Wishing all the best to Emily Kahm, Director of Faith Formation at St. Joseph the Worker in Dubuque, on her marriage to Chris Clow on Saturday, January 2, 2016.
Deanery FFL Meetings for January

The meetings for January can be found at
Zoom Meeting #2 on January 19 for All FFLs

Since it is a challenge to get everyone together during the winter months, we have arranged a Virtual Gathering for Faith Formation Leaders on Tuesday, January 19.  We have set aside time beginning at 10:00 AM to gather.  We will have some information from our offices, but there will also be time to hear about programming that others are doing and to share ideas and ask questions.  The information to connect is:
Items from the January Executive Calendar
  • Evaluate activities celebrating Advent, Christmas
  • Implement plan for January feasts and celebrations
  • Implement January catechist inservices both local and DIOCORE
  • Plan and order Lenten materials
  • Provide mid-year Student Progress Reports
  • Review program calendar and make needed changes
  • Check supplies needed for remaining sessions
  • Continue with budget planning with the FFC
  • Complete Catechist observation/evaluations
  • Professional Plan Response from FFL Evaluation due January 15
  • Promote TEC to HS seniors

DIOCORE/Regional YM Meeting Agenda Items - January
  • The Regional Gatherings will take place in March.  Watch for details and registration information to be available before the end of January.
  • 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.  Watch for the Safe Environment “Count Form” in January.
  • Don’t Forget: Share information from the InFo and the Leader’s Gram with your Faith Formation Commission.  Perhaps you would like to discuss what is currently being done in your parish regarding the Domestic Church.  See the Leader’s Gram for more details.
  • Mark Your FFL Calendar Items.
  • If you did not meet in December, discuss feedback from the Adult Conference:  Family Matters held in Waterloo on Saturday, November 7.
  • Continue discussing “next steps” after NCYC.
  • VLCFF Registration for Cycle 1 (begins January 10) is now open and closes January 6, 2016.
Celebrating the Year of Mercy

As we celebrate the Year of Mercy, which officially started 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

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.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: January 18-25

The theme for 2016 is: "Called to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord"  (1 Peter 2:9)

The relationship between baptism and proclamation, and the calling shared by all the baptized to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord was inspired by two verses from the First Letter of St Peter. This calling forms the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for 2016. St Peter tells the early Church that in their search for meaning prior to encountering the Gospel they were not a people. But through hearing the call to be God’s chosen race and receiving the power of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ, they have become God’s people. Baptism opens up an exciting new journey of faith, uniting each new Christian with God’s people throughout the ages.  In the shared sacred texts of the Bible, we hear of God’s saving acts in salvation history: leading his people out of slavery in Egypt, and the great mighty act of God: the raising of Jesus from the dead, which opened new life to all of us. As Christians seeking the unity of the Body of Christ we are all called to recognize the mighty acts of God in our own lives and the life of the Church. (From Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute, Franciscan Friars of Atonement

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international Christian ecumenical observance kept annually between 18 January and 25 January. It is actually an octave, that is, an observance lasting eight days. For resources go to:

Ministry of Young Adults: We're doing it again!

Please join us for a networking session, January 29th, 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Click here for details and to register. Space is limited. (A collaboration of the Offices of Adolescent and Adult Faith Formation.)  Please contact Mary Pedersen or Kevin Feyen for more information.
Youth Jam 2016!

Youth Jam 2016 (#ComeAndBe) is a celebration of our Catholic faith for middle school students in the Archdiocese (grades 6-8) which will take place on Saturday, April 9, 2016 from 3:00 - 8:30 PM in Waterloo. The day will feature DJ Bill, a Catholic DJ from Minnesota, break-out experiences, and Mass. The cost is only $29 per person and includes registration and supper.

Registration will be available to parish leaders on February 1, 2016. Look to the Official Bulletin February 1 issue for more information.
Youth Ministry Leader Conference and Retreat

Youth Ministry Leaders are encouraged to attend our 2nd annual YML Conference & Retreat on the weekend of Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14. This year will focus on pastoral skills and knowledge for caring for adolescent in difficult situations. Friday the 13th will focus on the professional skills for tending the souls of teens in crisis situations by Catholic Charities staff. Situations like teen suicide, additions, abuse, teen pregnancies and others are real issues facing today's teens and those who minister to them. This is a chance to learn more about those realities and how you can respond and care for those who are struggling through these issues. The rest of the weekend will focus on personal maintenance, resource sharing, and networking. Registration information will be out soon.
TEC Dates Remaining

Please encourages high school seniors in your parishes to consider attending one of the remaining Teens Encounter Christ weekends still available this school year. Remaining TECs are:
•    TEC 561 at Marquette High School, Bellevue
•    TEC 562 at Beckman High School, Dyersville
•    TEC 563 at CFS Elem. School, Calmar
•    TEC 564 at Wahlert High School, Dubuque
Registration and more information is available at
Totus Tuus Weeks are Still Available

Totus Tuus (Totally Yours) is a weeklong program that brings college-aged missionaries to your parish to catechize and inspire children, teens, and families. The team of four missionaries works with grades 1-6 in a daytime program and works with grades 7-12 in an evening program. The team stays with host families and dines with host families so that they can bring their joy of the Gospel to as many people as they can when they are at your parish. Totus Tuus costs each host parish $1,800 for the whole week (plus lodging and meals). If your parish is interested in exploring whether Totus Tuus is right for you, please contact Kevin Feyen at 563.556.2580 x253 or email him at The remaining weeks will be filled on a "first come, first serve" basis. Weeks that are still available are:
•    The week of Sunday, June 26 to Friday, July 1
•    The week of Sunday, July 10 to Friday, July 15
AFFR (Archdiocesan Faith Formation Report) 2015-2016

Thank you to everyone who completed their Data Survey. If you have not yet completed the survey or have some sections that need updating, please contact Joanne Pohland at or Julie Sanders at We are working on a report based on the information you have provided. If you have any questions, please contact Julie Sanders at
Faith Formation Leader Evaluations

Evaluation forms prepared by the Offices of Adolescent Faith Formation and Catechetical Services were sent to Pastors/Parish Life Coordinators and FFC Chairs in early November and can be accessed by going to:  This tool, and adaptations of this tool, or another tool of your choosing can be utilized in the evaluation process.  When completed, we ask that you please send a summary of this evaluation is to the Office of Catechetical Services.
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?
VLCFF Of Dayton Update

2016 Cycle 1 classes begin on January 10. Registration for these classes is now open and will close on January 6, 2015. While it is ordinary time and before Lent begins, try a course from VLCFF.
Winter weather may keep you more homebound so certainly January is a great opportunity for personal formation.

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: A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry
  • Mindy Hart, Dubuque: Disabilities in Parish Life: An Overview (SN1)
  • Catherine Humpal, Lawler: Communication and Community
  • Susan McNicholl, Ames: Theological Reflection: Key to Connecting Faith and Life; Introduction to Liturgy
  • Wendy Osterberger, Dubuque: Sacraments
  • Charlene Vig, Mount Vernon: A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry
  • Melanie Vobr: Old Testament

Budget Preparation

As you are preparing your 2016-2017 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.
Protection of Children Information

The NewsNotes information as well as the curriculum for 2015-2016 is available in the Protection of Children Conference in First Class.  The next NewsNote for parents will be posted in January. It is mandatory to provide the curriculum during the course of each program year.  Watch for the annual “Count Form” in January.
From the Educational Resource Center

The Education Resource Center (ERC) has posted a new mini-catalog on the Media Picks web page. This January issue highlights media for this year's Respect Life program, which focuses on respecting human life relating to beginning of life issues. Check out the resources found at the link below.  Please forward this to your catechists and teachers. Contact Kim at or Tricia at for more information or resources. Visit:
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:

  • 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

FFL/CSA 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!

Mark Your Calendar

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

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


Spring Regional Meeting: Mason City, New Hampton


Spring Regional Meeting: Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids


Spring Regional Meeting: Elkader


Spring Regional Meetings: Dubuque


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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