On Saturday evening, churches across central and southwest Iowa will be welcoming people into full communion with the Catholic Church. In all, 54 people who have never been baptized will enter the Church, each of them being baptized, confirmed and receiving their first Eucharist. Another 157, who have been baptized but have not received First Eucharist and/or been confirmed, will receive the sacraments of intitation so that they, too, come into full communion with the Church. If you've never been to an Easter Vigil service, consider it this week. It will be an unforgettable experience as we welcome the newest members of our faith community.
Join us at the annual diocesan gathering, Chrism Mass, this Thursday at 7 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Bishop Richard Pates will bless and consecrate the oils used in sacraments in our 80 parishes for the coming year. Do you know where your parish displays it's oils?
Six dioceses, organizations receive help in caring for the border children
More than $30,000 was collected late last summer from parishes in the Diocese of Des Moines to aid the women, children and vulnerable adults from Central American countries who were fleeing danger and extreme poverty in their homeland.
The appeal to parishioners brought contributions totaling $30,384.49 as of mid-January. Bishop Richard Pates, who had visited Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in the summer of 2014 on behalf of the Diocese of Des Moines, sent the donations to several organizations addressing the crisis.
- Loretto Nazareth Hospitality Center, in El Paso, Texas, received $5,000. Des Moines native Sister Mary Beth Boesen shared the tremendous need of the families in her ministry to the border children.
- Justice For Our Neighbors in Des Moines received $5,384.49. This local organization took the lead on addressing the needs of border children in the Des Moines metro area.
- Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas received $5,000. JoAnn Mackey, a member of the diocesan Hispanic Pastoral Commission and former executive director of the Latino Festival in Des Moines has spent the past four months ministering to the children coming across the border in McAllen, Texas. She shared her experience with Nancy Galeazzi, executive director of Catholic Charities in the Des Moines diocese.
- In addition, the following dioceses each received $5,000 for their effort to help the border children: Diocese of El Paso, Texas, Diocese of Tucson, Arizona, and the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas.
While addressing short-term needs, the Diocese of Des Moines said it was imperative to address the root causes of the mass influx of children, women and vulnerable adults by addressing the drug trade, which is a destructive force in these three countries, as well as the widespread violence and corruption emanating from the extraction/mining industry and the inequities originating from CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement.