MAY 2016

Deanery FFL Meetings for May

The meetings for May can be found at You will also find suggested agenda items for your meeting there.
If You Are Leaving...

In the event that you are resigning your current position as a FFL, please let our office know no later than May 15 so that we can properly express our gratitude to you.  And best wishes from our staff to you in your next endeavor.

Information to Pass on to a New FFL

In FirstClass>Conferences>FFL Catechesis & Evangelization>FFL Resources, please find the document that details resources, books, documents, etc. that should be left in your office if you are leaving your position. Make sure the FFL who takes your position has pertinent calendars with both parish events and Archdiocesan offerings. Please take a look at this list and make your successor’s transition into the position easier. The document is called: Information to Pass On to a New Faith Formation Leader.

Mark Your Calendar

Youth Ministry Leader Conference and Retreat—May 13-14, 2016
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, addictions, 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. Click here to register.

Fall FFL & CSA Day—Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Please mark your calendar for our annual "beginning of the year" gathering on Tuesday, August 9.  We will again meet at Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Middle School in Waterloo. The keynote speaker for the day will be Denise Utter. The day will be informational as well as inspirational, highlighted by Mass with Archbishop Jackels.

Items from the May Executive Calendar

  • Project numbers based on spring registration
  • Complete the Self Evaluation Instrument for Faith Formation Leaders, found in FirstClass/Conferences/FFL Catechesis & Evangelization/FFL Resources
  • Study program evaluation, formulate program goals
  • Follow-up with FFC to approve catechetical program calendar for next year
  • Direct senior recognition, catechist, board appreciation
  • Finalize plans for Vacation Bible School
  • Evaluate sacramental preparation and celebrations
  • Evaluate family life and human sexuality component
  • Recruit needed catechists
  • Update professional portfolio

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

  • How have things gone this year?
  • What changes need to be made for next 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?

FFL Self-Evaluation

In FirstClass>Conferences>FFL Catechesis & Evangelization>FFL Resources, you will find a self-evaluation tool that is provided for you to evaluate the past year and look forward to the next.

End-of-Year Program Evaluations 2016

The End-of-Year Evaluation 2016 and the sheet of instructions that detail the evaluation can now be found in FirstClass>Conferences>FFL Catechesis & Evangelization>FFL Resources. If you have any questions, please see contact us at the Pastoral Center.
Witness Grant Application

Information for the 2016-2017 Witness Grant will be sent out soon. If you have any questions, please contact Julie Sanders at (563) 556-2580, ext. 267.

Parish or Cluster In-services

Please click here to access the form for your in-service information done at the local level. You should plan two in-parish/cluster in-services each year. The form should be returned to Julie Sanders by June 1, 2016 at

If you need ideas or help planning your in-services, contact Julie Johnson at

Hiring Process Materials for 2016-2017

The recommended hiring process for Faith Formation Leaders materials is now available on the Archdiocesan Website at  If you have any questions, please contact Joanne Pohland at or (563) 556-2580, ext. 255.

VLCFF of Dayton Update

2016 Cycle 3 courses end May 7.  Registration for Cycle 4 runs through May 18, with classes beginning May 22 and ending June 25. Registration for Cycle 5 runs from May 25 through July 6, with classes beginning July 10 and ending August 13. Click here to access the Top Ten Reasons to take a VLCFF this summer.

Go to: for a list of the courses offered during Cycle 4 and 5. 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:
  • Rita Mooney, Lansing - Theological Reflection: Key to Connecting Faith and Life
  • Korina Roberts, Waterloo - Theological Reflection: Key to Connecting Faith and Life
The Saint Ambrose Youth Ministry Certificate

A program is offered at St. Ambrose in conjunction with the Center for Ministry Development for those in ministry with youth ages 11 to 18, in both parish and school settings. It equips leaders with knowledge, skills, practical tools and techniques needed for creative and comprehensive youth ministry. The program includes eight courses. The primary aim of the program is to promote personal, spiritual, and ministerial growth. For More information about this opportunity, please visit the Adolescent Faith Formation home page at:

Upcoming Professional Development Conferences

The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) offers an annual Conference and Exposition, providing Professional Development for Catechetical Leaders.  This year’s conference will be May 23-26 at Hyatt Regency in Jacksonville Florida.  For more information, go to  They offer an annual conference, so if you are not able to go this year, you may want to plan for and budget to attend this or another conference in the 2016-2017 budget year.

Do you know the way to San Jose? To the National Conference of Catholic Youth Ministry
San Jose, California will be the site of the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry from December 1-3, 2016. This is an opportunity for anyone would works in adolescent ministry (CYMs, C/DREs, Confirmation Leaders, etc.) to attend a national conference with training, networking, and spiritual nourishment. It's basically like NCYC except with no teens or chaperones to deal with. Typically about 10-15 people from the Archdiocese attend this conference every other year. We do try to gather for at least one meal to discuss what we're learned and how we've been challenged to grow in our ministries. More information on the conference can be found at

From Mary Pedersen, Director of Adult Faith Formation

Workshop for Facilitators of Small Groups This Fall!  We have scheduled a session for Saturday, September 10, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at St. Patrick, Cedar Falls. Contact your small group facilitators now (RCIA, small group leaders, catechists) to mark their calendars for this interactive day. Click here to view the flyer. Click here to register.

May Videos to Share with Parents:
Women’s Faith-Sharing Ministries:  Free e-book by Leah Darrow, runway model to national Catholic speaker: Reclaiming Your Beauty: A 5 Step Guide to a More Beautiful You: “I wrote this book because so many young women struggle to see themselves beyond the mirror.” Gather your girlfriends and discuss true beauty:

Walking with Purpose: Seven Priorities That Make Life Work by Lisa Brenninkmeyer (through Dynamic Catholic): “Lisa will help you: Stop striving and rest in God’s unconditional love. Experience new hope in your marriage. Reach your child’s heart. Create clarity in a cluttered home.
 Find friendships that go below the surface and satisfy.
 Discover your passion and purpose.”

Women in the New Evangelization: WINE is a creative and inspired ministry to invigorate Catholic parishes through encouraging, supporting, and nurturing women in the faith and by equipping and mobilizing women as intentional disciples of Christ. Online book studies, faith-sharing materials, and blogs:

For more Women’s Resources:

Catechist Recruitment

It is not too early to start thinking about catechist recruitment for 2016-2017.  Consider using the flyer called “What is a Catechist?”  You can find it by clicking here. The brochure details frequently asked questions about teaching in a faith formation program, highlights the spirituality that is generated in a catechetical setting and explains some of the responsibilities of a catechist. You can personalize the brochure with your name, parish email address and phone number.  Send the flyers home in the bulletin or a newsletter or distribute them at up-coming parish meetings.  The brochure was designed to help you, the FFL, recruit interested and willing individuals to share the stories of their faith with others.

Catechetical Sunday 2016

"Prayer: The Faith Prayed":  This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 18, 2016 and will focus on the theme "Prayer: The Faith Prayed." Catechists, whom the Community has designated to serve, will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect 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. 

From the Educational Resource Center

The Education Resource Center (ERC) has created mini-catalogs of both online and tangible media resources to help parishes, schools, and individuals meet the goals of the four mission priorities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque that have been promoted by Archbishop Jackels. The mini-catalogs can be found at the ERC Topical Catalog web page: The four priorities are described in detail at For more information or resources, feel free to contact Kim at or Tricia at

Planning for VBS

If you are already planning ahead for VBS, here are a couple of things to remember particularly if you are part of an ecumenical VBS endeavor with other churches in your community. Remember that all the expectations from the Office of Protection of Children must be met for VBS even if the event is held at a different church campus. If a volunteer has not taken the VIRTUS training and is 18 years of age, please have the volunteer go to to take the training.

Also, ecumenical VBS endeavors certainly are a fine civic venture and good for many small communities, but do remember to have a Catholic dimension to the materials. You could have a post-VBS gathering of parents and students for an ice cream social or potluck lunch or dinner that emphasizes the Catholic dimension of materials covered. Or you can send home a sheet of Catholic-oriented family ideas that reinforce what is taught at VBS. Or before VBS starts, you could send home a letter or packet to parents or guardians that provides activities or teachings that are Catholic and reflect the content of what is being taught each day.
VBS can be a wonderful part of any childs summer and a great way for parishioners to volunteer and learn more about their faith but keep in mind that there should be a Catholic emphasis.

You can find the 2015-2016 VBS cover letter, which specifies all forms and waivers that must be completed before a student attends VBS, in FirstClass>Conferences>FFL Catechesis & Evangelization>VBS.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

Protection of Children Information

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

Adoration Brochure Update

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

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 for more information on the Year of Mercy.

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


YM Leader Conference & Retreat




Fall FFL & CSA Day

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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