Parent-Led "Growing Up Catholic” First Sacrament Preparation—by Jennifer Clancy, Epiphany Parish, Mason City

Epiphany Parish in Mason City is a merged parish with two sites (churches) and a Catholic School.  One of the challenges we faced as a parish was trying to get the RE families and the Catholic school families to come together, as one, to prepare for and celebrate their First Sacraments.  Prior to the merge we tried teaching the lessons at school during religion time and fitting it into the RE Wednesday night class time but this left us feeling like we were rushing through the lessons.  It also added a sense of separation and division to the already occurring division between our Catholic School and RE families. It also left the parents out of the equation other than to receive emails from our office reminding them of the schedule and making suggestions for what to talk about at home. Continue reading...
Families Living Faith: Implementing the Message of Denise Utter—Part 2

As Denise Utter emphasized at the FFL/CSA Day in August, parental involvement in a child’s faith formation is critical. As a parent lives the faith, a child not only identifies with the faith but also has a greater chance of being committed to the faith as an adult. The domestic church best instills the practice of the Catholic faith by modeling the faith. How are you doing incorporating Denise’s message into the faith formation model in your parish or cluster if you are using a family based model. Continue reading...
Picture Wall

Thank you to everyone who has already sent in a picture!  The “wall” looks great and reminds us of the awesome FFLs in the Archdiocese of Dubuque.  We can still add to the wall, so, 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!

Digital Open House

We will be hosting the November “Digital Open House” on Monday, November 14, 2016 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 the “open house” to offer some insights on how the new United States Department of Labor Overtime Rules may affect you and your parish.  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, November 14 at 10:00 AM, click here: or join by phone at 408 638 0968--Meeting ID: 200 528 829

CSA/FFL Fall Renewal Day—November 15, 2016

The Fall Renewal Day for FFLs and CSAs will be held on Tuesday, November 15 at St. Mary in Waverly.  Our presenter will be Msgr. Russell Bleich speaking on "Prayer, Gratitude, and Hope".  The day will begin with gathering and morning treats at 9:00 AM with the first talk by Msgr. Bleich beginning at 9:30 AM.  The day will include the opportunity to spend time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, celebrate Holy Mass, and share time with other FFLs and CSAs.  The day will conclude at 3:00 PM.  Click here for more information and to register.

AFFR (Archdiocesan Faith Formation Report)—2016-2017

The 2016-2017 Archdiocesan Faith Formation Report (AFFR) is now available to be completed.  You were sent an email with your login and password on September 29, 2016.  If you are having trouble finding it or using it, please contact Julie Sanders at  Guidelines 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, 2016. Please contact our offices if you have any questions.

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

  • In what ways does my job description need to change to allow for us to meet the new United States Department of Labor Overtime rules?How should we budget for anticipated over-time and for un-anticipated overtime hours?
  • 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?

Mark Your Calendar
  • November 15, 2016—CSA/FFL Fall Renewal Day, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM at. St. Mary’s in Waverly.  Click here for more information and to register.
  • January 17, 2017—Evangelizing through Small Groups, Peter Andrastek of the Evangelical Catholic
  • 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.

Youth Ministry Events

Youth Jam 2016
Youth Jam is a high-energy event for middle school youth. Featuring national speaker Greg Wasinski and fun and active experiences throughout the day, Youth Jam is a day to celebrate being young in the Church. The cost for youth and adult attendees is $29.00 per person and includes supper. There are step-by-step directions on how to register for Faith Formation Leaders and Parents on the archdiocesan website at

Please register your parish's/cluster's group by November 10, 2016. If you have any questions, please call (563.556.2580) or email ( Kevin Feyen in the Office of Adolescent Faith Formation.

NCYC Group Estimates Due
If your parish/cluster is hoping to organize a group to attend the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2017, it's time to register your group with the Archdiocese. Simply send your group contact's name, email, and phone number, your group's name, the parishes this group will serve, and the approximate number in an email to either Kevin Feyen ( or Jim Betzner (
We need estimates prior to December 1, 2016 in order to guarantee the spots you will need for your group.  You can change your estimate anytime before January 1, 2017 without consequence. On January 1, 2017, the estimate will become your official group size and your parish/cluster will be billed for a $50 deposit for each person in your group. More information is available on the archdiocesan website at

ACTS 2.0 Update

You have likely heard that we canceled the High School Summit that was scheduled for November 5&6. Instead of holding a conference, we are posting session ideas that you can use with a group of teens in your own parish setting.
You can find multiple sessions that focus on pulling together a group of teens using the first few chapters of Acts of the Apostles (called The CLIMB) and some sessions that provide a foundational understanding of the teachings of the Church (called The SUMMIT) on the Archdiocesan website at

The next phase of the ACTS 2.0 process is The PLUNGE. This phase focuses on moving your youth ministry forward. In order to assist parishes in exploring what they can do next, the Office of Adolescent Faith Formation is compiling a Youth Ministry Programs and Opportunities Catalog. This resource will list all major publishers and providers for systemic catechesis as well as program for experiential faith like service trips and conferences.

TEC Registrations are Open

Please encourage your parish's high school seniors to consider taking part in a Teens Encounter Christ retreat. TEC retreats are offered five times per year in the Archdiocese.

The next TEC will be held on November 19-21 in Calmar, IA. For a list of all other TECs or to register, visit

If your parish takes part in an experience of faith beyond traditional Religious Education (Steubenville, ND Vision, Catholic Heart, etc.), or if you are utilizing a creative approach to faith formation for high school teens (YDisciple, LifeTeen, Chosen, etc.), we want to know about it. We'd like to feature all the varied ways that we can be successful in leading teens to a deeper relationship with Christ and His Church. Please send your ideas or programs you attend, with a brief description to This is your chance to show off how awesome your parish is in serving your teens and help other parishes to grow their ministries. Thanks for all you do!

New Resources From the Educational Resource Center

The Education Resource Center (ERC) has posted a mini-catalog of new media. Check out the November 2016 New Media at

Be sure to check out the Archdiocese of Dubuque Pinterest Board: Vocations to Religious Life at to help you celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, beginning November 6, 2016. Please forward these links to your catechists and teachers. For more resources on Vocations or any other topic, contact Kim at or Tricia at

Moving With Mission

“In all its activities, the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers.” (The Joy of the Gospel,  #28)

NEW Offering for Moving with Mission!
Evangelization through Small Groups and One on One Ministry with Peter Andrastek of the Evangelical Catholic. Peter will inspire our parishes/parish leaders to become more intentional about evangelization, primarily through transformative small groups and one-to-one relationship. Tuesday, January 17, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00, American Martyrs Retreat House, $ 35.00 includes lunch and materials. Check out the attached flyer and watch Peter’s video, The Role of Small Groups and One on Ones:

Thanks to everyone who attended the Joyfully Gifted Retreat workshop! The Joyfully Gifted Retreat materials are now available online (under Adult Faith or Stewardship) for those planning to hold a retreat. If you have any questions, or interested in the Joyfully Gifted Retreat experience, you may contact Mary Pedersen of the Office of Adult Faith, or Sr. Lynn Fangman of the Office of Stewardship,

If you would like someone from the Archdiocese to help your parish to keep Moving with Mission! or if you have ideas to help other parishes to keep moving, please contact the Office of Adult Faith Formation 319-290-5488 or

Archdiocese of Dubuque Women’s Conference

Please place the following announcement in your bulletin:
Treat yourself and plan to attend the Archdiocese of Dubuque Women’s Conference, Beauty in Christ, Saturday, February 4th, 2017, St. Pius X in Cedar Rapids. Invite your mother, daughters, sisters, and friends to this exciting day with Leah Darrow and Kelly Nieto! Our speakers will touch the hearts of all ages, from teens and more mature women. For more information, to view presenters’ videos, and to register:

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

Please support, and consider joining, the Women’s Conference’s generous sponsor, ACCW (Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women):
VLCFF Of Dayton Update

Cycle 7 in VLCFF is underway and ends November 19. No courses are offered during the month of December. The next session of courses begin on January 15. Registration for these classes is now open and closes 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 course, email Julie Sanders at 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:
  • Lugene Berning, Dubuque: Planning Youth Ministry Events
  • Alissa Fulton, Marshalltown: Catholic Beliefs
  • Bethany Jablonski, Marshalltown: Catholic Beliefs
  • Wendy Osterberger, Dubuque: Eccelsiology: Beginnings of the Church
  • Toni Pint-Burtke, Waterloo: Administration in Ministry
  • Charlene Vig, Mt. Vernon: Planning Youth Ministry Events
  • Melanie Vobr, Cresco: Planning Youth Ministry Events
  • Amanda Weaver, Marion: Autism in Faith Formation
The following completed a certificate:
  • Melanie Vobr, Cresco: Certificate in Catechesis Level II and Certificate in Catechesis Program

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. Continue reading...
Ministry-Affiliated-Cohorts (MACs)

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

Online Masters Degree Program Resource Update

The Online Master of Arts Offerings resource has been updated to include two new colleges or universities as well as any changes in tuition costs. The chart includes the school’s website, MAs offered, tuition assistance and costs.  An accompanying “talking points” comes with the chart of schools. If you are interested in this resource, contact Julie Johnson at  If you are interested in a grant to assist you in pursuing a master’s degree online, contact Joanne Pohland at

The 2016-2017 FFL/CSA Book Club Book

Don’t forget to 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? Continue reading...

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 going to

Upcoming Events


Digital Open House


CSA/FFL Renewal Day


Youth Jam


Evangelizing Small Groups


Archdiocese of Dubuque Women's Conference


Art of Accompaniment Workshop


Spring PLSD

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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