sherilyn Backer -St. Mary, Greene
  • Irene Entsminger - St. Joseph, Preston
  • Julie Fossum - Immaculate Conception/St. Ann-St. Joseph, Wexford/Harpers Ferry
  • Melissa Holthaus - Heart of Mary Cluster, Urbana/Walker/Vinton
  • Nancy Kastli - Sacred Heart, Oelwein
  • Molly Larkin - St. Patrick, Cedar Rapids
  • Betty Pins - St. Clement, Bankston
  • Sara Rooney - Ss. Peter & Paul, Gilbert
  • Marybeth Wagner - St. John the Baptist, Peosta
  • Kathy Wenthold - St. Joseph the Worker Cluster, Clermont/Fayette/Sumner/West Union

VLCFF of Dayton Update

The following received certificates from Dayton for courses completed:
  • Allyson Brawner, Waukon - Relational Ministry With Youth
  • Sarah Casey, Hiawatha - Introduction to Scripture
  • Sarah Casey, Hiawatha - Faith and Human Development
  • Kari Hill, Cedar Rapids - Relational Ministry With Youth
  • Marcy Mueller, Dubuque - Principles for Addressing Diversity Issues in Youth Ministry
  • Rob Reinhart, Marion - New Testament
  • Melanie Vobr, Cresco - Introduction to Prayer
  • Amanda Weaver, Marion - Survey of Catholic Doctrine
  • Laura Wynohrad, Osage - Introduction to Scripture
It’s great time to try a VLCFF course from the University of Dayton, especially of you have not yet used your 2014-15 voucher. Cycle 5 begins July 19 and concludes August 22, 2015. Registration is open for Cycle 5 and closes July 15. Contact Julie Sanders for assistance with registration at For a complete list of courses offered during Cycle 5, go to:

Registration Information for the August 11 FFL/CSA Gathering Day!

August 11, 2015 is the FFL and Catholic School Administrator (CSA) Day with Dr. Pat McCormack, IHM, speaking on “Parking Lot Evangelization”.  The day will include the celebration of the Eucharist, with Archbishop Jackels presiding, and lunch. We will gather at 8:15 AM and begin at 8:45 AM at Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Middle School, 3225 West Ninth Street, Waterloo.  Cost is $40.00 per person.  The registration information can be found at

Witness Grant Application

Information for the 2015-2016 Witness Grant was sent out through $dbqffl on May 27.  Please take a minute to respond with your "initial" intention for participating in The Witness Grant for 2015/16 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.  This request takes about two minutes, the link is:  Thanks for responding to this form, it greatly helps in budgeting and planning. Please share this memo and your response at the next faith formation commission meeting/Catholic school board meeting.  If you have any questions, please contact Julie Sanders at (563) 556-2580, ext. 267.

Teens Encounter Christ

The Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) retreat dates have been set for the 2015-2016 school year. They are:
  • #560 Xavier: November 7-9, 2015
  • #561 Marquette: January 30 - February 1, 2016
  • #562 Beckman: March 5-7, 2016
  • #563 Calmar: April 2-4, 2016
  • #564 Wahlert: April 16-18, 2016
TEC is a three-day retreat for high school seniors. More information, including registration will soon be available at

NCYC Archdiocesan T-shirt Challenge

We are asking for NCYC Group Leaders to invite their teens to provide input on which T-shirt design will be used for the Archdiocesan T-shirt.
You (and your teens) can view the T-shirt design ideas and vote for your favorites here: The survey will close on July 15th. Only one vote per person, please.
Discussion Topics for Every Faith Formation Leader and His/Her Pastor
  • How are things going this year?
  • How is this year measuring up based on the goals for the year?
  • What are some things we want to look at for next year?

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
  • Ensure signed contract and forms is sent to Director of Catechetical Services by May 15
  • Supply information regarding the Parish Status Report (if requested)
  • Ensure Confirmation Scheduling Form is sent in by the last Monday in July
  • Register for Annual Archdiocesan FFL Day
  • Register for the New and Nearly New FFL Day

Mark Your Calendar

For information on the enrichment offerings for Faith Formation Leaders and Catholic School Administrators, please click here:
From Mary Pedersen, Director of Adult Faith Formation

USCCB Leadership Institute Webinars

During the past several years, the Leadership Institute of the USCCB has offered webinars on several topics.  Go to:  All of the webinars have been taped.  During the summer when you have more time, check one of more of the webinars.  The webinars are excellent formational material for you and your catechists. These topics include:
  • Administrative
  • Adolescent Catechesis
  • Adult Catechesis
  • Catechist as Evangelizer
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Diocesan Directors Formation
  • Family
  • Moral Life (Life in Relationship)
  • New Evangelization
  • Spiritual Life
  • Strong Catechesis

New Website to Help Catholics be Salt and Light, a new website of U.S. bishops' Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, helps Catholics respond to Jesus' call to be "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" (Mt. 5:13-16).
The website includes: equips Catholics to live out Pope Francis' call to "go forth" on mission. It also seeks to help Catholic communities-especially parishes, dioceses, schools, universities, seminaries, religious communities, and ecclesial movements-to carry out the vision of the U.S. bishops' landmark document, Communities of Salt & Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish. Visit today!

Catechetical Sunday

This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 20, 2015, and will focus on the theme "Safeguarding the Dignity of Every Human Person." Those whom the community has designated to serve as catechists will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to educate your parish or cluster on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith. For Catechetical Sunday resources, go to:
Also, please note that the Respect Life theme for the Archdiocese of Dubuque for 2015-16 is Respecting human life relating to beginning of life issues.

Introducing the 2015-2016 FFL/CSA Book Club Book

The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church by Pope Francis

The study book for the 2015/16 year will be The Church of Mercy by Pope Francis (published by Loyola Press, 2014 copyright). All faith formation leaders and Catholic school administrators will receive a copy in August. Annually a study book is selected for reflection and discussion as part of the ongoing faith-formation for leaders in faith formation programs and Catholic schools. This resource is provided through the Archbishop Kucera Educational Grant from the Archdiocesan Educational Development Fund. This year the grant will also provide a copy of the The Church of Mercy Discussion Guide as well. The guide is divided into ten parts, each with questions that focus on ideas, statements, and quotes from The Church of Mercy. These questions can help foster the sharing of ideas and stories around the themes of The Church of Mercy especially during the extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis (Dec. 8, 2015, to Nov. 20, 2016).
Registration Materials for 2015-2016

These materials are now posted in FirstClass>Conferences>FFL Catechesis & Evangelization>Registration Forms for your convenience. Sample forms are available in both English and Spanish.
From Mindy Hart, Director of Ministry to Persons with Disabilities

You can view newsletters with resources for providing ministry with Persons with Disabilities at
To Teach as Jesus Did

The offering, “To Teach as Jesus Did”, designed particularly for distribution to 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 Event


Beginning of the year gathering

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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