Deanery FFL Meetings for November
  • Nov 9: Elkader DIOCORE, St. Joseph, Elkader, 5:00 PM
  • Nov 10: Webster City DIOCORE, St. John, Clarion, 10:00 AM
  • Nov 10: CRAYM, All Saints, Cedar Rapids, 4:00 PM
  • Nov 12: Dubuque DIOCORE, Cathedral, Dubuque, 9:00 AM
  • Nov 12: Cedar Rapids DIOCORE, All Saints, Cedar Rapids, 10:00 AM
  • Nov 13: DAYM, Holy Spirit, Dubuque, 10:00 AM
  • Nov 19: Dyersville DIOCORE, New Melleray Abbey, Peosta, 9:30 AM
  • Nov 19: Independence DIOCORE, Coffee Den, Manchester, 1:00 PM
  • TBA: Dubuque AFF, Location and Time TBA, Dubuque
  • TBA: WAYM, Please contact local leadership for further information

Archdiocesan Adult Conference November 7, 2015

It's time to celebrate the family! Join men and women from all around the diocese at the Adult Conference Saturday, November 7th, 5 Sullivan Brothers Center, Waterloo. Please extend a personal invitation and bring a friend to be inspired, informed, and ignited to live out the family mission of love!  For more information and to register:

Please check out the archdiocesan Facebook page for Family Matter posts and share with your parish/school, family and friends:  For more information about this, please contact Mary Pederson, Director of Adult Faith Formation at
AFFR (Archdiocesan Faith Formation Report)

The newly modified AFFR (the former AACDS or DATA Survey) is now available to be completed.  You were sent an email with your login and password on October 2.  If you are having trouble finding it or using it, please contact Julie Sanders at  Guidelines and videos to help you can be found by following this link:  We ask that you complete it as soon as possible, but no later than November 16, 2015.  You will receive an email with login information as well as where to find the guidelines in October.  Please contact our offices if you have any questions.
Faith Formation Leader Evaluations

As we strive to provide the best opportunities for the faith development of those we work with, it is vital that we continue to offer professional development for our Faith Formation Leaders (FFLs).  To aid in this process we have found that an evaluation tool can be very helpful.  The Archdiocesan Offices of Adolescent Faith Formation and Catechetical Services have developed this tool to help Pastors, together with their Faith Formation Commissions (FFCs), identify and affirm Faith Formation Leaders’ strengths, determine goals, and identify opportunities for professional growth.  In suggesting evaluation, it is our hope that evaluation is an ongoing process that utilizes this or another tool and is based on the job description as well as the qualities and competencies of the Faith Formation Leader. We ask that you please send a summary of this evaluation is to the Office of Catechetical Services.
Items from the November Executive Calendar
  • Evaluate October programming
  • Implement plan for All Saints, All Souls, Thanksgiving celebrations or services
  • Prepare for Advent, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Christmas, Epiphany
  • Complete the Annual Faith Formation Report (AFFR) to Archdiocesan Pastoral Center—Due November 16
  • Prepare for Celebration of First Reconciliation
  • Final Preparations for NCYC
  • Promote TEC to HS seniors
DIOCORE/Regional YM Meeting Agenda Items: November
  • Discuss feedback from the Pastoral Leadership Study Day with Dr. Sean Reynolds.
  • VLCFF Registration for Cycle 1 (begins January 10) is now open and closes January 6, 2016.
  • Verify that Safe Environment requirements are met for all catechists and volunteers.  Send out information regarding when you will be teaching the Safe Environment Training for Children curriculum.
  • Don’t Forget: Share information from the InFo and the Leader’s Gram with your Faith Formation Commission.
  • Mark Your FFL Calendar Items.

Discussion Topics for Every Faith Formation and His/Her Pastor
  1. How are things going so far this year?
  2. How can we best serve parents, who are the primary catechist of their children without “taking over” for them?
  3. How is Faith Formation ministry fitting into the whole parish structure?

Mark Your Calendar

For information on the enrichment offerings for Faith Formation Leaders and Catholic School Administrators, please click here:
Partnering With Parents

As we strive to support parents in their role as the first catechist (or sharer of the faith) with their children, we were blessed to have Dr. Sean Reynolds speak at the Pastoral Leadership Study Day.  His presentation on “Fostering the Domestic Church” gave us many thought-provoking ideas.  One process is “Strong Catholic Families”.  For more information on this process, please click here.  In addition, we have resources on Marriage Enrichment, which can be found here:  Of course, the “Family Matters” Adult Conference is another great opportunity for parents to be enriched on how to share faith with their children.  For information on the conference, click
VLCFF of Dayton Update

Cycle 7 in VLCFF began October 25 and ends November 28. No courses are offered during the month of December. Cycle 1 (2016) courses begin on January 10. Registration for these classes is now open and closes on January 6, 2016.  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 course, email Julie Sanders at DBQRELSEC for assistance with the voucher.  For more information on VLCFF go to or email Julie Johnson at

The following received certificates from Dayton for courses completed:
  • Allyson Brawner, Waukon: Planning Youth Ministry Events
  • Sarah Casey, Hiawatha: Survey of Catholic Doctrine and Relational Ministry With Youth
  • Susan McNicholl, Ames: Ecclesiology: Beginnings of the Church
  • Wendy Osterberger, Dubuque: Images of Jesus
  • Toni Pint-Burke, Waterloo: Introduction to Prayer
  • Charlene Vig, Mount Vernon: Relational Ministry With Youth

Holy Hours for Vocations

In an effort to help young men hear God’s call to vocation, Archbishop Michael Jackels began leading a series of Holy Hours across the Dubuque Archdiocese, part of a wider effort called “Let God Hear Our Prayer for Vocations.”
Please encourage people to join in praying on the following dates:
  • November 11, 2015: St. Benedict, Decorah, 7:00pm
  • January 20, 2016: Church of the Nativity, Dubuque, 6:30pm
  • February 17, 2016: St. Joseph, Bellevue, 6:30pm
  • March 11, 2016: St Patrick, Clear Lake, 7:00pm
  • Additional dates TBA

Adoration Brochure Update
The brochure that can be used to help those attending Eucharistic Adoration is now available at

October 19 Zoom Meeting Update

Thank you to those who attended the Zoom Meeting on Monday, October 19.  It was a good chance to be with one another (without having to drive) and discuss several topics, ask one another questions, and share some stories.  We will be planning another such opportunity in the next few months.  Watch for information on how to connect.
How Can We Help?

If it would ever be helpful for you to have a staff person from the Offices of Catechetical Services and Adolescent Faith Formation visit your parish to provide advice or assistance with programming, simply ask us and we will be happy to do what we can to meet your needs. We can help provide resources by brainstorming ways to improve your FF (RE) program or YM program, coaching you on how to find the most current resources, assisting in textbook selection, suggesting formational offerings for catechists or utilizing the Witness grant. If you would like assistance with implementing the K-8 religion curriculum, planning and implementing in-services, partnering with parents in catechesis or leading parent meetings, we can help. If you need advice on specific kinds of programming, we can discuss Totus Tuus, VLCFF, Confirmation training or even provide suggestions with dealing with your FFC. Just contact one of us:
Celebrating the Year of Mercy

Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy, to highlight the Catholic Church's "mission to be a witness of mercy."

"No one can be excluded from God's mercy," the pope said on March 13, 2015.

Pope Francis asks the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us. Each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence. The commitment to live by mercy so as to obtain the grace of complete and exhaustive forgiveness by the love of the Father should exclude no one. The Jubilee Indulgence is thus full, the fruit of the very event which is to be celebrated and experienced with faith, hope and charity.  To see more information, visit

As we approach the Year of Mercy which officially starts on December 8th in Rome, we want you to be aware of a section on the archdiocesan website which highlights Year of Mercy events and resources. Visit for:    
  • Instruction from Archbishop Jackels (document to be released in November)
  • Information about the Archdiocesan opening and closing Liturgies on Dec. 13, 2015 and November 20, 2016
  • Details of making a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of St. Raphael
  • Activities and Media for families, youth and adults
  • Prayer and Music resources
  • Details of the Archdiocesan-wide Works of Mercy Service Project (see below)
Year of Mercy Parish Service Projects
Seven weeks throughout 2016 have been designated as "Work Weeks" in which parishes perform a specific Corporal Work of Mercy. Parishes will choose how to perform each work of mercy in a manner that meets the unique needs of their broader community. Parishes will perform the works in solidarity with one another during each designated week.  The designated work for each of the seven weeks corresponds to the Sunday readings.
  • January 17, 2016: Give drink to the thirsty
  • February 28, 2016: Visit Imprisoned
  • April 10, 2016: Feed the hungry
  • July 10, 2016: Clothe the naked
  • August 28, 2016: Shelter the homeless
  • October 9, 2016: Visit the sick
  • November 6, 2016: Bury the dead
Please familiarize yourself with the Year of Mercy website as you plan for your programs in 2016.

Additionally, each parish is asked to identify one Corporal Work of Mercy to perform throughout the year. Our hope is that the faithful embrace new service ideas and incorporate them into their daily living after the Year of Mercy has ended.
From the Educational Resource Center

Take this little quiz and discover what saint would like to be your friend! QUIZ.  For a variety of additional saint resources: view the ERC November media picks at or access the online web search catalog at or contact the ERC 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

FFL Book Club 2015-2016

The Church of Mercy:  A Vision for the Church
Collected from Pope Francis’s speeches, homilies, and papers presented during the first year of his papacy, The Church of Mercy is the first Vatican-authorized book detailing his vision for the Catholic Church. From how to be citizens of the world to answering God’s call for evangelization, Pope Francis's deep wisdom reminds us that the Church must move beyond its own walls and joyfully bring God's mercy wherever suffering, division, or injustice exists. Continue to read this excellent resource and let us know your thoughts!

Upcoming Events


Archdiocesan Adult Conference on the Family


Archdiocesan Pastoral Leadership Study Day


Annual Retreat for FFL's and CSA's

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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