The Diocese of Des Moines
Diocesan

August 26, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Our Lady's Immaculate Heart and St. Luke Parishes in Ankeny are hosting a St. Monica Mass for the intention of those who have left the Church on Wednesday, Aug. 27. Last year, more than 200 people attended! This is an opportunity for those who are praying hard for their loved ones to come back to the Church to gather together with the same intention. St. Monica, through her prayer, converted her husband and mother-in-law to the Catholic Church. Thanks to her prayers, her son also changed his ways and eventually became St. Augustine. Mass will be at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, 501 E. 1st St. in Ankeny beginning at 6:30 p.m. Food, fellowsip and the sharing of a personal story will follow. Helpful resources will also be available. All are invited.




August 20, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

                It’s not too late to get your tickets for the third Christ Our Life Regional Catholic Conference Sept. 20-21 at Wells Fargo Arena.

            “This is a tremendous opportunity to hear real-life stories of struggle and conversion that will inspire each of us to look closer at our own relationships with God,” said Bishop Richard Pates. “These world-renowned speakers will share their faith journeys through which they have found their own unique ways of doing God’s will. I’m confident each of us who attends the Christ Our Life conference will reflect on how we are instruments of God’s love.”

             Thousands of people are expected to pray with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and warmly welcome back to central Iowa Mary’s Meals founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, genocide survivor and author Immaculee Ilibagiza, and retreat master and author Father Larry Richards.

            Former Miss America Angela Perez Baraquio Grey will share her family’s struggle with mental illness, and former model Mario St. Francis Herrera will explain why he left the fast-track party life. Mark Hart will share his knowledge of scripture with humor and relevance while Tom Peterson will explain how a life-altering conversion led him to use his media skills to boost Catholic evangelization.

            Also coming to the heartland is Tony Melendez, a Nicaraguan American guitar player who was born without arms. Returning to Des Moines is musician and storyteller Steve Angrisano, who has inspired people at the 2011 diocesan Centennial Celebration and the last Christ Our Life conference.

            Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students/youth, and $15 for seminarians. Tickets afford attendees the opportunity to come and go at will throughout the entire event. They are available in parishes or by going online to ChristOurLifeIowa.com. For additional ticket information, email tickets@ChristOurLifeIowa.com.

             




August 15, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Join us in celebrating rural life and stewardship of the land this Sunday, Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. at the farm of Tom and Amy Doud near Stuart, Iowa. Take I-80 to the Stuart exit and go south to 110th St. Then go east three miles to get to the farm. This is a great way to honor the many people whose roots are in farming. Come out and enjoy a great summer day on the farm!




August 14, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Msgr. Gerald Stessman will celebrate Mass for the holy day of obligation (Assumption of Mary) on Friday, Aug. 15 at the Iowa State Fair in Pioneer Hall beginning at 7:30 a.m. He will also celebrate Mass on the last day of the fair, Sunday, Aug. 17, at 7:15 a.m. in Pioneer Hall.




August 13, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Brewing Faith speaker series continues tomorrow night beginning at 6:30 at Raccoon River Brewing Co., 200 10th St. in Des Moines. This is an event for young adults 21+ (and the young at heart) to gather after work for dinner, drinks and discussion.  Join the Novos Young Adults group in the River Room to get the fun & food/drink orders rolling.  A short talk will begin after dinner, followed by Q&A and table discussion. For more information, contact Tessa Roberts at 515-237-5098 or visit Novos Young Adults on Facebook.




August 11, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee of International Justice and Peace asked the U.S. bishops to invite the people of their dioceses to pray for peace in Iraq this Sunday, Aug. 17. Bishop Pates made the request Aug. 6, sending the bishops the text of a prayer written by the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako.

 

Bishop Pates recounted the struggles of Christians and others in Iraq who have faced the destruction, burning and looting of churches, homes and businesses and, under threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) to join their extremist brand of Islam, have fled for their lives. Accordingly, he urged Catholics to let their elected representatives know of their concern that humanitarian assistance reach Christian and other religious minorities who are suffering in Iraq, Syria and other countries.

 

Bishop Pates also noted Pope Francis’ calls for peace in Iraq and his observation that “violence generates more violence; dialogue is the only path to peace.”

 

The full text of Patriarch Sako’s prayer for peace follows:

 

Lord,

The plight of our country

is deep and the suffering of Christians

is severe and frightening.

Therefore, we ask you Lord

to spare our lives, and to grant us patience,

and courage to continue our witness of Christian values

with trust and hope.

Lord, peace is the foundation of life;

Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us

to live with each other without fear and anxiety,

and with dignity and joy.

 
Glory be to you forever.




August 8, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Msgr. Gerald Stessman will celebrate Mass at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday at 7:15 a.m. at Pioneer Hall. He will also celebrate Mass next Sunday, Aug. 17, at the same place and time. Msgr. Stessman will offer Mass on the holy day of obligation, the Assumption of Mary on Aug. 15, at 7:30 a.m. in Pioneer Hall at the Iowa State Fair.




August 7, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Young adults who will be between the ages of 18 and 35 by July 19, 2016 are invited to join Bishop Pates on a pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day, a gathering of more than 3 million young adults celebrating the Catholic faith with Pope Francis. We will be walking and praying in the footsteps of St. John Paul II, St. Faustina and St. Maximilian Kolbe. The diocese welcomes individuals within and outside the Des Moines diocese. Stipulations apply for families of minors who wish to join the pilgrimage. Online registration and more information is available at www.dmdiocese.org/wyd.  Registration is requested by Oct. 1 for appropriate planning.




August 5, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Did you know St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center (on the Drake Campus) is the home of the Catholic Deaf Community? Sign language is available every Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. Mass.  St. Catherine’s is the only Catholic parish in the state to offer sign language interpreters at Mass every Sunday.  For more information please contact Peggy Chicoine at dpchicoine@msn.com. 

 




July 31, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Christ Our Life Catholic Regional Conference is getting closer. Tickets may be purchased online by going to the website clicking on “Purchase Tickets.” Tickets are also available in parishes. Adult all-weekend ticket passes, which allow attendees to come and go throughout the weekend, are $25 for adults and $15 for students/youth. Volunteers' cost is $15.




July 22, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to seek a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Bishop Pates serves as the chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace. Click here to read the letter.




July 21, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, along with the bishops from the other three Iowa dioceses, issued a statement through the Iowa Catholic Conference on the situation of children and families fleeing war and violence in Central America, arriving at the southern border of the United States. The statement is as follows:

 

"A November 2013 report from the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Migration alerted us to the ongoing increase in migration of unaccompanied children across the border. More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since the beginning of the year.

 

"The report found a “perfect storm” of reasons leading to this phenomenon, including an absence of economic opportunities, a lack of access to education, and a desire to reunify with family in the United States. One cause has played a decisive role in recent years: extreme violence in the countries of origin and a corresponding breakdown of the rule of law. This violence has resulted in part because of the drug trade driven by users in the United States.

 

"We appreciate government officials for responding as best they can to this crisis and ask them to make sure that legal services are available to unaccompanied children. Children without family in the U.S. are at risk of being sent back to an unsafe situation. The best interests of these children should be a priority.

In a recent statement for World Refugee Day, Pope Francis said “Jesus was a refugee” and called upon Catholics and others to “alleviate their suffering in a concrete way.” We are responding the best we can through our Catholic Charities organizations and ask the government to do the same."




July 2, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Pates, who is traveling in El Salvador on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, sent to us his reaction on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this week on religious liberty. Bishop said:

 

"I join in the broad consortium of ecumenical, business and constitutional advocates in expressing appreciation for the decision of the Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. At stake is recognition for the application of the First Amendment and the guarantee of Religious Freedom.

 

“Yet in judicial process in conjunction with the HHS mandate are approximately 60 cases which deal with the notion that religious freedom is exercised not only in freedom of worship but expressing one's faith in action. The principal case currently applicable is that of the Little Sisters of the Poor in insisting that the dedicated service of these women to the elderly poor qualifies for protection in the exercise of religious liberty.

 

“The Catholic Church has strongly advocated for health care as a human right but to be implemented without imposing practices that are contrary to long standing religious beliefs."

 

 

“Me junto con un consorcio grande de defensores ecuménicos, empresarios y constitucionales en expresar la apreciación por la decisión de la corte suprema en el caso de Hobby Lobby. En juego está el reconocimiento de la aplicación de la primera enmienda de la constitución y la garantía de libertad religiosa.

 

“De todas maneras en el proceso judicial sobre el mandato del departamento de servicios humanos hay aproximadamente 60 casos que tratan con la idea de que la libertad religiosa esta expresada no solamente en la libertad de culto sino también en la expresión de la fe en acción de cada uno. El caso principal más aplicable actualmente es el de las Hermanitas de los Pobres que insiste que el servicio dedicado de estas mujeres hacia los ancianos pobres califica para la protección del ejercicio de la libertad religiosa.

 

“La iglesia católica ha advocado fuertemente por la salud como un derecho humano, pero debe estar implementada sin imponer prácticas que son contrarias a las creencias religiosas tradicionales.”




June 30, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop acts on abuse allegation

Priest on indefinite leave during process

 

     Bishop Richard Pates has placed Father Howard Fitzgerald on indefinite administrative leave following a determination by the diocesan Allegation Review Committee that an allegation of a decades-old incident of sexual abuse of a minor is credible.

            While on administrative leave, Father Fitzgerald cannot function publicly as a priest. Bishop Pates has asked him to refrain from wearing the clerical garb.

            The matter is being forwarded to the Vatican.

            Bishop Pates has apologized to the victim, who asked for anonymity. The diocese will honor the request.

            “It is a top priority that we address all credible allegations of sexual abuse in the manner outlined by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. In addition, the diocese continues to do all it can to ensure we create a safe environment for children and all vulnerable individuals in our churches and schools,” said Bishop Pates.

            After learning of the allegation, the victim was provided the services of the Victim Assistance Advocate of the Diocese of Des Moines. Local law enforcement where the alleged abuse occurred and the Allegation Review Committee were informed.  

            The matter was studied by the Allegation Review Committee, which has among its members a judge, a licensed clinical social worker, a police detective, an attorney, a priest and a permanent deacon. During the committee’s investigation, Bishop Pates had asked Father Fitzgerald to step aside from his parish responsibilities at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Indianola and Immaculate Conception Parish in St. Marys and at Simpson College.

            Bishop Pates will celebrate the Masses this weekend, July 5-6, at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Indianola and Immaculate Conception in St. Marys. Mass times are: Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas; Sunday 8 a.m. at Immaculate Conception and 10:15 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas.

            In 2002, the U.S. bishops created the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which offers a comprehensive set of guidelines on reporting sexual abuse, accountability, reports to a national board and mandatory education programs in parishes and schools.

            As of January, 14,416 people in the Diocese of Des Moines had undergone training and background checks designed to help create a safe environment for children and young people. To learn more about the Virtus training, go to www.dmdiocese.org/virtus.cfm.

            Quoting a 2010 column which he wrote for “The Catholic Mirror,” Bishop Pates reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to do all it can to protect children in matters of sexual misconduct.

            “The bottom line in all of this is that the Catholic Church cares about children – all children – and wants to protect them. Jesus had a special place in his heart for them and the Church can be no less loving. That’s why abuse of children by priests, the overwhelming majority of whom are dedicated, caring people, is a great embarrassment and causes pain for victims, their families and all the church’s members.”

            The Diocese of Des Moines encourages victims of sexual abuse by clergy and their families to contact the diocesan Victim Assistance Advocate, Sherry Knox. She is a staff member at Polk County Victim Services. She assists victims through the complaint process and in seeking support and counseling services. She can be reached at 515-286-2028 or advocate@dmdiocese.org.

            Consejero sobre Asistencia de Victimas El Consejero sobre Asistencia de Víctimas es un empleado de Polk County Victim Services. Ella ayuda a víctimas de abuso sexual por parte del clero durante el proceso de la queja y buscando servicios de apoyo y consejería. Pueden comunicarse al 515-286-2028 o en advocate@dmdiocese.org.

            Father Fitzgerald has served at the following places:

            St. Albert High School, Council Bluffs

            St. Pius X Church, Urbandale

            Pastoral Team serving: St. Mary, Panama; St. Mary, Portsmouth; and

                                                  St. Boniface, Westphalia

            St. Peter and St. Francis Worship Center, Council Bluffs

            Holy Spirit, Creston; and St. Edward, Afton

            St. Patrick, Dunlap; and Sacred Heart, Woodbine

            St. Michael, Harlan

            Ss. John & Paul, Altoona

            St. Joseph, Earling; and St. Peter, Defiance

            St. Patrick, Dunlap; Holy Family, Mondamin; Sacred Heart, Woodbine

            Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Glenwood

            St. Thomas Aquinas, Indianola; and Immaculate Conception, St. Marys

 

El Obispo actúa en acusación de abuso

Un sacerdote tiene licencia indefinida durante el proceso

 

            Monseñor Richard Pates ha dado a Padre Howard FitzGerald una licencia administrativa indefinida después de una determinación por el Allegation Review Committee de la diócesis que una acusación de hace una década del abuso sexual a un menor de edad es creíble.

            Mientras tiene la licencia, el Padre Fitzgerald no puede funcionar públicamente como sacerdote. Monseñor Pates le ha pedido que no use ropa clerical.

            El asunto ha sido mandado al Vaticano.

            Monseñor Pates ha pedido perdón de la víctima, quien pidió anonimidad. La diócesis honrará su petición.

            “Es una prioridad importante que tratemos con todas las acusaciones creíbles del abuso sexual en la manera requerida por el Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. También, la diócesis continua haciendo todo la que puede para crear un ambiente seguro para los niños y todos los individuos vulnerables en nuestras iglesias y escuelas,” dijo Monseñor Pates.

            Después de que la diócesis averiguó de la acusación, la víctima estaba proveído con los servicios del Victim Assistance Advocate of the Diocese of Des Moines. La diócesis también informó a la policía donde el abuso presunto ocurrió y al Allegation Review Committee.

            El Allegation Review Committee, que incluye entre sus miembros un juez, un trabajador social licenciado, un detective de la policía, un abogado, un sacerdote y un diácono permanente, estudió el asunto. Durante la investigación, Monseñor Pates había pedido a Padre Fitzgerald dejar sus responsabilidades en las parroquias de St. Thomas Aquinas en Indianola y Immaculate Conception en St. Mary’s y también en Simpson College.

            Monseñor Pates celebrará las misas este fin de semana, el 5-6 de julio, en la parroquia de St. Thomas y Immaculate Conception en St. Mary’s. Las horas de las misas son: 5:30 p.m. el sábado en St. Thomas Aquinas; 8 a.m. el domingo en Immaculate Conception; y 10:15 a.m. en St. Thomas Aquinas.

            En 2002, los obispos de EEUU crearon el Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, que ofrece un conjunto exhaustivo de directrices en el reporte de abusos sexuales, la responsabilidad, los reportes a una mesa directiva nacional y programas educativos obligatorios en las parroquias y escuelas.

            Hasta enero, 14,416 personas en la Diocese of Des Moines habían tenido entrenamiento y chequeos de antecedentes designados a ayudar a crear un ambiente seguro para los niños y jóvenes. Para averiguar más sobre el entrenamiento de Virtus, vaya a www.dmdiocese.org-virtus.cfm.

            Citando una columna de 2010 que escribió Monseñor Pates para The Catholic Mirror, el reafirmó el compromiso de la iglesia a hacer todo lo posible para proteger a los niños de la mala conducta sexual.

            “Lo importante en todo esto es que la Iglesia Católica se preocupa por los niños – todos los niños – y quiere protegerlos. Jesús tuvo un lugar especial en su corazón para ellos y la iglesia no puede hacer menos. Eso es porque el abuso de niños por los sacerdotes, la mayoría grande de los cuales son personas dedicadas y bondadosas, es una vergüenza y causa del  dolor para las víctimas, sus familias y todos los miembros de la iglesia.”

            The Diocese of Des Moines pide a las víctimas de abuso sexual por el clero y a sus familias de contactar el Victim Assistance Advocate de The Diocese of Des Moines, Sherry Knox. Ella es una empleada del Polk County Victim Services. Ella asiste a las víctimas en el proceso de reclamos y en buscar apoyo y servicios de consejería. Se puede comunicar con ella llamando al 515 286-2028 o escribiendo a advocate@dmdiocese.org.

 

Padre Fitzgerald ha estado en los lugares siguientes:

 

St. Albert High School, Council Bluffs

St. Pius X Church, Urbandale

Pastoral team para St. Mary, Panama; St. Mary, Portsmouth; and St. Boniface, Westphalia

St. Peter and St. Francis Worship Center, Council Bluffs

Holy Spirit, Creston; and St. Edward, Afton

St. Patrick, Dunlap; and Sacred Heart, Woodbine

St. Michael, Harlan

Ss. John and Paul, Altoona

St. Joseph, Earing; and St. Peter, Defiance

St. Patrick, Dunlap; Holy Family, Mandarin; Sacred Heart, Woodbine

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Glenwood

St. Thomas Aquinas, Indianola; and Immaculate Conception, St. Mary’s

 

 




June 28, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

If you will be between the ages of 18 and 35 by July 19, 2016, consider joining Bishop Pates on a pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day, a gathering of more than 3 million young adults celebrating the Catholic faith with Pope Francis. We will be walking and praying in the footsteps of St. John Paul II, St. Faustina and St. Maximilian Kolbe. The diocese welcomes individuals within and outside the Des Moines diocese. Stipulations apply for families of minors who wish to join the pilgrimage. For questions or registration information, contact Tessa Schealler at 515-237-5098 or tschealler@dmdiocese.org, or visit www.dmdiocese.org/wyd.




June 26, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates announced four Diocese of Des Moines appointments, all of which are effective July 1, 2014.

 

Vicar General

            Father David Fleming has been appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Des Moines. This position, codified in the Church’s Canon Law, is filled by an ordained member of the clergy who assists the Bishop in the governing of the diocese. Father Fleming will serve as Vicar General while continuing in his role as pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Urbandale and diocesan exorcist.

            A graduate of Dowling Catholic High School, he attended Grand View University, the University of Northern Iowa, St. Ambrose University in Davenport and completed his theology studies at North American College in Rome.

            Father Fleming was ordained in 1990 and has served in administration and parish ministry. He has served St. Augustin and St. Ambrose Parishes in Des Moines, Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Parish in Ankeny, All Saints Parish in Stuart and St. Patrick Parish in Council Bluffs prior to being appointed pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Urbandale in 2012. He also has served as diocesan Director of Vocations and Chancellor of the Diocese of Des Moines.  

 

Co-Chancellor

            Jason Kurth will undertake additional responsibility in the new role of Co-Chancellor of the Diocese of Des Moines. He has a B.A. degree in history from the University of Northern Iowa. In addition, he holds an M.Div degree from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. In 2013, he was awarded a master’s degree in Church Management from Villanova University. As Co-Chancellor, he will assist with special projects as designated by the Bishop and serve as a resource in parish and diocesan planning efforts. 

 

Accounting Manager

            Laura Hofstrand, who has been a member of the diocesan staff since August, 2008, has been appointed Accounting Manager. She is originally from Mason City. She obtained a B.A. in accounting from Iowa State University and last year completed an MBA at ISU. In her new position, she will: be the lead auditor for internal control reviews at parishes and schools; manage the diocesan payroll, cash receipt and disbursement processes; and assist with supervisory duties.

 

 Vocation Specialist

            John “Duy” Huynh has been appointed as Vocation Specialist for the Diocese of Des Moines. He will undertake this role while remaining a full-time theology teacher at Dowling Catholic High School.

            He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in theology from Loras College in Dubuque. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Barry University at Miami Shores, Fla. He will provide assistance to the Office of Vocations in coordination with Bishop and the Vocations Team.




June 24, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Have you seen the article Bishop Pates penned for America magazine? In it, he addresses the moral implications of military action. "This review of the church's engagement with U.S. policy in Iraq is meant to help ensure that the moral obligations and limits on our nation’s conduct in the world will not again be ignored," he wrote. Check out the full article.




June 20, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Join us in marking the third occasion of the Fortnight for Freedom with prayer for religious liberty and the freedom to serve. We're gathering on Sunday, June 22 at St. Ambrose Cathedral at 2 p.m. for a holy hour, a keynote address in English and Spanish by Omar Gutierrez of the Archdiocese of Omaha, and a reception.




June 17, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A big thank you to everyone to helped make Fairway Fathers golf outing a big success! We appreciate all the help from the parishes, the Knights of Columbus and others who gave their time to help those who are interested in a vocation to priesthood this valuable opportunity to have fun and visit with priests in a relaxed setting. It's a great opportunity for young men to talk to our diocesan priests about what their vocation has been like. If you're interested in information about a vocation to priesthood, or you'd like information on upcoming events, contact the diocesan Vocations Office or call 515-237-5050.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




June 10, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

We're having summertime fun while lending a hand to help others. Bishop Pates throws out the first pitch at the June 5 I-Cubs game.Bishop  Richard Pates threw out the first pitch at the June 5 Catholic Charities at the Iowa Cubs game. Proceeds from skyboxese, ticket sales and an auction will be used by Catholic Charities help those in need. Sister Jude Fitzpatrick was in charge of the hotdog gun for a while.

 

Sister Jude Fitzpatrick shoots the hotdog gun at the June 5 I-Cubs game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two days later, on Saturday, June 7, 15 priests and some Iowa Knights of Columbus formed a team to compete in the Plane Pull for Special Olympics. The White Collar Crew team pulled a Boeing 757 for 15 feet. Check out Father Ray Higgins giving it his all as they pulled-off the feat in the pouring rain.

 

Fr. Ray Higgins pulls an airplane for Special Olympics.




June 3, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Calling all young men, 16 years or older, who are interested in learning more about the priesthood. We invite you to golf (or mini-golf) for free with Bishop Richard Pates, priests and seminarians of our diocese on Monday, June 16 at Blank Golf Course in Des Moines. This is a great opportunity to ask what it's like to be a priest in a relaxed environment. Shotgun start is at 9 a.m. and the mini-golf challenge is at noon. A reception, awards and bbq lunch is at 1 p.m. We have spots available for those who want to support the event and join us on the course. The cost is $85 per person, which includes green and cart fees, snacks and lunch. All proceeds will benefit our diocesan seminarians. If you want to support our seminarians but you're not a golfer, don't worry! You can join Father Dan Kirby for free at the mini-golf area at noon and then join us for the reception and lunch at 1 p.m. Please register by June 9 by completing this form. You can also email us here or call us at 515-237-5014.

 




May 29, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

We have until Tuesday to step up to the plate and get tickets for Catholic Charities Night at the Iowa Cubs on Thursday, June 5. Proceeds from ticket sales made by Tuesday help those who come to Catholic Charities seeking assistance. Sponsored by Mercy Medical Center, the event raises enough funds to support Catholic Charities' St. Mary Family Center food and clothing pantry in Des Moines for about six months. Click here for your ticket options and to learn more about how you can have fun at Principal Park while helping people in need at the same time.




May 22, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop  Richard Pates is on Vatican Radio talking about the effect he thinks the Holy Father's visit to the Holy Land will have on the peace process there. Check it out.




May 16, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

There are only three weeks left until the June 5 Catholic Charities Night at the Iowa Cubs. Bring family and friends for a fun night out at the ballpark. Enjoy the silent auction, fireworks and baseball while knowing that proceeds from your ticket sales benefit those who come to Catholic Charities seeking a helping hand. More than 25,000 people last year sought help from Catholic Charities. Ticket options range from $5 and $10 to $20 with a pre-game meal, $75 for the Bishop's reception and $2,000 for a skybox. Dont' forget the raffle tickets: $20 each or 3 for $50 can win you a 50-inch TV or new lawn mower! Get tickets online by clicking here. You can also email or call Ken Bresnan at 515-237-5089.




May 14, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

After the kidnapping of 276 school girls in Nigeria, Bishop Richard Pates urged the U.S. government to work with Nigeria and faith-based groups to build social cohesion and end violence. Bishop Pates, who chairs the U.S. bishops' Commitee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter to National Security Advisor Susan Rice encouraging the United States to work both with the government of Nigeria and faith-based institutions.

 

“The Church in Nigeria has called for continuous dialogue among political, military and religious leaders to end the violence, complemented by effective police and military action that brings perpetrators of violence to justice while respecting human and civil rights,” wrote Bishop Pates. Referring to both Christian and Muslim faith-based institutions, he said, “Their efforts will be crucial in counteracting the extremist religious views espoused by Boko Haram.”

 

Bishop Pates has also written to Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, to express the U.S. bishops’ solidarity. He added that he was encouraged by the efforts of the U.S. government to help Nigeria bring the perpetrators to justice.




May 12, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocese's Finance Department is looking for volunteers with experience in internal controls, auditing or accounting to help provide assistance to parishes in implementing good business practices. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asked all dioceses to provide such assistance. Two years ago, Bishop Richard Pates approved a three-year plan to employ a set of internal controls and verification at all parishes. Since then, the diocese has issued a parish resource manual, held quarterly business office forums, offered self-assessment surveys and conducted a peer review process. The next step, says diocesan Director of Finance Paul Carlson, is to introduce professional, onsite reviews at each parish and school. If you can volunteer for this effort, contact Christie Rice or Paul Carlson. The diocesan Finance Department will provide refresher training if needed.




May 5, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This year, World Day of Prayer for Vocations falls on the same day as Mother's Day, Sunday, May 11. In thanksgiving to mothers for their willingness to pray for vocations and for encouraging their children to consider where God is calling them, Bishop Richard Pates is inviting all the faithful to a holy hour for vocations at St. Augustin Parish on Mother's Day at 3 p.m. with diocesan Vocations Director Father Joe Pins. The Diocese of Des Moines currently has 21 seminarians. We pray that parents will encourage their children to remain open to discerning whether God calls them to priesthood or consecrated life.




May 2, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Annual Diocesan Appeal kicks off in parishes this weekend. The ADA supports the bishop and ministries of the Diocese of Des Moines. The appeal provides more than 60 percent of diocesan operating revenue on an annual basis. The remainder of the operating revenue is generated through grants, fees and endowment earnings. Please be generous in your parish's ADA. The funds support a range of ministries from seminarian formation to bishop's work, from Hispanic Ministry and resources for religious education programs to assistance for our Catholic schools and human resource guidance for parishes. For more information on the ADA, click here.




May 1, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Sister Helen Prejean, known for her work against capital punishment, will be at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to talk about capital punishment. The lecture is free and open to the public. Her visit supports the Des Moines Metro Opera’s production of “Dead Man Walking” which runs June 28-July 19.




April 28, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Local artist William Fultz is making available prints of two pictures he created of the newly canonized Saint Pope John Paul II and Saint Pope John XXIII. The image of Pope John Paul II was created after Fultz attended the pope's visit to Living History Farms in 1979. The image of Pope John XXIII was created for a friend, the late Msgr. Michael Schwarte. To see the images and place your order, contact St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines at 515-223-4577.




April 25, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

How are you continuing your faith journey during this Easter season? Seminarian Reed Flood recently traveled on a mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica and what he experienced has changed his perspective. We're posting his journal entries in a series each day this week to help us pray and reflect on how we can be Christ's light to others.

 

When the high-pitched ringing of morning bells woke me on day 4, I couldn’t help but cling to my mattress for a few extra minutes of sleep. I was exhausted! I began to rattle off excuses for missing Morning Prayer; I couldn’t serve the poor if I wasn’t rested, missing one Holy Hour wouldn’t affect me, this stiff and squeaky bunk is much too comfortable! Throughout all my incessant whining, a solid conviction rang out in the depths of my heart, “You Need This Prayer.” I rolled off the mattress and trudged to the chapel. 

 

Reaching the chapel felt like a miniature victory. I surveyed the lethargic group of seminarians and noticed we were all suffering from fatigue. Despite the severe drowsiness, we finished our 2 hours of prayer and began to head upstairs for breakfast. As I was leaving the chapel, a fellow seminarian patted me on the back and whispered, “Let’s go save the world.” He then turned and trotted up the staircase. Looking back on it, I’m not exactly sure what he meant. We weren’t saving the world, we were in Kingston, Jamaica. We were worn down seminarians who hadn’t shaved for days (we looked scrappy). We certainly didn’t look like superheroes, and we definitely didn’t feel like saving the w

orld. However, after hearing his words, a small seed of energy began to sprout in my heart. It grew and intensified as I ascended the staircase. Finally, when I reached the top step, the tiny seed had blossomed into an outpouring of confidence. I blinked away the drowsiness from my eyes and drew in a deep breath. I was ready to serve.

 

After breakfast we piled into the truck and began our familiar route through the slums. Before long, the driver parked the truck outside a rusty looking compound and shouted, “Faith Center!” This was my destination for the day. We hopped down from the truck and walked through the gates.

 

Faith Center was a compound for grown men with disabilities. Like Bethlehem, I would be helping people with disfigurements and severe mental disorders. This time, however, I wouldn’t be working with teenagers or cute babies; I’d be working with grown men.

 

As I walked into the Faith Center, I could immediately tell this center had the worst conditions of them all. Everything was outdoors! Their eating area floor was covered with dirt and their sleeping quarters looked filthy and cramped. The brothers led me and another seminarian to a pile of grimy mattresses which were lying in the sun. He handed us a bucket of soapy water with two wash rags and asked us if we’d help clean the mattresses. We scrubbed down the gritty, smelly mattresses as best we could.

Unlike Bethlehem, the residents in the Faith Center did not wear diapers so cleaning the mattresses was extra challenging. We scrubbed nearly 60 mattresses until the water in our bucket began to turn murky. Finally, we heard the ringing of bells for lunch. For the first time all week, I rejoiced at the sound of those bells. I told myself I wasn’t hungry after what I had just done, but my growling stomach quickly changed my mind. Before eating, I made sure to wash my hands…twice. 

 

We ate rice and beans alongside the Missionaries of the Poor. We pondered how these brothers could serve the poor each and every day; cleaning dirty mattresses, changing diapers, and performing many other difficult (and at times, disgusting) works of charity. It appeared to be such a monotonous and miserable life! One seminarian in our group finally got the courage to ask a brother, “Is this work fun for you?” The brother put down his fork and looked at him with a gentle grin, “The work is not fun, no.” We seminarians stared at each other perplexed. The brother continued, “Doing God’s will is not always easy, correct? What is God’s will? It is to love, yes? Is loving easy? People may think so, but love can be very painful.” We were doing our best to think up with answers to his many questions.

 

The brother didn’t wait for our reply, “Look at the cross! Was Jesus having fun when he was nailed to the cross?” This time he waited for us. I looked to my fellow seminarian and then back to the brother, “No….” I cautiously stammered. “Exactly! He wasn’t having fun! But here’s the beautiful thing; although he wasn’t having fun, he was dying joyfully!” I thought briefly about this interesting paradox –a man dying joyfully. Meanwhile, the brother was gaining momentum, “Jesus died joyfully on the cross because he knew he was fulfilling his Father’s will. He knew he was saving you from death by dying on the cross. He was joyful because he knew he was loving you!” As the brother spoke, I could see his face light up with enchantment. It seemed as if his entire body was glowing with delight. This is when the brother informed us of their creed; “Joyful Service with Christ on the Cross.” I could see the brothers at the Missionary of the Poor desire to love more than anything. The brothers wanted to love like Christ, so they gave up everything, even their own lives, to love those with nothing. I could now see the paradox. This brother, after giving up everything, truly possessed everything! He gave up his whole life to love Christ in the Poor. He gave up his life to love God.

 

Wow.

 

I left the meal a changed man. I could see all the attachments in my own life which were preventing me from loving God. I realized that one day, all my material attachments would be gone. Was I allowing myself to give up everything –my love for God– for nothing? A man tossed a Frisbee in my direction. I looked up to see a hunched over Jamaican man wearing a large T-shirt. He hobbled over to me and smiled. I picked up the disc and joined the man for nearly an hour of toss-and-catch. Several other men began to take interest in our game. A boy named Jason hesitantly walked over. Jason had a tremendous growth which completely masked one half of his face. One eye was angled upwards and his mouth could hardly open. I lowered the disc and asked if he cared to join us. He began to smile and gave a gentle head nod. I played Frisbee with my two new friends until the bus arrived to pick us up. Throughout the rest of the evening, I couldn’t refrain from thinking about the words spoken by the brother, “Joyful Service with Christ on the Cross.”

 

As crawled into my mosquito netted bunk, I paused to recount all the events of the day. Love isn’t always fun. I clenched my mattress and remembered the struggle of waking up for Holy Hour in the morning. When times are challenging and we begin to slip into darkness and doubt, a simple whisper from a friend can rekindle our inner flame, “Let’s go save the world.”

 

From my discussion with the brother, I learned that giving up my life for another person is the greatest love on earth. I began to drift off into sleep, but not before remembering what the brothers had taught me. True love is not always easy, in fact it can feel like being nailed to a cross. Yet, this is the love that matters. This is the love that brings the most abundant joy, and this is the love our Father has for us all.

 

Prayer:

Father, you are my everything.




April 24, 2014
Written By: Reed Flood

How are you continuing your faith journey during this Easter season? Seminarian Reed Flood recently traveled on a mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica and what he experienced has changed his perspective. We're posting his journal entries in a series each day this week to help us pray and reflect on how we can be Christ's light to others.

 

After witnessing the astounding joy within the walls of Bethlehem, I questioned the appearance of true beauty. Is there truly something more beautiful than what I can see and touch? Is beauty physical, or was it hidden within the souls of the children and brothers in Bethlehem? I pondered these questions as we drove to Mass at the local parish for day 3 of the mission trip. As it just so happened, the church was located directly above the Bethlehem center I had served at the previous day. Coincidence?

 

As we drove through the gates, I noticed an enormous crowd of Jamaicans congregating to the chapel upstairs. It appeared as if the entire neighborhood would be joining us for Mass! I stepped off the truck and was immediately greeted by a grey-haired, jolly Jamaican man bearing a massive grin. He reached out his hand and introduced himself, “My name’s Junior man, I’m 46 years old. It’s great to see you man!” (It’s true, Jamaicans use “man” in nearly every sentence).

 

I grabbed his hand, and immediately a surge of delight flooded through my entire body. “Welcome to Jamaica man!” Although we only spoke for a few minutes, we became like two childhood friends; laughing, shaking hands, and patting each other on the back. Eventually, the time had come for Mass to start so I bid him farewell and returned to our group. It was only later when I discovered that Junior had contracted the AIDS virus earlier in life. He was living as a patient at one of the centers. Yet after our joyful encounter, his ailment didn’t degrade my view of him in the slightest. It wasn’t Junior’s disease which defined him, it was his inner joy.

 

We continued into the chapel and dipped our fingers into the conch-shell holy water bowl by the entrance (a clever idea in my opinion). We were invited to sit towards the front with the children from the Missionaries of the Poor centers. Sure enough, the boy who held my hat from the day before sat next to me. When he saw my face, his eyes lit up and he began clapping his hands. I couldn’t help but reach out and grasp his little fingers.

 

In the United States, we refer to the mass as a celebration. Well, in Jamaica, they literally “celebrate” during mass. The celebration began with a progression of guitar, keyboard, and of course the bongos! People sang loudly, clapped their hands, and I’m pretty sure I saw some Jamaican ladies dancing. When the priest asked for the gifts to be brought forward, people didn’t pass around baskets for pocket change. Instead, members of the congregation stood up and brought forward their own baskets! Each basket was overflowing with fresh fruits, house supplies, and homegrown vegetables. What a sight! I personally enjoyed the Eucharistic hymn “Roll over the Ocean.”

 

The priest on stage began dancing and pointing to the Host singing, “It’s Christ! It’s Christ! It’s Christ who builds community!” I’ll admit, I wasn’t used to all the holding hands and dancing, but I’m incredibly grateful for experiencing beautiful celebration in an entirely new and refreshing light. After the two hour service, the priest invited us up for a blessing and bid us farewell. As we loaded into the truck, I noticed a man waving and running toward us. It was Junior! When I looked at Junior, I saw through the sickness and realized I was gazing into the eyes of Christ. He put on a big Jamaican grin and shouted, “God bless ya man!” Once again, my heart leapt with delight.

 

We returned to the compound, slightly worn out from the vibrant celebration. We spent the afternoon napping and collecting our energy. The brothers had challenged the seminarians to a game of football later that evening, so we’d need as much rest as possible. Of course, when I say “football” I mean soccer. A game I hadn’t played since the second grade. I played American football all my entire life and I considered myself a pretty decent ball player. Unfortunately, tackling and blocking will get you nowhere in Jamaican football.

 

Regardless, I laced up my tennis shoes and jumped into the truck. We drove through the city until we reached a massive open lot where numerous small Jamaican children were running wildly and kicking soccer balls. We parked the truck on the corner of one field and hopped onto the grass (what was left of the grass). The field primary consisted of dirt, rocks, and shards of rusty metal. Despite the rough terrain, the brothers tossed the ball onto the field and began playing. Some weren’t even wearing shoes! In the end, the brothers outscored us 5-2, and the seminarians returned to the compound beaten and sunburnt. In spite of the beat down, I enjoyed every minute of the fast paced action.

 

After the amusing day of worship and play, I retired to my mosquito netted bunk and thanked God for this brief hiatus amidst the strenuous rushing and volunteering. Starting on Monday, we’d begin serving full days at the centers. The work load would increase and so would our prayer. I knew a demanding week lay ahead, but deep down I could still sense Junior’s delightful energy stirring somewhere within me from when we shook hands. My soul tingled when I thought of holding the twisted fingers of the boy with the hat. Through these encounters, I could see God grasping my hand and leading me deeper into His hidden abundance of warm joy. I knew He’d provide the energy. I knew He’d provide the joy. Most importantly, I knew I’d see him face-to-face in the days to come.

 

Prayer:

Father, thank you for giving me rest when I ask for it. I appreciate your beauty in its abounding variety. I pray Lord that I may full participate in the beautiful plan you’ve laid out for me. Help me to see your face in my companions. Take me by the hand and lead me into your arms so I may rest in warm embrace. Amen.

 




April 24, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

In honor of the canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, Bishop Richard Pates will celebrate a Mass on Sunday, April 27, at St. Patrick Church at Irish Settlement. This is the oldest church in the Diocese of Des Moines and the only church visited by Pope John Paul II during his historic visit to Iowa in 1979. After visiting the parish, the pontiff flew to Living History Farms,w here he celebrated an outdoor Mass for thousands of people. After the Mass on Sunday, Bishop Pates will go to Christ the King Church on Des Moines' south side, where he will celebrate Mass in honor of Divine Mercy Sunday, a devotion instituted by Pope John Paul II.




April 23, 2014
Written By: Reed Flood

How are you continuing your faith journey during this Easter season? Seminarian Reed Flood recently traveled on a mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica and what he experienced has changed his perspective. We're posting his journal entries in a series each day this week to help us pray and reflect on how we can be Christ's light to others.

 

At 5:45 a.m., we were stirred from our sleep by the high-pitched ringing of small church bells. After untangling myself from the obnoxious mosquito netting, I rolled out of my bunk and began to dress myself for morning prayer.

 

Our seminarian trip leader divided us into our service groups. My first assignment was Bethlehem; the children’s center.

 

A truck pulled into the compound and blared its horn. It was time. We anxiously piled into the back of a gated truck bed.

 

As the truck driver pulled up to the last center, he shouted, “Bethlehem!” I made the sign of the cross and entered through the rusty gates with my group.

 

The very first thing I noticed was the smell. The place reeked. It had a bitter stench which reminded me of a petting zoo.

 

Secondly, I could hear wailing and high-pitched shrills resonating throughout the whole center.

 

A kind-faced brother from Africa welcomed us and ushered us into a room. My fear and anxiety from the frightful arrival began to melt away.

 

“There’s a difference between pretty and beautiful,” he said. He motioned toward the door. “Pretty does not live here. You will not find it.”

 

He turned back to us, “But beauty, true beauty thrives here.”

 

He went on to explain how it was the job of the Missionaries of the Poor to live as Christ for the children at the Bethlehem center.

 

“We are Christ to the children, but we also encounter Christ in the children. This is where our happiness comes from,” he said. After hearing this wisdom, I was ready to see Christ.

 

Within minutes of walking into the boys’ room, I was handed a diaper and directed to a bed where a naked, deformed teenager was sitting. They had just rinsed him off in the showers and he was shivering from the cold. I had never put on a diaper before, but I could feel Christ within me reaching out to help this struggling boy.

 

I did my best putting on the diaper and then clothed him with a tattered shirt and old swim trunks. I continued this procedure for the next 30 minutes, clothing disfigured children and young adults, anywhere from 8 to 26 years old. Their arms were like toothpicks, frozen in a bent shape which made dressing them a challenge.

While helping one boy, I noticed his eyes glance up to my old favorite fishing hat I was wearing. He strained to reach the camouflage ball-cap with his twisted fingers. Noticing his effort, I took off the hat and placed it on the boys head.

 

His face sprung to life! His big brown eyes opened wide and an enormous smile spread across his face. He peered into my eyes and began to clap his little hands wildly.

 

He reached up, grasped the hat off his head, and pulled it in close to his chest. He moved jaws in a speaking motion, but no words came out. Yet, I could understand him clearly.

 

The boy’s external display of joy mirrored my internal gratification for seeing his delight.

 

I stepped back and thanked God for letting me see pure joy in this child. The warm feeling in my heart flooded through my entire body. It felt like God was giving me a big warm hug.

 

After serving all the children, we played with them. Each reaction was the same as the boy with the hat. No matter how disabled they were, no matter how much they drooled, and no matter how much they flailed, each child’s face lit up with joy!

 

I felt like a parent watching their newborn son playing for the first time. The warmth from my heart rose to my eyes and I had to blink away the joyful tears.

 

The brother was right. True beauty lives here.

 

After a couple hours we left the center. As I walked out, I could no longer detect the harsh smells from before. I now realized the loud screams were really just boisterous laughter coming from the children.

 

When I first entered the center, I thought I was descending into the pit of hell. Yet after witnessing the innocent joy in the children and experiencing God’s encompassing love, I now realized I had just received a very real taste of heaven.

 

I left my hat behind. 

 




April 22, 2014
Written By: Reed Flood

How are you continuing your faith journey during this Easter season? Seminarian Reed Flood recently traveled on a mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica and what he experienced has changed his perspective. We're posting his journal entries in a series each day this week to help us pray and reflect on Reed with a coconuthow we can be Christ's light to others.

 

After spending the whole night jamming my backpack full of clothes, sunscreen, and bars of soap (requested by the Missionaries of the Poor), we seminarians departed from St. John Vianney Seminary at 4:00 in the morning. We reached the airport and succeeded to board our flight to Miami, Florida. Upon arrival, we were met with a two hour layover. We seminarians filled this break with typical seminarian activities; playing cards and hacky sack. Finally, the time had come to board our flight to Kingston. We eagerly filed into our narrow seats and patiently waited for the hour-long flight to bring us to our destination.

 

Finally, we arrived in Kingston! As we stepped outside the Kingston airport, we were welcomed by a humid wall of sunny, 80 degree weather. Following the subzero temperatures and artic-like conditions of St. Paul, Minnesota, I felt quite comfortable in Jamaica! While waiting for the bus to take us to the Missionaries of the Poor, we played more hacky sack and drank from fresh coconuts we purchased from a friendly Jamaican vendor across the street. I could hardly understand the thick Jamaican dialect of the joyful woman who sold it to us, but the coconuts cost a mere $2! I wasn’t complaining. Additionally, a gorgeous view of the towering mountains caught everyone’s attention and took our breath away. It was paradise! After an hour in Kingston, I determined this trip was going to be just like a vacation. It had sunny weather, beautiful views, friendly Jamaicans, and cheap coconuts! However, my brief assumption of a week in paradise would soon be turned upside down. 

 

The brothers arrived at the airport and packed us into a large Toyota van. I clenched the seat cushion in front of me as we sailed down the left side of the road. I determined traffic laws in Jamaica were replaced by car honks, as opposing drivers carelessly careened by us while blaring their horns. The roads became filthier and riddled with litter as we approached the city. We spotted goats wandering aimlessly through the streets as well as several Jamaican men taking uncomfortable naps on the concrete sidewalk. The houses we passed by began to appear less and less structured, until the “buildings” were nothing more than plywood and sheet metal hammered together. I wondered how any human being could ever inhabit one of these rusty shanties. Just then, a half-naked and sad-looking toddler wandered out from one of the shacks. It took our breath away.

 

After an eye-opening journey into the city, we reached the Missionaries of the Poor compound. Massive concrete walls surrounded the building, protecting it from the dangerous outside slums. We pulled up to the gate and blared our car horn (car honking is the secondary language in Jamaica). Sure enough, a brother dressed in a white robe with a blue sash opened the large gate and we entered the compound. Strangely, the inside of the compound appeared to be a stark contrast to the rundown city. It was quite beautiful! The brightly painted building stood out against the grey streets, while various flowered shrubs brought life to our safe-haven within the walls. It was an oasis in the desert.

 

It wasn’t long before we joined the brothers for evening prayer, Stations of the Cross, and a rosary. After leaving prayer, I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, they pray a lot!” Yet as I laid down in the upper bunk of my mosquito netted bed, while listening to the blaring car horns, dog barks, and miscellaneous screams coming from the city, I couldn’t help but reflect on the necessity of prayer in this environment. I didn’t know what to expect for tomorrow, our first day of service, but I knew prayer was essential. As it turns out, our prayer would prove more vital than I could ever imagine in the days to come.

 

Prayer Reflection:

Father, help me to see through the masks which hide the suffering around us. Protect me from ignorance, so I may better recognize the poor and needy. Fill my heart with love, so I may share it with those who need it most. You are my refuge and my oasis in this world of death. Let me seek you out Lord, and walk with you in this journey of life. Am




April 22, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines is working on reinvigorating Project Rachel, a confidential Catholic outreach ministry offering hope and healing to woen and men hurting from past abortions. It is made up of dedicated volunteers, trained counselors and experienced priests. We are currently looking for a lead volunteer to ehlp us organize other volunteers. Thsi is not a huge time commitment. If you have an interest and would like to know more, contact Ken Bresnan at 515-237-5089.




April 18, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Diocesan and Catholic Charities offices at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 601 Grand Ave., in Des Moines will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday in celebration of Easter. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, April 22.




April 12, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This Lenten season, our diocesan Communications Office produced four short videos for "The Light is On For You" effort encouraging the use of the sacrament of reconciliation. Check them out.

Video 1 -- Bishop, Father Christopher Pisut and Msgr. Frank Bognanno talk about reconciliation

Video 2 -- Father Ken Gross talks about going to reconciliation

Video 3 -- Father Tim Fitzgerald explains the roots of the sacrament

Video 4 -- Father Chris Reising, in Spanish, encourages us to use the sacrament




April 9, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

You are invited to the annual diocesan gathering, Chrism Mass, this Friday, April 11 at 7 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines. This is a joyful liturgy near the end of the penitential season of Lent as we celebrate our baptismal call to participate in the ministry of Jesus. It's a beautiful celebration of the pastoral and sacramental life of the diocese. Bishop Pates will preside with the priests of the diocese concelebrating. The oils for the sacraments are blessed and taken to the parishes for use throughout the year. And, priests will renew their commitment to their ministry. Representatives of various ethic and cultural groups will be present at the liturgy.




March 26, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

It's going to be a busy day this Saturday in West Des Moines as youth gather for the Youth 2000 retreat at Dowling Catholic High School and men gather for the Iowa Catholic Men's Conference at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines. The Iowa Catholic Men's Conference is a one-day, all-day event beginning at 8 a.m. and concluding with 4:30 p.m. Mass. The youth retreat lasts all weekend with a welcome at 7 p.m. on Friday, talks, prayer and music on Saturday and a closing Mass on Sunday.

 

Bishop Richard Pates will attend both by offering 8 a.m. morning prayer and a 4:30 p.m. closing Mass at the men's conference. On Sunday, when the Youth 2000 retreat closes, he will celebrate a concluding 10:30 a.m. Mass at Dowling Catholic.




March 24, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Check out our newest video supporting "The Light is On For You" effort. In it, Father Ken Gross talks about the significance of reconciliation and why we should consider taking part in the sacrament, particularly during this sesaon of Lent.




March 22, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates is leading an interfaith prayer service tonight at 7:30 at St. Ambrose Cathedral to pray for peace in South Sudan. Please come join us in lighting a candle for those who have been lost and pray for peace for this young nation.




March 13, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Light is On For You! Have you heard about it? The U.S. bishops want you to take part in the healing sacrament of reconciliation, particularly during this season of Lent. Check out this video, in which Bishop Richard Pates, Msgr. Frank Bognanno and Father Christopher Pisut explain the benefits of the sacrament.

Don't be nervous if you haven't been there for a while. We've got some resource information for you on the sacrament, also called penance or confession, Click here to find what Pope Francis has said about reconciliation, a guide for what to do and say, a model for examining your conscience and more resources. En espanol.




March 6, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, along with the president of the southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, urged the U.S. Senate to act quickly to address a “growing crisis of religious minorities” in the Near East and South Central Asia. They asked that there be a vote on S. 653, a bill to establish a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities. Read the full text of their letter here.




March 4, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Ash Wednesday kicks off the Lenten season.  This is a significant day in the Catholic Church year beginning a period of forty days of prayer, fasting and charity which prepares the faithful and newcomers to the faith to celebrate Easter with renewed hearts.  At services, people traditionally are marked with ashes of burnt palm branches as a sign of their recognition of their human frailty as well as sinfulness and need for repentance in their lifelong journey of conversion. 
 
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (April 18) are days of fasting within the Church for those between the ages of 18 and 59. They may eat only one full meal and two other meals consisting of substantially less food. There should be no food taken between meals. Anyone whose health is threatened by fasting is exempted. Catholics age 14 and older also abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent.
 
Signing with ashes will be held throughout the diocese on Ash Wednesday. Anyone may call their local Catholic church for times. Ashes will be distributed at St. Ambrose Cathedral, at 6th and High Streets in Des Moines, on Wednesday during the 12:10 p.m. Mass. Bishop Richard Pates will be the celebrant of the Mass. Attendance at services and being signed with ashes is open to anyone who desires it, regardless of whether they are a member of the Catholic Church. 



February 18, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Father George Komo became a U.S. citizen last Friday! Congratulations! Originally from Kenya, Father Komo was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Des Moines in 2009. Check out this video in which Father talks about becoming a U.S. citizen.




February 17, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The ParishSOFT training session that was scheduled for today, Tuesday, Feb. 18, will be postponed. This was an additional session on the Connect Now Family Suite to accommodate individuals who could not make it to the Business Office Forum held earlier this month. More information and a rescheduled date will be forthcoming.  Contact April Young with questions at 515-237-5028.




February 13, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Have you recently lost a spouse through death, divorce or separation? You can find help, support and guidance from others who also experienced this kind of loss. Beginning Experience is a group that invites you to their gatherings on Friday evenings March 28, April 4 and April 11 at St. Boniface Church in Waukee from 7-8:30 p.m. The group shares in the healing process. They support each other on the journey to find new hope. For more information, contact Father Bob Shoemann at 515-418-1938 or Mike Jensen at 515-230-1626 or Marla Williams at 515-710-4471. A retreat is planned for April 25-27 at the St. Thomas More Center near Panora.




February 7, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The annual Rally for Life is Monday, Feb. 17, an features one of the country's leading thinkers in bioengineering, Wesley J. Smith. He will be addressing end-of-life issues and euthanasia.

 

"As technology and medical care advances, pertinent questions arise about the intersection of health care and our faith, which calls us to respect life until natural death," said Nancy Galeazzi, executive director of Catholic Charities, one of the sponsors of the event.

 

This educational seminar begins at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony Parish, 15 Indianola Road in Des Moines. During lunch, there will be training on how to lobby legislators. At 1 p.m., the group will lobby state legislators at the  Capitol and at 3 p.m. there will be a rally at the Capitol.

 

If you're coming and want to have lunch, please register with Greg Baker at g.ross.baker@gmail.com or call 515-263-3495 ext. 18.

 

The Rally for LIfe is sponsored by Catholic Charities, Council of Catholic Women, Iowa Catholic Conference, Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, Iowans for LIFE, Iowa Right to Life, Knights of Columbus, Mercy Medical Center, St. Jude Hospice, Teen Pact and The Family Leader.

 




February 5, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Business Office Forum planned for Thursday, Feb. 6 at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Atlantic has been postponed to the snow date, Thursday, Feb. 13. The schedule for the day will remain the same, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and going until noon. RESVP to April Young at ayoung@dmdiocese.org or call 515-237-5028 if you plan to attend.




February 4, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The St. Joseph Educational Center has rescheduled tonight's event at St. John the Apostle Parish in Norwalk, "Having a Contemplative Heart in a Busy World" due to storm warnings for today and this evening. The gathering will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18.




January 31, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry about injustice he observed during a solidarity visit with other bishops in the Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem. You can read the letter here.




January 23, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Many from the Diocese of Des Moines joined a huge crowd in our nation's capitol for the annual March for Life, celebrating  life and praying for an end to abortion. Bishop Richard Pates, Fathers Joseph Pins, Guthrie Dolan and others were united in calling for respect for life from conception to natural death.

 




January 17, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Catholic Youth Camp registration opens up this Sunday. At its core, CYC is about discipleship. We gather youth from around the diocese and beyond to experience the love of God in word and action. Activities range from swimming, climbing and horseback riding to field games, archery and more. Get more information at www.stmcenter.com. You an also call 515-309-1936 or email us.




January 9, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Get your tickets now for the Iowa Catholic Men's Conference March 29 at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines. They have a great lineup of speakers coming including Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Mario St. Francis, Matt Fradd and Tom Peterson. Two of the speakers are bilingual and will give talks in Spanish. To learn more, visit the conference's website and watch for stories in your diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Mirror.




January 8, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Singer/songwriter Steve Angrisano has been to the Diocese of Des Moines many times for retreats and the diocesan Centennial Celebration. When he learned his friend Mary Green, director of adult faith formation at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Parish in Ankeny, had been diagnosed with angiosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer, he was inspired by her and dedicated a song on his newest album to her.

 

"It's an Easter song called 'Alleluia, Love is Alive,'" Angrisano said. "It's just such a hope-filled song. As we went to record, I just had Mary in my mind -- the passion she was living every day, even in the face of so much. I think Mary is a living example of hope in Christ." Check out the new song on iTunes or on Angrisano's new CD, "A New Day."




January 7, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Catholic Youth Camp is looking for counselors for this summer. We rely on the help of more than 20 different volunteers who change on a weekly basis to serve more than 1,500 campers who will come to the St. Thomas More Center over 11 weeks this summer. The summer position is more than a job. It's a ministry. You have the chance to work as a missionary to the young church here in central Iowa. CYC is looking for young adults who have a solid prayer life, a commitment to growing in their own faith and who have a passion for sharing that faith with others. This is not just another recreational camp -- it's CYC. For more information, email the St. Thomas More Center or call 515-309-1936.




January 6, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates is traveling to Egypt and the Holy Land in the Middle East for a solidary visit on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He will return Friday, Jan. 17. Bishop Pates is the chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace.




January 3, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Pates has issued a call to the diaconate. Any Catholic man who is interested in the vocation of deacon is invited to attend one of the information nights scheduled throughout the diocese:

  • Jan. 9, 7 p.m. at St. Michael Parish in Harlan,
  • Jan. 14, 7 p.m. at St. Patrick Parish in Council Bluffs,
  • Jan. 16, 7 p.m. at St. Edward Parish in Afton, and
  • Jan. 21, 7 p.m. at the Catholic Pastoral Center in Des Moines.

If the man is married, his wife is invited and strongly encouraged to attend.




December 12, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Tomorrow, Dec. 20, is the deadline for submitting your responses to the Vatican's questionnaire on marriage and family life. In response to the Holy Father's call, the Des Moines diocese has made avaialable to all Catholics an opportunity to respond to preparatory documents for a 2014 synod called "Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization." The Diocese of Des Moines has posted the documents on our website in English and Spanish. For more information or to complete the questionnaire using SurveyMonkey, click here. Please consider completing the survey and return to the Diocese of Des Moines by Dec. 20. Be aware that there are organizations that are disseminating a questionnaire in which the questions have been changed. To get the questions directly as they came from Pope Francis, use the form on our diocesan website.




December 9, 2013
Written By: Kyle Lechtenberg

During this season of hopeful expectation, join in praying to end world hunger. Pope Francis and Caritas International are leading tomorrow's global wave of prayer. The idea is to pause at noon, wherever you are in the diocese or the world, and pray. Caritas' official prayer is below. First, hear Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas International, invite us to prayer:

 

 

Noon Prayer on December 10, 2013

Printable Flyer in English Spanish

 

O God, you entrusted to us the fruits of all creation so that we might care for the earth
and be nourished with its bounty.

 

You sent us your Son to share our very flesh and blood and to teach us your Law of Love.

Through His death and resurrection, we have been formed into one human family.

 

Jesus showed great concern for those who had no food – even transforming five loaves and two fish into a banquet that served five thousand and many more.

 

We come before you, O God, conscious of our faults and failures, but full of hope,
to share food with all members in this global family.

 

Through your wisdom, inspire leaders of government and of business,
as well as all the world’s citizens, to find just, and charitable solutions to end hunger
by assuring that all people enjoy the right to food.

 

Thus we pray, O God, that when we present ourselves for Divine Judgment,
we can proclaim ourselves as one human family with food for all.

 

AMEN

 

 Visit Caritas Online




November 26, 2013
Written By: Kyle Lechtenberg

Pope Francis has done it again. Check out his new encyclical (a message to everyone in the Church), Evangelii Gaudium found on the Vatican website. 

 

It isn't short, but it's worth printing off and having at the table while you drink your morning coffee. Read through it bit-by-bit and discover his vision for the Church: 

Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. (#49) 

Rocco Palmo has some sage advice for those who think 48,000 words of pope-speak might be a little much for them:

If you're looking for a "primer," it's fairly simple: don't insult your intelligence – just take the time to actually read it. (emphasis original)

Another blog I follow has taken a look at it from a liturgical perspective. The PrayTell Blog is edited by Fr. Anthony Ruff, O.S.B., of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. 

 

I'll be taking the next couple of weeks and moving through it. Let's discuss it in the comments section below--your thoughts are welcome!




November 25, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Happy Thanksgiving! Bishop Richard Pates is scheduled to celebrate Mass on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, at St. Ambrose Cathedral at 9:30 a.m. The Catholic Pastoral Center will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the holiday. This includes all diocesan offices and Catholic Charities.

 




November 17, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Check out lots of pictures on our diocesan Facebook page from Sunday's two big celebrations. St. Peter Vietnamese Catholic Community on Des Moines' east side celebrated its fifth anniversary, and west of Des Moines, the Hispanic community gathered for Encuentro Diocesano at St. Francis of Assisi Church, where about 800 people came together for a daylong conference on faith and family.




November 14, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines is asking all of its parishes to hold a special collection this weekend or any weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas to help with relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Funds will be used to support Catholic Relief Services for immediate response to emergency needs as food, water, shelter and medical care. Funds will also be given to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to forward to the Church in the Philippines for long-term needs to rebuild after the widespread destruction. Please send all funds to the Diocse of Des Moines, which will expedite the distribution to the agencies providing aid. You can give online, in your parish's special collection, or by sending a check to the Diocese of Des Moines at 601 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50309. Please note on checks that the funds are for the Philippines. "This tragedy occurs as we Americans prepare for Thanksgiving," said Bishop Richard Pates. "May we, who have been recipients of abundant blessings, be agents of God in sharing our blessings with those in critical need in the Philippines by generously supporting this special collection."




November 5, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Congratulations to Deacon Michael Weitl, originally of St. Patrick Parish in Audubon, who was ordained ot the transitional diaconate at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome on Oct. 3. He is studying for the priesthood for Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario, Canada. A graduate of Creighton University, Deacon Weitl did missionary work in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. He has worked with hospice and nursing home patients and he worked in soup kitchens in Canada. He was ordained by Cardinal James Harvey, archpriest of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. He is in his fourth and final year studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and is expected to be ordained a priest on June 21, 2014.




November 1, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Please keep in your prayers Father Art McCann, whose funeral is this morning at 11 a.m. at St. Theresa Church in Des Moines. Burial is at 3 p.m. at Calvary Cemetery in Creston. A retired priest of the diocese, Father McCann had been a teacher, parish priest and hospital chaplain. May Father Art McCann enjoy thefullness of life with the Risen Savior forever.




October 28, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memorial Mass will be Monday at Holy Trinity Church in Des Moines beginning at 7 p.m. The Mass last year brought a great deal of comfort to Michelle Herbst, of St. Francis Parish, who has suffered miscarriages. "One of my fears was that my children were alone," prior to going to the Mass, she said. Afterward, though, "I felt profoundly that my children aren't alone. They are embraced by God, jesus and the Holy Spirit." To learn more about the Mass, contact Adam Storey, Marriage and Family Life director for the diocese by email or call 515-237-5056.




October 14, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Check out our photos from this week's visit of Cardinal Peter Turkson. Cardinal Turkson will be the guest of Bishop Richard Pates' weekly radio show airing tomorrow at 10 a.m. on Iowa Catholic Radio and Spirit Catholic Radio Network. Here is a copy of Cardinal Turkson's address at the World Food Prize luncheon.




October 4, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates will be honored with the Local Spirit Award on Oct. 25 by Spirit Catholic Radio for his weekly radio show "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates." Bishop's show airs on Spirit Catholic Radio Network in much of Nebraska and western Iowa and on Iowa Catholic Radio in central Iowa. His show features local, national and internationally known guests. This Friday's show, for example, featured John Carr and John Allen, who is internationally known for his commentary on the Church. In a few weeks, Bishop Pates will have Cardinal Peter Turkson in the studio for his show. Tune in on Fridays at 10 a.m. in central Iowa on 1150 AM/88.5 FM/94.5 FM or, in western Iowa, at 102.7 FM.




October 3, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

John Allen Jr., writer for the National Catholic Reporter, and John Carr, of Harvard University's Institute of Politics will be guests on "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" radio show this Friday at 10 a.m. Carr set up the Vatican bureau of NCR in 2000 and has written several books on Catholicism. His latest book, "The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution," came out just this past Tuesday. Carr served the US bishops for more than 20 years working on social justice, peace and development. He retired last year to accept a residential fellowship on religion and politics at Harvard University. He is a Washington correspondent for "America" magazine, offering analysis and commentary on issues. You can hear Bishop Pates talk with Allen and Carr this Friday at 10 a.m. on Iowa Catholic Radio (1150 AM/88.5 FM/94.5 FM) or Spirit Catholic Radio Network (102.7 FM).




September 30, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The pope who visited Iowa, Pope John Paul II, will be canonized a saint on Divine Mercy Sunday next year, according to news reports. Pope Francis announced on Monday, Sept. 30, that the day of canonization for Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, who began the Second Vatican Council, will be April 27, 2014. See this story for more details.




September 29, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the US bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter to National Security Adviser Susan Rice reiterating a call to lift the US embargo on Cuba. "More engagement will help the people of Cuba achieve greater freedom, human rights and religious liberty," he wrote. Read the whole letter here.




September 26, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is coming to Des Moines next month for the World Food Prize. There will be a couple of opportunities for the public to see him. On Wednesday, Oct. 16, he will present the Newman Lecture at Sheslow Auditorium on Drake University's Campus. His topic will be the "Vocation of the Business Leader." A document produced by his council, also called "Vocation of the Business Leader" speaks to social justice issues of respecting the principles of human dignity and the common good. Cardinal Turkson wrote: "The transformative developments of our era -- globalization, communications technologies and financialisation -- produce problems alongside their benefits: inequality, economic dislocation, information overload, financial instability and many other pressures leading away from serving the common good. Business leaders who are guided by ethical social principles, lived through virtues and illuminated for Christians by the Gospel, can, nonetheless, succeed and contribute to the common good." Register to see him at the Newman Lecture because seating is limited. Go to http://www.stcatherinedrake.org/ to register.

 

Another opportunity to see Cardinal Turkson will be at an interfaith prayer service on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at St. Ambrose Cathedral beginning at 8 p.m. This event is open to the public.

 

Can't make it to these events? Then listen to "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" radio show on Friday, Oct. 18 on Iowa Catholic Radio to hear Bishop Pates talk with Cardinal Turkson. The show begins at 10 a.m. You can hear the show on 1150AM, 88.5 FM or 94.5 FM in central Iowa or 102.5 FM in western Iowa.




September 22, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Don't forget to register for the upcoming workshop for all those who minister to adults throughout the diocese. "Stirring the Fire of Faith: From Spark to Flame" features nationally acclaimed speakers and faith formation practitioners Dr. Gerard Baumbach and Charity Sister Maureen Shaughnessy on Saturday, Oct. 12 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines. A free-will offering will be taken. Lunch is provided. To register, go to the St. Joseph Educational Center or call 515-222-1092. Register by Oct. 9.




September 20, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

We have 20 seminarians -- truly a blessing -- and we pray the number will continue to increase. With this blessing comes the need for support so we can continue providing for their educational needs. The diocesan-wide Special Collection for Seminarians will be this weekend. Registered parishioners have received a letter and brochure in the mail from Bishop Pates. Gifts to the collection support the education and formation costs associated with seminarians, which continually rise. Your gift to this important appeal makes the difference for our faith leaders of tomorrow by providing necessary educational funding. Please experience the joy of giving and join us as we work together to continue God's work. You can return your gift in the collection basket, mail it to the diocese or go online. If you make a gift online, please designate the Seminarian Annual Collection.




September 19, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Year of Faith event scheduled for tonight at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines has been cancelled. The parish lost power after a wave of severe storms swept through the area. The event featured Dr. Murphy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The gathering with Dr. Murphy held earlier today was held as planned.




September 18, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Congratulations to seven individuals who received the highest honor given to a lay person by the Holy Father. The honor, called the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross, was given to the individuals last Sunday by Bishop Richard Pates. Receiving the honor were: Donald and Charlene Lamberti, of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Parish and St. Luke Parish in Ankeny, Jon and Constance "Candy" Narmi of St. Patrick Parish in Council Bluffs, Florence Roth of St. Pius X Parish in Urbandale and Nancy "Nan" Krause, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines. William "Bill" Krause was honored posthumously. Read more in this month's edition of The Catholic Mirror.




September 17, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is coming to Des Moines  in mid-October for events related to the World Food Prize. While in town, he will deliver the Newman Lecture on the vocation of a business professional at Sheslow Auditorium and lead an interfaith prayer service at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Watch for your edition of The Catholic Mirror coming this weekend for details.




September 10, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

If you missed the prayer service for peace in Syria and Egypt this past Saturday, you still have an opportunity to hear what Bishop Richard Pates had to say. Bishop, who chairs the U.S. bishops' Committee for International Justice and Peace, spoke at the beginning of the prayer service at St. Ambrose Cathedral sharing his thoughts on the need for prayer and advocacy. Thanks to Rodger Routh, we have video of Bishop's remarks. Hear what he said and continue your prayers for peace.




September 9, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Celebrate the Year of Faith with us on Thursday, Sept. 19 at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines. Dr. Peter Murphy will offer insightful and practical ways to make the catechism more alive in our families, schools and parishes. Dr. Murphy is the executive director of the U.S. bishops' Department of Evangelization and Catechesis. This is a great opportunity for parents, teachers, catechists, youth ministers, RCIA teams and adult faith formation teams. We begin at 6:30 p.m. Childcare will be provided, though we ask that you register your children so we have the appropriate number of care providers and age-appropriate activities prepared. You can call 515-237-5058 to register your children.




September 8, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Check out photos on our Facebook page of the prayer service for peace in Syria and Egypt on Saturday night at St. Ambrose Cathedral: www.facebook.com/dmdiocese. We're having an ecumenical prayer service for peace on Sunday, Sept. 15 at St. Ambrose Cathedral at 3 p.m. Come join us. 




September 7, 2013
Written By: Kyle Lechtenberg

Here is the worship aid for tonight's prayer service. All are welcome to attend this prayer for peace in Syria and Egypt. 

 

Bishop Pates will precede the prayer service with an update on the urgency of the need for prayer. In addition to his role as Bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines, he serves as chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace. Along with Cardinal Dolan and other bishops around the United States, he has been outspoken on the position of the Catholic Church on the matter of military intervention in Syria. 




September 6, 2013
Written By: Fr. Mike McLaughlin

A special celebration and appreciation breakfast will be held with Bishop Pates and the head of the UnityPoint Chaplaincy Program on Saturday, October 5th from 9-11 a.m. at the Catholic Pastoral Center (601 Grand Ave., Des Moines) for the Eucharistic ministers who serve our local hospitals (Methodist, Lutheran, Methodist West, Blank and Broadlawns).  This special appreciation breakfast will honor those who have served – some for as many as 30 years – and bring all of us up-to-date with topics regarding the ministry and hospital procedures.

 

Also, if you have never been a minister before, this celebration would be a great opportunity to start.  We have great need – serving the many Catholic patients in what is, by some accounts, the largest hospital in Iowa (Methodist), and the other hospitals in that organization.  Schedules can be worked out easily for as little as one time a month.  To RSVP, please email or call Sandy Riesberg at the Diocesan Worship Office (515-237.5046) by September 30, 2013.  

 

Come and join us.  At the very least – though it’s not a small gift – PRAY FOR US. Thank you! – Fr. Mike McLaughlin, Catholic Chaplain




September 5, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Last Sunday, Pope Francis called for an end to violence as a means to peace: "Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence." Then he invited the Church and the entire global community to join him in a day of fasting and prayer culminating in a vigil this Saturday, Sept. 7, for peace in Syria and around the world.

 

In conjunction with the Holy Father’s Saturday prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square,

Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates invites all people to join him for night prayer this Saturday, Sept. 7, 7:30-8:30 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral and through a Novena for Peace that begins Saturday and concludes on Sunday, Sept. 15.

 

Bishop Pates will begin the evening with a brief update on the situations in Syria and Egypt, speaking in his role as chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. Then Bishop Pates will lead night prayer (also known as compline), the last liturgy of each day prayed by the Church. This is not a Mass but rather one of the liturgies from the Liturgy of the Hours. The prayer begins with an examination of conscience and asking God for forgiveness. It includes psalms, readings and reflections and ends with a hymn to Mary.

 

Also planned is an ecumenical Taizé prayer for peace on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral. This unique musical style is ideally suited to prayer and contemplation for peace as well as to unite with other Christians who share our belief in Jesus Christ. Singers and instrumentalists are welcome to join a 1:30 p.m. open rehearsal. Musicians RSVP by Sept. 12 to worship@dmdiocese.org. All are welcome to attend and pray for peace.

 

Bishop Pates, in his role as national committee chair for the U.S. bishops, has been urging our country’s leaders to take a peaceful approach to the conflict in Syria. One week ago, Bishop Pates wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry about peace in Syria. Two days ago, he joined Cardinal Timothy Dolan in urging Catholics to pray and fast for peace on Saturday. Yesterday, Bishop Pates and Cardinal Dolan sent a letter to President Obama about peace in Syria and today, Sept. 5, they sent a letter to every member of Congress urging a peaceful solution for ending violence in Syria. “Our focus is on the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Syria and on saving lives by ending the conflict, not fueling it,” they wrote. For more on today’s letter to Congress, go to usccb.org/news/2-13-160.cfm.

 

Go to www.dmdiocese.org/worship for more information on these events and prayers for peace.

 

Prayer for Peace in Syria and Egypt

Novena (9 Days of Prayer) Sept. 7-15

Novena Prayer for Peace

God of Compassion,

Hear the cries of the people of Syria and Egypt,

bring healing to those suffering from the violence,

bring comfort to those mourning the dead,

strengthen Syria's and Egypt's neighbors in their care and welcome for refugees,

convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,

and protect those committed to peace.

 

God of Hope,

inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with enemies,

inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria and Egypt,

and give us hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.

 

We ask this through Jesus Christ,

Prince of Peace and Light of the World. Amen.

Mary, Mother of Compassion and Queen of Peace, pray for us.




September 3, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Richard Pates, chair of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued a statement today encouraging Catholics to heed Pope Francis' call for Sept. 7 to be a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria.

 

They said: "As our nation's leaders contemplate military action, it is particularly appropriate and urgent that we in the United States embrace the Holy Father's call to pray and fast on September 7 for a peaceful end to the conflict in Syria and to violent conflicts everywhere. Pope Francis has exhorted the 'international community to make every effort to promtoe clear proposals for peace, .... a peace based on dialogue and negotation, for the good of the entire Syrian people.'"

 

You can read their entire statement here.




September 3, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The following is a prayer for the people of Syria, provided by Catholics Confront Global Poverty, a collaborative effort of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services.

 

God of Compassion,

Hear the cries of the people of Syria,

Bring healing to those suffering from the violence,

Bring comfort to those mourning the dead,

Strengthen Syria's neighbors in their care and welcome for refugees,

Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,

And protect those committed to peace.

 

God of Hope,

Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with enemies,

Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,

And give us hope fo ra future of peace built on justice for all.

 

We ask this through Jesus Christ,

Prince of Peace and Light of the World,

Amen.

 

 




August 30, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday urging him to work with other governments to obtain a ceasefire in Syria and create "a future for all Syrians, one that respects human rights and religious freedom." The same day he sent the letter, Pope  Francis met with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the Vatican, where the pope urged dialogue and negotiation as the only option to end the conflict and violence. Read more here.




August 28, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Bishop Richard Pates paraphrased Pope Francis in urging "peace, dialogue and reconcilation" in Egypt. "To that end, we urge the United States to work with the inteernational community to support efforts by Egyptians to strengthen public order and the rule of law and to build an inclusive democracy respectful of human rights and religious freedom." Of particular concern is the scapegoating of Christians, who have been blamed for the current unrest in the country. Bishop Pates called on the United States " to preserve and even increase humanitarian and economic assistance. Poor and vulnerable Egyptians shoudl not pay the price of the political turmoil and violence gripping their nation."

To read the letter, click here.




August 24, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Iowa Catholic Radio will pay tribute to Father Bob Hoefler, who passed away recently, during a special broadcast this Monday from noon to 1 p.m. called "Remembering Fr. Bob." Family and friends will share memories of Father Bob live from St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines. The show will be rebroadcast on Monday, Sept. 2 at 7 a.m. Tune in at 1150 AM/ 88.5 FM/ 94.5 FM or http://www.iowacatholicradio.com




August 14, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, who is among the four Iowa bishops issuing a statement today through the Iowa Catholic Conference urging immigration reform, said issues of justice, human dignity and the rule of law must override political considerations that could derail progress on immigration reform. He said: "The question of reforming our immigration system is before us. In determining how we proceed, we must reflect on the longstanding teachings of the Catholic Church. This is a very critical time as we look at reform in terms of justice, human dignity and the rule of law. We must put these issues above political considerations and look at options that serve the common good of the American people."

 

The following is the statement Iowa bishops released today on immigration reform.

 

Once again, Congress is considering the reform of our country's broken immigration system.

 

Many immigrants have been forced to leave their homes and countries in order to provide even for the most basic needs of themselves and their families. The desperation fo their circumstances does not correspond to the inordinate length of time (sometimes over 15 years) required to wait in line for the present system to process a visa request.

 

We believe that those already here, for the sake of family  unity and being humane, should receive special consideration that would include eventual citizenship. We support measures that help secure our border but respect human rights and human life. We need a system that is humane for workers and fair to employers.

 

While Catholics may disagree within the limits of justice on the specific approach to reforming the immigration system, we must agree as a people of faith to live out the scriptural commandment to "welcome the stranger" and defend the God-given dignity of every person.

 

We urge all Iowans to remember their history as immigrants as we work together towards a fair and compassionate resolution of this problem. We encourage members of the Catholic community to contact their members of Congress this month, especially in the House of Representatives, in support of immigration reform legislation consistent with the principles of justice. One easy way to do this is to visit www.justiceforimmigrants.org and send a message to your member of Congress to encourage him to move the process forward.

 

Most Rev. Michael Jackels, Archbishop of Dubuque

Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City

Most Rev. Martin AMos, Bishop of Davenport

Most Rev. Richard Pates, Bishop of Des Moines

 




August 13, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Thursday is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, a holy day of obligation. See your local parish for Mass times. Bishop Richard Pates will be celebrating Mass on Thursday at 12:10 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral.




August 8, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Iowa Catholic Radio will carry the funeral Mass this morning of Father Bob Hoefler. Tune in to iowacatholicradio.com or 1150AM, 88.5FM or 94.5 FM. The funeral begins at Francis Church in West Des Moines at 10 a.m.




August 7, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Please keep in your prayers Father Bob Hoefler, who passed away early this morning. Even as we mourn his death, we celebrate with gratitude the gift of his life and priesthood in service of the people of God in this diocese. May he now experience the fullness of new life with our God. Details regarding funeral services will be forthcoming when arrangements can be made.




August 1, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A young adult group, Novos on High, is organizing another "Brewing Faith" event for Friday, Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Raccoon River Brewing Co., 200 10th St. in Des Moines. Similar to "Theology on Tap," this event is an opportunity for young adults to get to know other young Catholics and priests, and the nuts and bolts of the Catholic faith in a more relaxed settting. Place food and drink orders and hear a short talk on the living power of the sacraments followed by questions and discussion. For more information on this or other events for young adults in their 20s and 30s, contact Tessa or check out the Facebook page for Novos on High.




July 23, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Two diocesan priests set up a tent in the midst of cornfields along the path thousands of bicyclists traveled to their overnight stop in Perry on the annual RAGBRAI ride across the state. Fathers Zach Kautzky, chaplain at Dowling Catholic High School, and Father Chris Reising, pastor of Our Lady of the Americas Parish, offered the sacrament of reconciliation. About 25 cyclists took advantage of the opportunity on Monday afternoon. They parked their bikes and walked down narrow, dirt road to talk, receive absolution and a blessing. One rider told Father Kautzky the rest of his RAGBRAI ride would be lighter after receiving the sacrament.

 




July 17, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This past Sunday, St. John Parish in Adel said goodbye to seminarian Trevor Chicoine, who is heading to Rome to continue his studies for priesthood. The parish had "adopted" the seminarian, who said their pastor, Father Wayne Gubbels, first sparked his interest in considering a vocation call to the priesthood. Revor just graduated from St. Pius X Seminary at Loras College in Dubuque. Bishop Richard Pates asked him to study at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Read more about Trevor and his next formation experience here.http://www.iowalivingmagazines.com/2013/07/03/calling-to-rome/




July 16, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Council Bluffs is hosting a marriage enrichment workshop called Encountering God's Plan for Marriage at St. Patrick Parish, 223 Harmony Road. The workshop will unpack God's invitation to joy and our response through the Theology of the Body. The workshop will be held in two sessions: Aug. 3 and 10 from 9 a.m. - noon. Snacks and childcare will be available. Couples can attend one or both sessions and should RSVP to Adam Storey at the Marriage and Family Life Office.




July 14, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates is encouraging parishes to consider taking part in a dynamic parish-wide program called Good News People that will be kicking off this fall. Good News People invites Catholics to new ways of understanding their faith, themselves and the needs of the world around them. The intent is to familiarize participants with the biblical witness of Jesus, awaken the call to discipleship that resounds within each participant and explore the richness of the Catholic faith to inspire new passion for and engagement in the Church's mission. Watch for it in your parish this fall.




July 11, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates has been all over the world in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace. In June, he traveled to Peru and Columbia in a visit of solidarity. In Columbia, he met with bishops, members of the Church's social ministry, U.S. Embassy officials and visited Ciudad Bolivar, a low-income district on the south side of Bogota. In Peru, he spent a day in an Amazonian indigenous community and met with Church officials. Bishop Pates told Catholic News Service that in both countries, discussion focused on conflicts between communities and mining minerals. While mining has boosted the economy, environmental issues and other issues can cause problems with local communities. Currently, Bishop Pates is on a trip to visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and South Sudan.

 

-- Catholic News Service contributed to this report.




July 10, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Only a few days remain to register for the Hearts on Fire retreat coming to Christ the King in Des Moines this Friday and Saturday, July 12 & 13. Four Jesuits will be on hand to offer practical ways to connect our faith with our daily life, insights on how the deepest desires of our hearts lead us to the heart of Christ and an introduction to the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. As one registrant said, "I am looking forward to the Hearts on Fire retreat as time set aside this summer to reflect on where I am in deepening my relationship with God. I am also drawn to the Jesuit charism and want to learn ways to incorporate the spiritual exercises in my daily life." The retreat is open to young adult Catholics age 18-29. There is a suggested donation of $20. Go to this page for more information and to register. Contact April Young at ayoung@dmdiocese.org with questions.

 




July 5, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A couple of parishes and the diocese  are planning local events for the national Fortnight for Freedom, calling attention to issues related to religious liberty. The Diocese of Des Moines will hold an Independence Celebration: Pray for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty on July 7 at St. Ambrose Cathedral with 10:30 a.m. Mass, 11:30 a.m. update, holy hour and reception. Holy Trinity Parish in Des Moines is planning Eucharistic adoration on July 4 beginning at 9 a.m. for an hour. Corpus Christi Parish, Queen of Apostles site, in Council Bluffs is planning a benefit movie night June 27 at 6:30 p.m. Prior to the start of the movie, a free will donation will be taken for the KC Disaster Fund for Oklahoma tornado victims and an update on the national Fortnight for Freedom will be offered.




July 1, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Guess who will be the guest on Bishop's radio show this Friday. Hint: She's a Harvard University law professor, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, serves on the U.S. Commission on Religious Liberty and was just named by Pope Francis to the five-person commission to review the activities and mission of the Vatican bank. That's right, Mary Ann Glendon will be the guest on "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" this Friday at 10 a.m. In central Iowa, tune in Friday, July 5, at 10 a.m. to Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150AM, 88.5FM or 94.5FM. On the west side of the diocese, tune in to Spirit Catholic Radio Network, 102.7 FM. The focus of the show will be religious liberty, given that the Fortnight for Freedom will have just ended July 4 and the local diocesan event is scheduled for Sunday at St. Ambrose Cathedral.




June 30, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates visited seven western Iowa parishes recently on the Bluebird Bus tour, recording interviews for his weekly radio show. This past Friday's show aired from Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Atlantic. Hear a replay of the show Sunday at 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. and again Monday at 2 p.m. on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM, 88.1 FM or 94.5 FM. Thank you to Spirit Catholic Radio Network and Iowa Catholic Radio for making the Bluebird Bus tour a success!




June 28, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Father Garry Culver, 77, died Thursday. The funeral and burial will be in Florida. At a later date, there will be a memorial Mass for him in Des Moines.

 

Father Culver had attended St. Augustin School, Dowling Catholic High School, Loras College and Mount Saint Bernard Seminary. He was ordained a priest on May 31, 1964 at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Father Culver served in the following parishes: St. John and St. Theresa in Des Moines, St. Mary in Panama, St. Pius X in Urbandale, St. Patrick in Audubon, Holy Trinity in Exira, St. Peter in Defiance, St. Patrick in Perry, St. John in Greenfield, St. Anne in Logan, Holy Family in Mondamin and Sacred Heart in West Des Moines. He studied Canon law and served the diocese in the Tribunal beginning in 1989. He also served as a teacher at Dowling Catholic High School. He retired in 2000.

 

Please pray for Father and his family. May he now rest in God's eternal peace.




June 26, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates supports the statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued after the U.S. Supreme Court today announced its decisions on two cases regarding marriage. One case involved California's Proposition 8 and the other was on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA. Read the USCCB statement here.http://www.usccb.org/news/2013/13-126.cfm




June 24, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Iowa's faith leaders, immigrant community, people of faith and all those who seek just and humane immigration reform are joining together this Thursday, June 27, for a call to action on immigration reform. Gather at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1548 8th St. in Des Moines. The call to action meeting is sponsored by a number of organizations including American Friends Service Committee, Center for Social Ministries, Des Moines Area Ecumenical Committee for Peace, Iowa Citizens Action Network, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, and more. Two people from the diocese serve on the planning committee. They are diocesan Worship Director Kyle Lechtenberg and Hispanic Ministry Coordinator Mayra Moriel de Banuelos. For more information, call Kathleen at 515-274-4851 ext. 22.




June 18, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Monsignor Frank Bognanno, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Des Moines, addressed issues surrounding marriage in today's Des Moines Register. He says "the Bible remains, first and foremost, a religious text, God's revelation to humankind." Over time, God reveals his divine plan of salvation. Msgr. Bognanno wrote:  "The individual teachings of Scripture (including the various depictions of marriage) must be interpreted in terms of the whole trajectory of Scripture, toward God's full revelation in Christ."




June 15, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The U.S. bishops plan to hold a second Fortnight For Freedom this summer, June 21-July 4, as a way of praying, learning and taking action on the issue of religious liberty. Locally, the Diocese of Des Moines will have an "Independence Celebration: Pray for life, marriage and religious liberty" on Sunday, July 7 beginning with 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Ambrose Cathedral (6th and High Street in downtown Des Moines). Following Mass at 11:30 a.m. there will be a religious liberty update and call to action, followed by holy hour beginning at 11:45 a.m. The event concludes with a reception at 1 p.m. across the street at the Catholic Pastoral Center (6th and Grand Avenue). Check here for more information on the Fortnight for Freedom and the local celebration.




June 10, 2013
Written By: Kelly Collins

We ask your prayers for Monsignor Joseph McDonnell, who passed away on Saturday, June 8 at Mercy Hospice.  As we mourn his passing, we also celebrate the gift of his life and ministry in the Diocese of Des Moines.

 

All services will be held at St. Pius Church in Urbandale. The funeral will also  be broadcast live on Iowa Catholic Radio:  1150 AM, 88.5FM and 94.5FM or can be streamed at  www.iowacatholicradio.com. The schedule is as follows:

 

Thursday,  June 13

3:00 pm - Rosary

4:00 – 7:00 pm - Visitation

7:00 pm – Vigil

 

Friday,  June 14

10:00 am – Funeral

Followed by burial at Glendale Cemetery

 

May Monsignor now enjoy the fullness of peace and new life with our God.

http://ilesfuneralhomes.com/obituary?id=1215613

 

 

 




June 5, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Pates had a column in the Washington Post this week in which he raises questions about the morality of using drones. Here you can read the column. Bishop said, "The use of attack drones should be inseparable from the question of whether it promotes peace and security around the world."




June 1, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines invites you to the ordination of Deacons Fabián Moncada, Ross Parker and Adam Westphal on Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Check out this YouTube invitation.




May 31, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Pope Francis has asked that, in celebration of this Year of Faith, the worldwide Catholic Church join him in celebrating a Holy Hour on Sunday, June 2, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus, also known as Corpus Christi Sunday. St. Ambrose Cathedral will conclude its regularly scheduled 10:30 a.m. Mass that day with a procession to the St. Anne Chapel followed by a Holy Hour. Bishop Richard Pates will conduct a Holy Hour at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Glenwood at 3 p.m.. Check with your parish to find out when its Holy Hour is scheduled.




May 28, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Friday is the last day to register for the annual Fairway Fathers event, bringing young men interested in the priesthood together with priests of the diocese for some golfing fun and good conversation. This is a great opportunity for young men 16 and older to ask our priests about their vocation story and what it's really like to be a priest. Fairway Fathers will be Monday, June 17 at Blank Golf Course in Des Moines. For more information or to register, go to the Vocations Office's website or call 515-237-5014.




May 26, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The annual diocesan Memorial Day Mass has been moved. Mass with Bishop Richard Pates will be begin at 10:15 a.m. at St. Theresa Church at Merle Hay Road and University Avenue. All are invited.




May 24, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Today, May 24, has been observed as World Day of Prayer for the Church in China by the Universal Church, a observance established in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. In a letter he sent to the Catholic Church in China, he expressed fraternal closeness with the faithful, acknowledged their suffering and offered some guidelines regarding the Church and evangelization in China. In his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, Bishop Richard Pates sent a letter to all U.S. bishops asking them to encourage prayer today for the people in China. A prayer of intention that may be used today or at this weekend's Masses is "The Church in China, that the Lord may help the Church in China persevere in fidelity to the Gospel and grow in unity."




May 23, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Boy Scouts of America have posted online a statement saying its national council "approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone." The Diocese of Des Moines statement on this change in policy is as follows.

 

Boy Scout organizations within the Diocese of Des Moines that are supported by Catholic churches and schools will be guided by a single diocesan policy in accord with the teaching of the Catholic Church. This teaching is derived from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

"The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2358)

"Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2359).

 

It is the practice of the Boy Scouts to insist on chastity in all of its events and programs which the Church obviously supports and advocates.




May 22, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem will hold their annual meeting and investiture in Des Moines on Sept. 20-23. The event is expected to draw about 650 people from the Northern Lieutenancy, which includes Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado. The event will be at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown, with the overflow hotel being the Hyatt Place/Des Moines. The Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem support the works of the patriarch in the Holy Land.




May 21, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

While you’re out grocery shopping this week, why not pick up a container of juice for homeless kids? Six out of 10 residents at the St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter are kids, and they need and appreciate juice. You can assist Catholic Charities and its homeless shelter by lending a helping hand. The shelter is at 1535 11th St. in Des Moines, 515-282-1235.




May 20, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Sister Pat Scherer, who worked for 35 years settling refugees in the Des Moines metro area, was honored recently with a gift of $1,000 given to St. Ambrose Refugee Ministry program in her name. She was honored as a finalist in the 2013 Lumen Christi Award through Catholic Extension. Bishop Richard Pates had nominated Sister Pat for the honor in light of her many years of dedicated assistance to refugees. She was one of 41 nominations.




May 17, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This weekend is the annual Catholic Communication Campaign special collection. The campaign provides content the way you need it -- in podcasts, on websites and on social media sites -- and always with the New Evangelization in mind. Please be generous in this week's collection and support this important work. Half of your donations stay in our diocese to support our communication needs.




May 16, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Remember Theology on Tap, when you could grab some food, a drink and have a good conversation about faith in a relaxing atmosphere? A new version, called Brewing Faith, will be tomorrow, May 17, in the River Room at Raccoon River Brewing Co. in Des Moines. Father Chris Reising, pastor of Our Lady of the Americas parish, will present "There's Something About Mary." Come at 6:30 pm for food/drinks. The talk begins once the food is served, about 7 pm. Discussion and socializing follows. For more information, contact Tessa.




May 15, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Fifty eight people completed one of several components of the JustFaith program in the Des Moines diocese, bringing to a total of 367 who have graduated from the program since it was first brought to the diocese in 2002. Recently, 27 people graduated from the JustFaith social justice formation program; 22 completed the Engaging Spirituality program which focuses on both social justice and spirituality; and nine graduated from the J-Walking high school component of JustFaith. JustFaith is coordinated in the diocese by the Center for Social Ministry, a nonprofit organization that serves as a member of the Catholic Charities Social Justice Consortium.




May 14, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

As Catholics, we dedicate the month of May to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Join author Sister Mary Christine Athans, BVM, as she shares her humor, research and reflections surrounding our Blessed Mother. It's an evening that will bring us to a greater appreciation of Mary in the life of Jesus. This Year of Faith event will be on May 22 at 6 pm at St. Theresa Parish in Des Moines. There will be a socil with beverages, fruit and finger sandwiches beginning at 6 pm wtih Sr. Athans beginning her presentation at 6:30 pm. This faith-sharing event is free and childcare is provided. For more information, pelase contact Sherri Simmer at 515-237-5058 or email her.




May 13, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Friends of Father Tom DeCarlo wish to invite his diocesan friends to his 70th birthday party on May 25 at 6:30 p.m. for a rigatoni dinner at Crhist the King Parish Hall, 5711 SW 9th St. Cost is $5 per person/free-will donation at the door.




May 10, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The four bishops of Iowa penned a letter to the editor that appeared in Friday's Des Moines Register addressing health care. The bishops say they are grateful the governor and state legislature are talking about how to make health care coverage available to low-income Iowans. The issue is urgent. The bishops say about a quarter-million Iowans lack health care. "We call upon our political leaders to set aside partisan concerns and consider this issue with prudence and a commitment to the common good -- especially since the current limited IowaCare program is expiring," they said. You can read the entire letter here. It is signed by Dubuque Archbshop Jerome Hanus, OSB, Sioux City Bishop R. Walker Nickless, Davenport Bishop Martin Amos and Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates.




May 9, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Archdiocese of Dubuque invites us to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Postville immigration raid tomorrow, May 10, at Cedar Rapids. It begins at noon with a remembrance ritual at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. AT 12:30 pm there will be a Walk for Justice to Immaculate Conception Church, where there will be an interfaith prayer and a call for immigration reform. For more information, call Sister Mary McCauley, BVM, at 563-583-8989 or email her at mmccauley@bvmcong.org.




May 6, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocesan Young Adult Ministry Office is looking for a volunteer with graphic design/marketing skills. The office is rebranding and updating its logo(s). If you're interested, contact Tessa.




May 2, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

May is traditionally the month of Mary. This May, the diocese is offering a study guide to accompany Immaculee Ilibagiza's book "Our Lady of Kibeho." The study guide is available on the dicoesan website here. The book speaks of the experience of the people of Rwanda as they encounter an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the name Mother the Word. The book tells the story of the three visionaries, Alphonsine, Anathalie and Marie-Claire, and the lives that were touched through the messages they shared with the world. This is a good book for small groups to read together, for families to read and discuss or for your personal reflection. The book is available for sale on Amazon or by typing "Our Lady of Kibeho" in the search bar.




May 1, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, has been busy this week. He penned a letter to National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon about the recent kidnapping of the Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo. Their driver was murdered and the two archbishops were kidnapped while they were on a humanitarian mission to help Syrians fleeing for the border.

 

Bishop Pates also wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry about conflict in Mali. "Armed conflict is subsiding and the northern provinces are returning to Malian control, although violent attacks and banditry continue..." Bishop Pates wrote. He offers several suggested solutions.

 

You can read both letters here.




April 29, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

It's time to order your tickets for Catholic Charities Night at the Iowa Cubs on June 6 at Principal Park. Tickets are available through parishes, by phone at 515-237-5089 or online at Catholic Charities. Special ticket blocks are available for groups and a limited number of themed skyboxes are also available. This is a great opportunity to have fun while knowing that you're lending a helping hand to those in need.




April 26, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to spread awareness and support local programs working to help victims of violence. During the month of April, our good friends at St. Jude Hospice have offered to match dollar for dollar every gift given to Catholic Charities Phoenix House GROW Fund up to $5,000. Donations will support the domestic violence shelter and sexual absue program in Council Bluffs and surrounding area. The program includes shelter to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, court and legal adovcacy, crisis counseling and prevention education. Call 515-237-5078 to make a donation to the GROW Fund or go to Catholic Charities and click on "Donate."




April 25, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter on Monday to the U.S. House urging a "Circle of Protection" around the poor and vulnerable.

 

Joined by Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire, chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Pates said both he and Bishop Blaire had been consistent on supporting a reduction in the federal deficit. However, both said "... a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts to programs that help people live in a manner worthy of their human dignity." They went on to say, "This will include raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly."

 

To look at decisions with moral criteria, one must consider whether the decisions threaten human life and dignity, how they affect "the least of these" (Matthew 25), and that they promote the common good of all, "especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times."

 

Bishops Pates and Blaire concluded their letter saying, "The moral measure of this budget debate is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless and poor are treated. Their voices are too often missing but they have the most compelling moral claim on our consciences and our common resources."

 

You can read the full letter here.

 




April 23, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

On Sunday, May 5, the St. Thomas More Center, home of Catholic Youth Camp, in Panora will host a Catholic Family Day for all families. Come for a day of cultural celebration. Bishop Richard Pates will be celebrating 11 a.m. Mass, followed by a day of fun and faith. Tours of camp will be provided and some of the summer fun activities will be available to play: soccer, mini-golf, Gaga ball, kick ball and archery. There will be an opportunity for parents to ask questions about CYC. Lunch is provided by the diocesan Hispanic community. A free-will donation is appreciated.

 

El Centro Santo Tomas More, hogar de Campamentos Católicos para Jóvenes en Panora, Iowa será la sede para el Día Familiar Católico.  El evento familiar es el  día 5 de Mayo, será una celebración cultural. El Obispo Richard Pates oficiará la Misa a las 11AM, después tendremos eventos de diversión y de fe. Se estará ofreciendo una guía del campamento y algunas de las actividades de verano estarán disponibles para todos como futbol, mini-golf, Gaga ball, kick ball, Tiro de arco. Habrá oportunidad para que los padres de familia hagan preguntas sobre el Campamento Católico para jóvenes 2013.  La comunidad Hispana de la diócesis proveerá la comida. Donativos voluntarios serán muy apreciados. ¡Venga con la familia a un gran día de campo!

Patrocinado por St Thomas More y Ministerio Hispano




April 18, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This Sunday -- commonly k nown as Good Shepherd Sunday -- is the 50th World Day of Prayer for vocations. The theme, "Vocations as a sign of hope founded in faith" underscorees the hope that vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life bring to the entire Catholic Church.

 

"The Church's basic mission is to preach the Gospel and help build a civilization of love in our world today," said St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson, chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. "We need good, holy priests and dedicated men and women committed to the consecrated life to help build the Kingdom of God here and now. Therefore, we want a stronger culture of vocations in our own nation to help each Catholic realize that we all have a responsibility to invite young people to consider if God is calling them to the priesthood or consecrated life."

 

Have you been thinking about a vocation to the priesthood? Contact Father Joe Pins at 515-237-5050.




April 11, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocesan Council of Catholic Women is having its annual convetnion this Saturday at Ss. Peter & Paul Parish in Atlantic with the theme "Be the Voice of Christ as a Catholic Woman." Contact Eileen O'Connor at ejoconnor@msn.com for more information.




April 8, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates congratulates Dubuque Archbishop Jerome G. Hanus, OSB on his retirement after having served northeast Iowa for nearly 19 years. Bishop Pates also congratulates Archbishop-designate Michael O. Jackels, of Wichita, Kansas, on his appointment by Pope Francis to the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

 

"Archbishop Hanus has served with a great pastoral heart and as an attentive administrator during these years of significant transition both in the Archdiocese of Dubuque and the state of Iowa," said Bishop Pates. "We salute the archbishop who very much looks forward to this well-deserved retirement."

 

Bishop Pates also offers congratulations to Bishop Jackels, who has served as the bishop of Wichita since April 4, 2005. "The Diocese of Des Moines extends a heartfelt welcome to Archbishop-designate Jackels. As metropolitan of the Dubuque Province, we look forward to his leadership and service in the vibrant faith communities of Iowa."




April 4, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Spread the word: A Bella Vita dinner for single women ages 16-35 who want to learn more about religious life with Dominican sisters from Ann Arbor, Michigan will be on Thursday, April 11. Holy hour is at 5 p.m. with dinner and discussion from 6-8 p.m at Christ the King Church, 5711 SW 9th St. in Des Moines. Reservations are due by this Monday, April 8. Email your reservation to the diocesan Vocations Office or call 515-237-5014.




March 25, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Did you hear? Pope Francis confirmed on Palm Sunday that he's planning to be in Brazil for World Youth Day. The Diocese of Des Moines has organized a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The pilgrim group is forming now and is open to young adults (18 and older). Join Bishop Pates, seminarians of the diocese and other young adults this July 16-30 for World Youth Day. Registration space is limited. For more information and registration materials, contact Jason Kurth at 515-237-5061 or email jkurth@dmdiocese.org.




March 20, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, joined Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire, who heads the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development in urging Congress to address the moral and human dimensions of the federal budget and protect the poor.

 

"The moral measure of this budget debate is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless or poor are treated," the bishops said in a March 18 letter to Congress. "Their voices are too often missing, but they have the most compelling moral claim on our consciences and our common resources. The bishops stand ready to work with leaders of both parties for a budget that reduces future deficits, protects poor and vulnerable people, advances the common good and promotes human life and dignity."

 

Read the whole letter here.




March 13, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Statement of Bishop Richard Pates on the occasion of the election of Pope Francis: The Diocese of Des Moines joins the Church and the world in jubiliation with the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio who has taken the name of Pope Francis I. Pope Francis has served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires since 1998. His election signals the universality of the Church as an Argentinian and South American now follows in succession of a Polish and then German Pope. Pope Francis studied chemistry before entering the seminary. He thus brings the background of a scientist to bear molding that interest with an Ignation spirituality and an effective pastoral background as an Archbishop. The Holy Father's personal history and first impressions as Pope convey that of a person gifted intellectually blended with the simplicity and spirit of Jesus. His election, I believe, is providential for our times and will support the deepest values of our humanity. The Diocese of Des Moines pledges support and prayer for the new Pope. We pray that his years as Pope will be abundantly blessed for the benefit of all. 

 

Declaración del Obispo Richard Pates por motivo de la elección del Papa Francisco: La Diócesis de Des Moines se une al júbilo de la Iglesia y el Mundo por la elección de Cardenal Jorge Mario Bergoglio quien ha sido nombrado Papa Francisco I. El Papa Francisco ha servido como Arzobispo de Buenos Aires desde 1998. Su elección señala la universalidad de la Iglesia siendo argentino y sudamericano ahora sigue en sucessión al Papa de Polonia y ahora al Papa de Alemania. El Papa Francisco estudio química antes de antrar al seminario. El entonces trae el respaldo del estudio científico, y de esa manera lo hizo moldear su interés con una espiritualidad ignaciana y una historia de una pastoral eficaz como Arzobispo. La historia personal del Santo Padre y la primera impresión como Papa se nos presenta como una persona con talento intelectual combinado en la simplicidad y el Espíritu de Jesús. Su elección, yo creo, es providencial para nuestros tiempos y apoyara los profundos valores de nuestra humanidad.




March 8, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines and parish Respect Life Committees are sponsoring a day of healing called "Life is Precious" on March 16 at Christ the King Church on Des Moines south side. The day will focus on coping with grief of a pregnancy loss with discussions focusing on forgiveness, healing and welcoming a baby with Down syndrome. Speakers include Kris Gaspari, of Rachel's Vineyard post-abortion ministry, Ann Valdez of Mercy Perinatal Hospice and Tricia Pietig of Gigi's Playhouse. The day begins at 9 a.m. with prayer by Msgr. Frank Bognanno and concludes with 5 p.m. Mass. Join men and women for this day of healing and learn of local ministries avaialble to help families who have lost their child prematurely and those who find themselves expecting the unexpected. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Jo Chafen at 515-243-7653 or jchafen@dmdiocese.org.




February 28, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, was among 100 Christian leaders to sign a Feb. 25 letter to President Obama and leaders of Congress "affirming the governemnt's responsibility concerning poor people."  The letter further said, "Assuring governemnt's obligation to advance the common good, ensure fairness and defend the most vulnerable is good religion and good politics." The letter was sent on behalf of the ecumentical Circle of Protection coalition.

 

Read the full letter here.




February 26, 2013
Written By: Kyle Lechtenberg

The past two weeks since Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he would resign have been filled with excitement, gratitude for the pope's ministry, and no shortage of questions. We've been working on a papal transition web page with some of the info, and here are a few more thoughts:

 

  1. What will Benedict XVI be called after he resigns? His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope-emeritus (more info)

  2. What will he wear? He will retain the white cassock but will give up the shoes and ring. (more info)

  3. What about the pope's ring? It will be destroyed, according to tradition.  (more info)

  4. Where will he live? He will go to the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, for a couple of months. Then, he will retire to a monastery within the walls of the Vatican City. (more info)

  5. How will his resignation be marked? Some places will ring bells--this is not a toll of mourning but more like a festive peal or ringing in gratitude for the pope's ministry. Special Masses may also be offered for Pope Benedict XVI but should conclude before 8:00 p.m. Rome time (1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time) on Thursday, February 28. 

  6. How will the prayer of the Church change after he resigns? We will enter a period called the sede vacante ("vacant see") or the interregnum ("between reigns"). It will begin after 8:00 p.m. Rome time and last until the new pope accepts his election by the Cardinal electors. Regarding the prayers, check the USCCB resources (see pages 12 and following). Special Masses may again be offered (Bishop Pates will preside at the 12:10 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral on March 6, for the election of a pope.). If you're praying on your own or at home with a group, check out the prayers we have on our Papal Transition web page. In the Eucharistic Prayers, the clause for the pope is simply omitted until a new pope is elected. 

  7. What happens when a new pope is elected? Perhaps again the bells in the churches should ring! When he is elected, there is a process which he and the cardinals follow, wherein he accepts the election, announces his name, and then is introduced to the world. follows. Then, some days later, he will be installed in a liturgy in St. Peter's Square, where he will receive the pallium and the ring.  Click here to read Pope Benedict XVI's homily from that Mass on 24 April 2005. 




February 26, 2013
Written By: Kyle Lechtenberg

Here is a note that is going out to priests and deacons of the Diocese today: 

 

 

Dear Reverend Fathers and Deacons of the Diocese of Des Moines,

 

After 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time (8:00 p.m. Rome time), on Thursday, February 28, 2013, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI will no longer hold the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, and the See of Peter will be vacant.

 

As you know, Bishop Pates has encouraged parishes to make use of the specific Mass formularies available during this time of transition. To that end, on Thursday, February 28, the 12:10 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. Ambrose will be offered “For the Pope,” (Masses for Various Needs and Occasions #2). The Eucharistic Prayer will be, as suggested by the USCCB materials, Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs and Occasions #1: The Church on the Path of Unity. Following the Mass, the Cathedral bell will ring until after 1:00 p.m., in gratitude for the Petrine ministry of Pope Benedict XVI.

 

I invite you to consider uniting in that spirit for your morning and noon Masses (if they conclude by 1:00 p.m.). If you have bells, you might ring them in festive fashion around or immediately after 1:00 p.m. Catholic Churches around the world and closer to home will be doing this. Use the Mass “For a Pope,” complete with white vestments. The Lectionary readings remain those for the Lenten weekday.

 

After 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, the Church will enter a time of prayer for the Church and the electors, the sede vacante or interregnum (“vacant see” or “between reigns”). During this time, consult the USCCB guide to see how to adjust Eucharistic Prayers. Put simply, the petitions for the Holy Father are omitted, but the materials have conveniently outlined how this is to be done. The Mass formulary “For the Election of a Pope” may be of interest sometime during the sede vacante, when the liturgical calendar allows (Lenten weekdays). After the new pope is elected, if the liturgical calendar allows, another Mass “For the Pope” may be offered.

 

The Worship Office has a web page with some information on the papal transition that you might consider sharing, if you find it helpful. Visit www.dmdiocese.org/papaltransition.cfm for prayers and other information. I’ve written a blog post with some information on this intriguing time in the life of our Church. Visit http://blog.dmdiocese.org/index.cfm?category=1. The USCCB has put together a very informative question and answer sheet on the papal transition that you might find helpful.

 

Blessings to each of you and your parish communities this season of Lent. 

 

In peace, 

Kyle Lechtenberg




February 22, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Wondering where you can get some good fish and dining companions this Friday during Lent? Click here to find a list of fish fry dinners in the Diocese of Des Moines. Many have alternatives such as cheese pizza or macaroni and cheese.




February 21, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace,  sent a letter Feb. 15 to U.S. Reps. Frank Wolf and Anna Eshoo thanking them for their sponsorship of HR 301, a bill to establish a special envoy to promote religious freedom of religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. "The bishops have long been concerned over the plight of religious minorities, particularly Christian communities in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Egypt, India and Pakistan, many of whom have lived for centuries side by side with those of other faiths, but now find themselves coming under increased attack and harassment," he wrote. Bishop Pates concluded: "The Catholic Church views protection of religious freedom as a 'cornerstone of the structure of human rights' since it is rooted in the dignity of the human person."




February 20, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Congratulations to Father Paul Monahan, who will be honored for his yeras of serve in education with the Heritage Award presented by Alegent Creighton Health Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. He will receive the honor at an event at the Mid-America Center on March 23. After his ordination, Father Paul taught at Dowling Catholic High School while working on his postgraduate degree in guidance and school adminsitration. He served at St. Albert High School as a teacher and principal. A priest for over 50 years, Father Paul is now retired yet continues to assist where he can.




February 19, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates will celebrate a Mass today at 12:10 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral in celebration of the Holy Father's service to the Church and for his health and well-being. Bishop will celebrate Mass on Wednesday, March 6 at 12:10 p.m. at the cathedral for the cardinal electors who will be electing the next Holy Father.




February 18, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Rally for Life will be today at the Iowa State Capitol beginning with lobbying training at 1 p.m. in room 102. Lobbying will be from 1:30-3 pm and the rally begins at 3 p.m. featuring keynote speaker Dan McConchie,  of Americans United for Life. The event is cosponsored by the Council fo Catholic Women, Iowa Catholic Conference, Iowa Right to Life, Iowans for LIFE, Knights of Columbuis, Lawyers for Life, Patriots for Christ, Teen Pact and The Family Leader.




February 14, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Today, Friday, is the first Friday of the Lenten season. Catholics age 14 and older abstain from meat on all Friday of Lent plus Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The diocese is offering several opportunities during this Lenten season. First, parishes and schools are encouraged to participate in Operation Rice Bowl, now called CRS Rice Bowl. The Rice Bowl helps us live in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable around the world. Second, the 17 schools in the Diocese of Des Moines are undertaking a special project during Lent to raise funds in support of Holy Ghost Juniorate, a high school seminary in Nigeria. The school is in great need of educational resources. Our diocese is blessed by the minsiterial services of four Holy Spirit priests from Nigera. Third, Bishop Richard Pates encourages parishioners to take advantage of small faith-sharing groups focusin gon the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. The groups are being organized in conjunction with the Year of Faith being commemorated throughotu the Catholic Church this year. On behalf of the diocese, theologian Dr. Cheryl Fournier has produced a book called "Walking by Faith: Vatican Council II" that provides a look at the opening speech of Blessed John XXIII as well as excerpts of four documents, called constitutions, that came from the council. Contact your parish for more informatino about these three Lenten opportunities.




February 12, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates issued the following statement regarding the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI.  Scroll down to see the statement in Spanish.

 

“The totally unexpected yet courageous decision of Pope Benedict XVI to retire at the end of February is clear testimony of his commitment to generous service as long as he is able for the well-being of the Catholic Church. Surely, he has been attentive to the voice of God speaking to him in prayer.

 

“When he was first elected pope, a Protestant theologian commented to me: ‘The Catholic Church now has at its helm a first class theologian.’ In his nearly eight years as pope, Benedict XVI has exercised this capacity as theologian with writings and talks that will provide understanding and inspiration for centuries to come. His pastoral heart also emerged on the world stage generating hope and consolation.

 

“Personally, I had the great privilege to become acquainted with Cardinal Ratzinger when his itinerary on his first personal trip to the United States included three days in St. Paul, Minnesota on a visit to St. John Vianney College Seminary and the University of St. Thomas. Since his election as pope, I have met him three times, most recently last spring during the ad limina visit of the bishops of Region 9 of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The pope is always personally attentive, friendly and gracious.

 

“Our prayers now turn to the College of Cardinals as they prepare to elect Benedict XVI’s  successor. May they experience the powerful guidance of the Holy Spirit in the process of electing the successor of Peter the Apostle.”

 

En Espanol

“En una decisión completamente inesperada del Papa Benedicto XVI, pero aun así valerosa, respecto a retirarse al final de febrero es un claro testimonio de su compromiso a servir con generosidad al bienestar de la Iglesia Católica mientras le sea posible.  Seguramente él ha estado atento a la voz de Dios que le habla por medio de la oración.”

 

“Recién fue electo como papa, un teólogo Protestante me comentó: ‘Ahora está a cargo de La Iglesia Católica un teólogo de primera.’  En sus casi ocho años como papa, Benedicto XVI ha ejercido sus habilidades de teólogo por medio de escritos y pláticas que serán fuente de entendimiento e inspiración por muchos siglos a futuro.  Su corazón pastoral también emergió en el escenario mundial generando esperanza y consuelo.”

 

“Tuve el gran privilegio personal de conocer al Cardenal Ratzinger cuando su itinerario de su primer viaje personal a los Estados Unidos incluía tres días en St. Paul, Minnesota en una visita al Seminario St. John Vianney en la Universidad de St. Thomas. Desde su elección como papa, me reuní con él en tres ocasiones, la más reciente en mi visita ad limina la primavera pasada junto con los obispos de la Región 9 de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos.  El papa siempre se mostró personalmente atento, amigable y afable.

 

“Hagamos ahora oración por el Colegio de Cardenales conforme se preparan para elegir al sucesor de Benedicto XVI.  Que puedan vivir la poderosa guía del Espíritu Santo en el proceso de elegir al sucesor del Apóstol Pedro.”

 

 

 




February 11, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Citing health concerns, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who is 85, announced this morning that he will resign effective Feb. 28. "After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," he reportedly said to cardinals who gathered with him to talk about the canonization of new saints.  Pope Benedict was elected in April, 2005, at age 78, is the first to step down in nearly 600 years. The College of Cardinals will make plans to hold a conclave when they will elect a new pope.




February 8, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates issued the following statement on the most recent proposals on the HHS mandate.

 

Cardinal Timothy Dolan's statement on the most recent revisions of the HHS mandate highlights continuing deficiencies from the Catholic Church's perspective.

  1. The narrow understanding of a religious ministry.
  2. Continuing to compel church ministries such as Catholic education, healthcare ministries and Catholic charities to fund and facilitate services such as contraceptives, including abortion inducing drugs and sterilization that violate Catholic teaching.
  3. Disregard for conscience rights of for-profit business owners.

The Catholic Church will continue to dialogue with the Obama Administration in trying to achieve a solution that fulfills its pledge for such a solution on this issue. At the same time, remedies will continue to be pursued in the courts and legislative bodies. 




February 7, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, introduced himself to the new Secretary of State, John Kerry. In the letter dated Feb. 6, Bishop Pates outlined the priorities of the U.S. bishops in countries abroad. "We welcome and appreciate our continuing dialogue with  you and your department on these and other matters of mutual concern," wrote Bishop Pates. "We wish you every blessing and success as you undertake your important responsibilities." Read the full letter here.




February 5, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Welcome to Luis Salinas Mendoza, of Osceola, who began this week as the first coordinator of Hispanic Youth Ministry for the diocese. Luis will be working to identify and form adult Hispanic youth ministers. He'll also provide resources and guidance regarding Hispanic youth ministry to diocesan departments particularly Evangelization & Catechesis, Youth Ministry and Vocations to assist them in becoming more culturally sensitive and inclusive in their planning and activities.




February 4, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Lois and Jim Behrens pose with retired Bishop Joseph Charron and Bishop Richard Pates after receiving the papal honorCongratulations to five individuals who received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice papal honor on Sunday at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Those who were presented the honor are: Lois and Jim Behrens (right), Michael Hoffman and Mary (below) and R.W. Nelson.

 

During the liturgy, Bishop Pates said these five individuals are great role models and help raise the standard of sacrifice and generosity. They have each contributed in many ways to the diocese, in particular to Holy Family School in Des Moines, which serves children of many different cultures.

 

R.W. Nelson at right




February 1, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

All four Iowa bishops are members of the Knights of Columbus have issued letters of support and an invitation to men ages 18 and older to prayerfully consider joining the organization. Each parish will individually determine how to disseminate the letter from their bishop.

 

The Knights of Columbus was formed 130 years ago with the purpose of defending their country, their families and their faith. Today, the Knights of Columbus continue the mission of their founder, Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney, to be the bearers of Christ in the world. the Knights of Columbus have been called "the strong right arm of the Church" and have been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders for support of the Church, programs of evangelization, Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need.

 

For more information on the Knights of Columbus, click here for the national organization's website and here for the Iowa Knights of Columbus website.




January 27, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This is Catholic Schools Week! Schools within the Diocese of Des Moines are celebrating with a variety of activities and open houses. Check here for a list of schools and their open house schedules. Tune in to Bishop Richard Pates' radio show "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" this Friday. Bishop will talk with several educators about Catholic schools in our diocese and nationwide. His show airs on Iowa Catholic Radio and Spirit Catholic Radio Network.




January 24, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This weekend there will be a special collection in parishes for Project HOPE (Help Our Parents Educate). This is a scholarship program based on financial need that began 32 years ago through the generosity of our parishioners. Project HOPE has provided access to Catholic education to more than 8,000 students. Last year alone, more than $60,000 was raised for Project HOPE. It allowed the diocese to provide an average of $271 to 214 students from families with the greatest need.

 

There are many people who desire a Catholic education for their child but due to the current state of the economy, need assistance with tuition. We would like to be able to help more families. The average cost to families for Catholic elementary school tuition is about $2,510 per student. Please support Project HOPE so all children who desire a Catholic education have the opportunity. You can make a contribution online by clicking here.




January 18, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

You have to check out this story in the January edition of The Catholic Mirror. Preschooler Connor Andres, of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Parish in Ankeny, saw TV coverage of Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath. "Mom, they need our help," he said. So his mother, Terri Andres, helped her son, a student at the parish's Little Learners Preschool, launch a fundraiser called "Little Hands, Big Hearts." Find out how Connor and his friends, and eventually the whole parish, raised funds. Learn how much they raised and what it meant to those who received that gift in this month's edition of The Catholic Mirror.




January 16, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

During his recent visit to Nigeria, Bishop Richard Pates visited a high school minor seminay in a city called Ihiala. There, he found extreme poverty. The seminary's walls and roof were dilapidated and there were very few windows. Few desks, chairs or books were available. With no constant power supply, electricity was spotty. Sewage, water and drainage systems all needed to be reconstructed.

 

Though the students at the seminary learned under extreme conditions, Bishop Pates found the faith and call to the priesthood very much alive in the community and the country. He ordained 10 priests for the Spiritan religious community and 15 to the transitional diaconate during his visit.

 

Bishop has asked Des Moines diocesan schools and religious education programs to raise funds for the seminary students. They will begin this effort during Lent. Watch in your local parish for opportunities to which you can contribute to help the students at the seminary in Nigeria. Or, you are invited to make a donation to the effort by contacting Dr. Luvern Gubbels, diocesan schools superintendent, at lgubbels@dmdiocese.org or 515-237-5013.




January 9, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Did you know we have someone right here in the Des Moines diocese who assisted at the Second Vatican Council? Monsignor Larry Beeson was there, assisting our very own Bishop Edward C. Daly, who served at the landmark council. Hear what Msgr. Beeson has to say about it on Saturday, Jan. 26 as the diocese continues its celebration of the Year of Faith with an in-depth look at Vatican II. Join us from 9-2:30 p.m. In addition to hearing Msgr. Beeson share his experience, we'll also hear Matthew Halbach, director of the St. Joseph Eudcation Center in West Des Moines. He'll explain for us the framework of Vatican II and its implications for today. Lunch will be provided so make sure you let us know if you're coming. you can RSVP by sending a quick note to Sherri Simmer at ssimmer@dmdiocese.org.




January 8, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A Youth 2000 retreat sponsored by All Saints Church in Des Moines will be March 1-3 at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. This is a Eucharistic retreat for all high school youth as well as college students. The retreat will be directed by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

 

The retreat was held in Des Moines metro area for eight years between 2001-2008. for more informaiton, check out the website youthretreatdsm.org.




January 7, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Two central Minnesota Catholic colleges are presenting a program of opera and dance tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Temple for Performing Arts' Grand Hall in Des Moines. The College of St. Benedict and St. John's University Symphony Orchestra will present the program for free, though free-will donations will be accepted.




January 4, 2013
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Mark your calendar for the annual Mass for Life slated to be celebrated on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines. Bishop Richard Pates will be presiding. Diocesan priests and deacons are invited to concelebrate. As we mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision, pray with us for a culture of life. The Mass is sponsored by Catholic Charities Social Justice Consortium.




December 21, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

During a recent homily about Advent being a time of preparation, Msgr. Stephen Orr happened to mention that there are those practical preparations, too, like baking cookies. And when you do, he told his parishioners, save three for Father. The following weekend, his parishioners at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart in Ankeny surprised him with a large basket filled with baggies -- each containing three cookies.

 

"I will sure look like the Cookie Monster before long after eating all those wonderful cookies you brought last weekend!" he said in a weekly note to parishioners. "What an amazing variety. While I will enjoy many of them and fill my freezer for enjoyment for weeks to come, I hope you don't mind if I share them as well. As we remember some of our families most in need this Christmas time, they will find a few little 'cookie treats' in their packages. In that way, we will spread the joy!"




December 20, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Catholic Pastoral Center is closed today, Thursday Dec. 20, due to blizzard conditions. This includes Bishop Richard Pates's office, Catholic Charities and diocesan offices.




December 19, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Last week, Bishop Stephen Blaire, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote to Congress calling on it to avoid the "fiscal cliff" with a bipartisan and balanced agreement that raises adequate revenue and protects programs that serve families living in poverty. You can read the letter here. The letter explains our Church's budget advocacy in light of Catholic teaching on taxation and the economy.

 

And this week, on Dec. 18, Bishop Pates sent a letter to National Security Advisory Thomas Donilon expressing concern about Iran and nuclear weapons. Bishop Pates said, "A diplomatic solution is preferable to military action which could have unpredictable and dramatic repercussions for the region."  Check out the letter here.




December 18, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Franciscan Father Tom Kunnel, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Red Oak and St. Patrick Parish in Imogene, recently wrote a column for his parish bulletins that addressed the Mayan calendar's claim that the world will end this Friday. He explains the end-of-the-world questions using a Catholic perspective.

 

Will the world end on Dec. 21, 2012?

 

By Father Tom Kunnel, TOR

 

On Dec. 21, the Mayan calendar comes to an end and so, some fear, do we. Little is known of the Mayans -- a Central American civiliation skilled in mathematics and astronomy -- but many believe this ancient culture had secret knowledge that enabled them to predict when the world would end. The question we need to ask is, will the world end on Dec. 21?

 

The foundation of our Christian life is always focused towards our ultimate end, the escatological life; life ordained to be with our Lord. Life with God is continual and ongoing, being both here on earth and continuing on to life in heaven. So the Bible always refers both to life and eternal life -- the life we have here on earth and eternal life in heaven with the Lord. We must not forget that for us Christians, the "eschaton" is the final event. This final event is to be understood not only as a future goal, but as a reality which has already begun with the historical coming of Christ. His passion, death and resurrection are the supreme events in the history of humanity, the true foundation of Christianity, as well as the uniqueness of our religion. This fundamental foundation of Christianity has now entered into its final phase, making a qualitative leap into the final event, eternal life. The horizon of a new relationship with God is unfolding for humanity, marked by the great offer of salvation made to the fallen world in Christ. 

 

Christ said, "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live," (Jn 5:25). The resurrection of the dead expected at the end of time already receives its first decisive realization in the spiritual resurrection of our soul when our soul, while we are living, experiences the darkness, understands the consequences of darkness of the soul, and leaves its darkness behind to enter into a spiritual resurrection, the primary task of the works of Salvation. The theologian calls this proceess "conversion"' consisting of new life given by the risen Christ as the fruit of his redemptive work. Mary Magdalene was the first disciple to experience this immediately after the resurrection. It is a mystery of rebirth by water and the Holy Spirit which is deeply marked as the sign of hope for the humanity of the present, and of the future. The effectiveness of the redemption at the moment is shown only by those people who totally accept this gift of God, and who in turn radiate and illuminate the world. Precisely, Christ is addressing us, his disciples, "to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth."

 

The twofold, present and future, dimension of the redemptive works of Christ is explained very clearly in his eschatalogical discourse just before the paschal drama of Calvary as he predicted. "They will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky." (Mk. 13:26-27).

 

The biblical understanding of clouds signifies a theophany; it indicates that the second coming of the Son of Man will not take place in the weakness of flesh, like a babe in the manger, but in divine power. The coming in clouds with great power and glory suggests the ultimate future that will bring the history of humanity to an end. During the trial before the crucifixion, Christ once again repeats the eschatological prophecy, formulating it in terms of an imminent event: "I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the power and coming on the clouds of heaven," (Mt. 26:64). 

 

Now we can understand and grasp well the dynamic sense of Christian eschatology as a historical process which has already begun in our midst and is moving toward its fullness. At the end of all things, there will be a great tribulation, "The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the power of the heaven will be shaken," (Mt. 24:29). This eschatological discourse expresses the precariousness of the world and the sovereign of power of Christ. It will be a complete takeover and moving of everything into the power of Christ, in whose hands has been placed the destiny of humanity. It will likely not happen on Dec. 21, 2012 as the media and Hollywood predicts; surely history advances towards its goal, but Christ  has not specified any chronological dates. Attemps to predict the end of the world are therefore deceptive and misleading. Christ has assured us the end will not come before his saving work has reached a universal dimension through the preaching of the gospel. Remember these words of Christ: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached thorughout the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come." (Mt 24:14).

 

The evangelization of the world by preaching of the gospel involves the profound transformation of the human person under the influence of Christ's grace. According to St. Paul, the end and the goal of history lies in the Father's plan to "unite all things in Him, (Christ) things in heaven and things on earth," (Eph. 1:10). Christ is the center of the universe who draws all people to himself to grant them an abundance of grace and eternal life. Christ is a divine judge with a human heart, a judge who wants to give life. Only unrepentance and undue attachment to evil can prevent him from offering these gifts of eternal life, for which he did not hesitate to face death.

 




December 17, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

No reindeer or snowmen will be mentioned this week on Iowa Catholic Radio. The Catholic radio station serving central Iowa will play only Christmas hymns, carols, family traditions, Christmas greetings, prayers and worship starting today through Christmas Day. Focus on the reason for the season by tuning in to Iowa Catholic Radio this Christmas season at 1150 AM, 88.5 FM or 94.5 FM.




December 14, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates issued the following statement on the school tragedy in Connecticut on Friday.

 

"I share the overwhelming shock and sadness of all at the inexplicable death rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday morning. Our heartfelt prayers go out to the victims and to their families, especially the parents of children either killed or injured as they come to grips with this senseless tragedy. May they know that we stand in solidarity with them at this time. I ask all of the Diocese of Des Moines' parishes to incorporate special prayers in their liturgies of the Third Sunday of Advent. Despite the huge shadows and overwhelming grief, we know that Emmanuel - God with us, is present even in these darkest of moments."




December 14, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A documentary called "First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty" will air on Iowa Public Television on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The documentary by filmmaker Lee Groberg focuses on the origin of the freedom in the years 1630-1836. A Catholic News Service reviewer said, "Groberg manages to craft a valuable overview of complex developments that viewers of all faiths will likely appreciate." Here is a link to IPTV for more information.




December 13, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Iowa Catholic Radio wants to record and air your holiday greetings for family, friends, coworkers, priests, military and others. Call 515-282-PRAY (7729) and leave a 10-20 second Christmas greeting. Then tune in to 1150 AM, 88.5 FM or 94.5 FM in central Iowa to hear your greeting and those of others throughout the Christmas season.




December 11, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

By Mayra Moriel de Bañuelos

Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry

 

During the first days of Advent, the Latino community is busy preparing the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Dec. 3 marks the beginning of the Guadalupe novena, which continues through the feast day, which is tomorrow, Dec. 12. On Dec. 16, we mark the beginning of a new novena, known as the Posadas. These are great opportunities to celebrate Advent wtih the kids and get them involved in these special celebrations.

 

Back in my neighborhood, the Posadas had a great significance as we worked as a community preparing for the birth of Jesus. Each year, we selected nine homes to serve as host, one for each day of the novena. The children loved dressing up for the occasion, whether as Joseph, Mary or even as angels and shepherds. We would walk on the streets from house to house begging for shelter, in remembrance of Mary and Joseph's journey when they arrived in Bethlehem. Finally, the house selected for that day to be host would welcome us in for a feast that started with a rosary followed by the traditional pinata and food typical of the Christmas season: tamales, fruit punch and atole (a corn-based drink). We would do that every day for nine days! 

 

The symbols of the celebrations are still very signficant. The piñata symbolizes the destruction of sin. A traditional piñata has seven cones representing the seven capital sins. The candy and goodies inside the piñata represent God's gifts to those who fight and defeat sin.

 

Christmas Eve on Dec. 24 is the last Posada and this one is celebrated as a family. After a large, late dinner when the clock hits midnight, the family will sing to the newborn baby Jesus. The youngest members of the family will carry around a figure baby Jesus for each of the attendees to kiss. Then the whole family lulls the baby to sleep. There is prayer and offering of gifts. We then go to bed knowing that Baby Jesus will leave a gift for us in the morning.

 

As with anything, traditions vary from country to country and even from different regions within countries. The common thing among all these is Jesus as the center of all celebrations, whether in his mother's womb in the Guadalupe novena, looking for a place to stay in the Posadas or putting the newborn to sleep. Jesus is certainly the reason for the season.




December 10, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

You know the station as KWKY Catholic Radio. Reflecting its growth in central Iowa, the station now known as Iowa Catholic Radio will be holding a care-a-thon, or pledge drive, this week, inviting listeners to support its important work. Iowa Catholic Radio invites you to listen, pray for the station and financially support its evangelization efforts. This is the station that broadcasts live important diocesan liturgies -- like the diaconate ordination of three young men --  for all to hear and broadcasts major community events like the Dowling Catholic Pancake Breakfast. Where else can you hear retired Bishop Joseph Charron and Bishop Richard Pates every week? What other station broadcasts from a Catholic parish or school every weekday? Iowa Catholic Radio is growing, having acquired two FM stations this fall to broaden its reach. You can hear Catholic programming 24/7 at 1150 AM, 88.5 FM and 94.5 FM. Tune in to the care-a-thon starting today and support your Catholic radio station by calling 515-282-PRAY (7729).

 




December 6, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Catholic Relief Services President Dr. Carolyn Woo will be the guest on the radio show "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" tomorrow at 10 a.m. Also a guest on the show will be Teresa Dunbar, a leader on the local CRS Global Advocacy Team.

 

Before joining CRS, Dr. Woo served as the dean of the business school at the University of Notre Dame. She had served on the CRS board of directors from 2004-2010. She was born and raised in Hong Kong, educated by the Maryknoll Sisters and immigrated to the United States to attend college at Purdue University in Indiana, where she earned her doctorate.

 

Tune in to Bishop's radio show on the Spirit Catholic Radio Network 102.7 FM in western Iowa and Nebraska and Iowa Catholic Radio at 1150 AM, 88.5 FM and 94.5 FM in central Iowa.




December 5, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Last year, we shared with you the story of Dina Manfredini, then 114 and the oldest person in her parish and the state. Dina is now the oldest person in the world at age 115, according to the Gerontology Research Group. Here is the blog post we ran last year on Dina.




December 4, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

In his role as chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace,  Bishop Richard Pates encouraged our senators to maintain aid to Palestinians. "Assistance to Palestinians, already heavily conditioned, is essential for humanitarian purposes and for building capacity for a future Palestinian state," he wrote. "Cutting aid will only harm the peace process." The U.S. bishops support a two-state solution for peace. Read the whole letter here.




November 29, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Des Moines police apologized to Deacon Quan Tong, who serves the St. Peter Vietnamese Catholic Community, after a computer mistake resulted in him spending time at the Polk County Jail. Here is the story in The Des Moines Register.




November 27, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Join Catholic Charities for a number of wekeend events aimed to raise awareness of the plight of homeless families and build awareness about poverty. Friday from 508 p.m. is a fundraising reception at 601 Grand Ave. in Des Moines. Call 515-237-5078 for more information. Saturday is a poverty simulation that gives people a hands-on experience of what it's like to live in poverty. The simulation runs from 9 a.m. - noon. Register at CatholicCharitiesDM.org. And Sunday is the musical open house from 1-5 p.m. at 601 Grand Ave. Coe see the live nativity (1-3 p.m.), see a huge display of nativity scenes, many from around the world, hear Bishop Richard Pates and retired Bishop Joseph Charron read the Chrsitmas story and enjoy local choir performancees. Admission is a gift of a personal care item or cash donation. Go to CatholicCharitiesDM.org for a list of choirs and times.




November 22, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Pates recently visited the School of Mary-Montessori, an independent educational effort that offers an early childhood program and an elementary program for homeschooled children. The School of Mary-Montessori operates out of the former St. Boniface Church in Waukee.  The school incorporates Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the full Montessori academic program. The school is available for children ages 3-6 years old and has a two-day-per-week elementary program for children in grades 1-6, benefiting homeschooling families. For more information, contact schoolofmarymontessori@gmail.com.

 




November 16, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Attention all parishes and Catholic schools: The latest diocesan directory is now available. Every three years, the Diocese of Des Moines, prints a Diocesan Directory with contact information for parishes, schools, groups and more. The latest one is printed and ready for you. Contact Sandy at 515-237-5046 or email her at sriesberg@dmdiocese.org to get your copy. The Diocesan Directory is also available online at dmdiocese.org, click About Us. The online directory is updated frequently.




November 14, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

On Thursday, Father David Fleming, pastor of St. Patrick Church and chaplain of St. Albert Catholic Schools in Council Bluffs, will become pastor of St. Pius X Church in Urbandale. Father Glen Wilwerding, who is pastor of St. Bernard in Osceola, St. Patrick in Grand River and St. Joseph in Mt. Ayr, will become pastor of St. Patrick Church in Council Bluffs.




November 8, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates -- in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today in which he says both Palestinians and Israelis have undermined the possibility of a two-state solution in recent actions and policies. Check out the full story here.




November 2, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates penned a blog post for the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops in celebration of the Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. In his blog post, he writes about "Gaudium et Spes" (Joy and Hope) which addressed peace, war and justice.

 

"There is a profound link between peace and justice," Bishop Pates wrote. "War robs the world of the resources to address poverty, and poverty and injustice increase violence. In the poignant words of the Council, "the arms race is an utterly treacherous trap for humanity, and one which injures the poor to an intolerable degree.' 'Gaudium et Spes' spurred a dramatic commitment to justice and peace among Catholics, a moral imperative that continues today."




November 2, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates is encouraging a special collection this weekend in parishes for Hurricane Sandy relief. He said: "As we witnessed through the images that flooded the media this past week, thousands upon thousands of our firends in the Northeast suffered both physical injury as well as loss and destruction of property and prized possessions. In response to the critical need of the victims of this natural tragedy, the Diocese of Des Moines is accepting donations, which will be quickly forwarded to Catholic Charities USA to assist those severely affected by this disaster." Gifts can be made online or sent to Hurricane Relief Fund, Diocese of Des Moines, 601 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50309.




October 31, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

As Election Day approaches, you may be wondering what Bishop Richard Pates has said about the election, the political parties or the candidates. Here is an article he penned that was printed in "America" magazine last August. Called "In This Together: How Catholics can overcome partisan divisions," the article says, "Today, the Church can evangelize by working among people with various perspectives to counter the excesses of ideology. It might often make people angry, but it also would make the Catholic voice more difficult to ignore, elevating it above mere partisan agendas. It would give the Church renewed credibiltiy as a moral voice and force in the culture. In the words of 'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,' 'We are called to bring together our principles and our political choices, our values and our votes, to help build a better world.' "

 

Bishop Pates also addressed the election in his September and October columns in The Catholic Mirror, which you can find here.




October 26, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This weekend is the big Youth Rally at the St. Thomas More Center in Panora. Middle school students will gather on Saturday and high school students on Sunday. Popular youth speaker Chris Stefanick has a special gift for touching young people's hearts and speaking about the love of God in a way that connects with real life experience. For more information, go to stmcenter.com and click on Youth Ministry.




October 22, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines officially launches the Year of Faith on Tuesday with a focus on the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Christian lives. Benedictine Abbot Marcel Rooney, retired abbot primate for the worldwide Benedictine order and former abbot of Conception Abbey, will present an evening of conversation, prayer and fellowship at St. Francis of Assisi parish in West Des Moines. The evening begins with a dessert and coffee social at 6:30 p.m. followed by the abbot's presentation at 7 p.m. All are invited. Childcare will be available.




October 16, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Diocese of Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates said Tuesday, Oct. 16 that the problem with the HHS mandate and religious liberty has not been resolved. Bishop Pates shared a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding inaccurate information made during last week's vice presidential debate.

 

Bishop Pates said: "The problem with the HHS mandates and religious liberty has not been resolved.  In fact, the USCCB and other Catholic, ecumenical and secular entities vigorously continue to seek redress of these First Amendment concerns through legislative and judicial initiatives and in ongoing contact with the executive branch of government.” 

 

The USCCB statement reads:

 

USCCB RESPONDS TO INACCURATE STATEMENT OF FACT ON HHS MANDATE MADE DURING VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement October 12. Full text follows:

 

Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees: “With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”

 

This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other

religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.

 

HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.

 

USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.

 

For more details, please see USCCB’s regulatory comments filed on May 15 regarding the proposed “accommodation”: www.usccb.org/about/generalcounsel/rulemaking/upload/comments-on-advance-notice-of-proposed-rulemaking-onpreventive-services-12-05-15.pdf

 




October 10, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Welcome our new multimedia journalist Kelly Mescher Collins, of St. Francis Parish in West Des Moines. Kelly earned her undergraduate degree at Iowa State University and her master's degree at the University of Iowa. She has worked in journalism, marketing and public relations, mostly with agriculture. Kelly will produce stories for The Catholic Mirror and produce bishop's weekly radio show. She grew up in a large Catholic family on a farm near Carroll in the Diocese of Sioux City. She graduated from Kuemper Catholic High School and was active in St. Augustine Parish in Halbur. Contact Kelly with story ideas or your advetising needs.




October 9, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This past Saturday, Bishop Richard Pates delivered the keynote address to the Iowa Institute for Social Action entitled "Threats to World Peace and the Church's Response." In his talk, Bishop covered specifically the areas of Israel-Palestine, Afghanistan-Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the congo and latin America. He also offered the Church's perspective on what peace really means. "The Church teaches that peace doe snot consist simply in the absence of war or violence," he said. "true peace can only be built on the firm foundation of justice. The Church speaks of creating 'an authentic culture of peace' in which 'the defense and promotion fo humanr ights is essential for the building up of a peaceful society,'" he said, citing the Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church.




October 4, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates has become more aware of the importance of doing all we can to support our global brothers and sisters as they strive to be self-sustaining. Bishop has traveled around the world -- Ivory Coast, Venezuela, Cuba, Congo and Nigeria -- in his role as chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee for International Justice and Peace. The diocesan offices at the Catholic Pastoral Center are transitioning to use fair trade coffee and tea for staff use and for all our diocesan meetings. Bishop Pates encourages parishes and schools to use fair trade products and make them available for parishioners who want to be part of this economic justice initiative supported by Catholic Relief Services. Fair trade products are made or farmed by people around the world and sold here. The income is used to pay those who farmed or made the products a just and livable wage.




October 3, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

For the third time in less than a year internationally known musical artist Steve Angrisano will be in the Diocese of Des Moines. He led the Youth Rally during last year's diocesan Centennial Celebration and just last month was at the Christ Our Life Regional Conference. Angrisano will be appearing with Sarah Hart and Jesse Manibusen this Thursday during a "Ministering to those who Minister" workshop at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines. Angrisano, Hart and Manibusen will be giving a concert Thursday at 7 p.m. at the parish. A free will donation will be collected; there will be no ticket sales. All three artists will have their CDs and merchandise for sale. For more information, or to RSVP for the workshop, contact Jade at jwadding@saintfrancischurch.org.




October 2, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This Saturday is the 19th annual Iowa institute for Social Action featuring keynote speaker Bishop Richard Pates on "Threats to World Peace and the Church's Response." Don't forget to register. A variety of breakout sessions will focus on social concenrs of the Church. The event is sponsored by the Catholic dioceses of iowa and the Iowa Catholic Conference.  Click here to register.




September 28, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This weekend there will be a special collection for seminarians. Please keep our 18 seminarians in your prayers as they discern their vocation to priesthood. They are in formation in seminaries throughout the Midwest. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about our vocations program, email vocations@dmdiocese.org or call Father Joe Pins at 515-237-5050.




September 27, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Retired Bishop Joseph Charron is launching a new radio show "On a Spiritual Journey with Bishop Charron" beginning next week on 1150 KWKY Catholic radio. The show will be broadcast from St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines, where Bishop Charron will talk with eighth graders and junior high students. The show will be heard Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., Thursday at 9 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday.




September 24, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A group called Friends of St. Francis (a care of creation group) at St. Mary-Holy Cross Parish in Elkhart invites everyone to a showing of the movie "Sun Come Up" on the feast of St. Francis, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. The movie is being promoted by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The film depicts some of the world's first "climate refugees," inhabitants of the Carteret Islands just north of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. The local Catholic Church has been instrumental in efforts to relocate people leaving the islands.  The film is 38-minutes long and will be followed by a reception and discussion about the film and what we can do in response based in authentic Catholic teaching. In his 2010 World Day of Peace message, Pope Benedict XVI said, "Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change ... Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of 'environmental refugees' ...?" For more information, contact Tim Kautza at 515-964-7687 or tkautza@saintmaryhc.org and visit catholicclimatecovenant.org.




September 19, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

As fall kicks into gear, the annual Andrew Dinners begin. Bishop Richard Pates will be visiting the regions of the diocese to have dinner with young men considering a vocation to the priesthood and priests of the region. It's a great way to visit, hear Bishop's vocation story and ask questions about what it's like to be a priest. Tonight, Bishop Pates will be having an Andrew Dinner at St. Ambrose Cathedral, 607 High St. in Des Moines. For more information, contact vocations@dmdiocese.org.




September 11, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

It's time to get your tickets to the Christ Our Life Regional Conference Sept. 22-23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Be inspired and become stronger in your faith. Come to hear world reknown speakers such as Washington, D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, our own Bishop Richard Pates, Father Michael Gaitley, converts Allen Hunt and Roy Schoeman, Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza, Mary's Meals' founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, former gangster John Pridmore, and musician Steve Angrisano. Get your tickets here and be ready for the Christ Our Life Regional Conference!

 




September 6, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocese has posted on its website a checklist of documents needed by young undocumented immigrants who need temporary protection from deportation and a work permit. The checklist is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Bishop Pates and the U.S. bishops welcomed the June 15 decision by the Obama Administration to halt deportations of youth who were brought to this country while they were children.

 




September 4, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Tom Chapman, of the Iowa Catholic Conference (the public policy arm of the Church in Iowa), will be talking about the U.S. bishops' document "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" on Sept. 11 at St. Peter parish hall in Council Bluffs and on Oct. 11 at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Church in Ankeny. Catholics are encouraged to form their conscience in light of Church teaching and get involved in the political process. Learn more by attending one of these Faithful Citizenship discussions.




August 31, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Register now for the 19th annual Iowa Institute for Social Action to be held Saturday, Oct. 6. The event will be at St. Theresa parish in Des Moines beginning at 9 a.m. Bishop Richard Pates will be the keynote speaker on "Threats to World Peace and the Church's Response.' There will be a variety of breakout sessions on the social concerns of the Church. The cost to attend is $25 and includes lunch. Registration and session listing is available online at www.iowasocialaction.org. The event is sponsored by the Catholic dioceses of Iowa and the Iowa Catholic Conference. Check out the brochure here.




August 23, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

It's time to get your tickets to the Christ Our Life Regional Conference Sept. 22-23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Be inspired and become stronger in your faith. Come to hear world reknown speakers such as Washington, D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, our own Bishop Richard Pates, Father Michael Gaitley, converts Allen Hunt and Roy Schoeman, Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza, Mary's Meals' founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, former gangster John Pridmore, and musician Steve Angrisano. Get your tickets here and be ready for the Christ Our Life Regional Conference!

 




August 22, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

As part of the commencement ceremony at Mercy College of Health Sciences last Friday, Bishop Richard Pates blessed the hands of graduates with olive oil, fitting to represent the copious outpouring of sacramental grace. Through this action, all present were reminded of the calling of service the graduates will undertake through their chosen careers.




August 10, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Catholic Charities Social Justice Consortium recently named Ken Bresnan as the new Respect Life initiative contact for the consortium, which uses the expertise of multiple people for a braoder impact on social justice issues. Bishop Richard Pates and Catholic Charities Executive Director Nancy Galeazzi appointed Bresnan, who currently serves as Parish Outreach Liaison at Catholic Charities. The Respect life initiative assists parishes in understanding and implementing the concept of the Consistent Life Ethic, whereby the respect and dignity of all persons is embraced from the moment of conception to natural death. A consistent life ethic means being pro-life across the board: opposing abortion, capital punishment, assisted suicide and euthanasia.




August 8, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Congratulations to Dowling Catholic High School senior Brad Robey, whose photo of Father Zachary Kautzky won first place in the Youth Division of Photography at the Iowa State Fair. The photography Salon's theme this year is Iowa churches. Brad thought this photo captured the essence of church.  The photo will be on display in the Cultural Center during the fair.




August 6, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop  Richard Pates wrote a column for America magazine about the challenge for Catholics to live their fatih in the public arena given today's political environment. Read the story, called "In this together: How Catholics can overcome partisan divisions."




July 30, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

Dr. Eileen Burke-Sullivan from Creighton University will be on site teaching the course, "Eucharist: Liturgical Theology and Practice." For more information, please visit http://www.dmdiocese.org/lay-ecclesial-ministry.cfm or contact Dr. Cheryl Fournier at cfournier@dmdiocese.org or 515-237-5006.




July 27, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates is on his way to Africa for a visit of solidary with the bishops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He makes this visit in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace. He will also visit Nigeria, a country from which we have several priests serving in our diocese. Bishop Pates will attend the ordination of several priests with the Congregation of the Holy Spirit.




July 25, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Is your parish doing any special prayers, rosaries, novenas or other activity related to the drought? If so, contact The Catholic Mirror at acox@dmdiocese.org.




July 24, 2012
Written By: Kyle Lechtenberg

Prayers for farms and farmers are a part of life here in Iowa. This year, with conditions now at the worst in nearly 25 years, those prayers are more persistent. NOAA recently declared that conditions around the nation are at their worst since 1956. We've received a few requests for prayers in time of drought, and here is one option that pastors and parishioners may find helpful. This was composed by the Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. 

 

 

Blessing of the Parched Earth

Pastor/Leader:  

Blessed are you, O God, king of the universe.
You made the whole earth for your glory
and nurture it with sun and rain and the passing seasons.
We lift our voices in praise and sing with all creation to give you glory. 

 

Bless + now our parched earth.
Open your heavens wide
and send forth the rains that nurture the earth,
the fields and their crops,
your people and all your creatures.
Make the earth to break forth in abundance,
so that the harvest from your hand may enrich our lives,
and all people see the greatness of God.

 

Bless also those who are in any distress from this hot dry season:
the elderly, the poor, the homeless,
the industries and people who depend upon the land.
Save us all by your gracious hand.

Heal us and bind us up in faith.

To you be honor and glory and praise,
with the Son and Holy Spirit, now and in all ages to come.


All respond:  Amen

 




July 16, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

Bishop's Catholic Charities Golf Classic is scheduled for August 27th. Sign up your foursome today to participate in this fundraiser for Catholic Charities programs such as the St. Joseph Family Shelter, and pregnancy counseling. Learn more at Catholiccharitiesdm.org or call (515)237-5078 for more details. Spots are limited so sign up today!




July 12, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

NOVOS on High, a vibrant community of Catholic young adults in the Des Moines area will meet tonight at St. Ambrose Cathedral at 6 pm. Confession will be offerred at 6 pm with a rosary beginning at 6:30, followed by Mass at 7 pm. For more information, contact Tessa Schaeller at 515-309-1936 or Tessa@stmcenter.com.




July 10, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

You can now follow the latest news, updates, and information on the new diocesan Twitter at http://twitter.com/dmdiocese




July 8, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates ordained Father Chori Seraiah on Sunday, July 8, to the priesthood for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which is the equivalent of a diocese. The ordinariate was created on Jan. 1 and is composed of parishes, groups, religious communities and invidiuals of the Anglican heritage. The members of the ordinariate include "those faithful, of every category or state of life, who, originally have belonged to the Anglican Communion, are now in full communion with the Catholic Church, or who have received the sacraments of intitiation within the jurisdiction of the ordinariate itself, or who are received into it because they are part of a family belonging to the ordinariate" (Decree of Establishment, 1). Joning the new pilgrims may also be the clergy and people of the Anglican use parishes, who have been the pioneers in the noble work of living out the Anglican heritage within the Catholic Church.




July 2, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

   The diocese's Independence Celebration Walk & Picnic, held Sunday, July 1, was a success, drawing thousands of people to the east lawn of the Capitol for barbecue food, music, prayer and speakers talking about religious liberty.

   The Independence Celebration was the Diocese of Des Moines' primary activity during the Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period ending on the Fourth of July. The Fortnight was called for by the U.S. bishops as a way of raising awareness, education and prayer for religious liberty.

   To see the full article come to the News section of our website. The diocese posted 64 photos on its Facebook page at Facebook.com/dmdiocese.




June 29, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

Sister Joyanne Mueller, Sister Linda Zahner, and Sister Helen Mueting will all be leaving the Diocese of Des Moines. The Diocese wishes to express its gratitude to these women and their many years of service.




June 28, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

Tonight at 6:00 pm, doors will open for NOVOS at St. Ambrose Cathedral in downtown Des Moines. Confession will be available at 6:30pm, followed by Mass being offered at 7:00pm. Following Mass, those attending will be invited to Legend's American Grill at 216 Court Avenue, a casual setting to meet other young Catholic adults. For more information, feel free to contact Tessa Schealler at (515)309-9136 or e-mail her at tessa@stmcenter.com.




June 27, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Come to the Independence Celebration Walk & Picnic this Sunday, July 1. We'll meet at St. Ambrose Cathedral, at 6th Avenue and High Street in downtown Des Moines, and walk to the east lawn of the Capitol. You can bring a picnic lunch or buy some barbecue food there. We'll have music, speakers and prayer as we celebrate our religious freedom, hear about threats to our religious liberty and learn what we can do to protect the rights with which we have been blessed. Don't miss the event if you can't make the walk. Ample parking is available by the Capitol. If you do make the walk, you're welcome to use the shuttle service we'll offer to bring people back to their cars parked by the cathedral. Check out our website page for more information, a map of the walk, parking information and more.




June 26, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates issued two statements on recent issues pertaining to immigration.

 

Bishop Pates joined the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in welcoming the decision by President Obama, announced Friday, June 15, to halt deportations of youth who were brought to this country while they were children. The President's decision applies to those who are: under age 30, were brought to the United States when they were under the age of 16, have lived in the United States for at least five years and are in school, obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate or were honorably discharged from the Armed Forces. "This is a long overdue initiative," said Bishop Pates. "I have met many young people who were brought to this country by their parents and, while I do not know who among them is documented, I do know that they bring a great many gifts to share with us. This is a terrific relief to families who feared being torn apart and a great opportunity for young people to contribute to our communities." Bishop Pates said he hopes this change in immigration status, which is similar to the DREAM Act, can be codified into law so that it is not subject to the whim of whoever is President. The Diocese of Des Moines is working with several other organizations to develop opportunities for young immigrants to earn their GED. As plans are made regarding this initiative, information will be released.

 

On Monday, June 25, upon learning of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Arizona vs United States, Bishop Pates said: "The Supreme Court decision once again has highlighted the urgency and necessity of achieving comprehensive immigration reform through the Congress and supported by the President. Immigration is an issue that pertains to the federal level. In addressing these issues, it is important to continue to strive to resolve them in a manner that truly respects the dignity of every human person and their families. In the American tradition, I believe this can be done. I am confident that this will be achieved if we, as citizens, take heart and are determined to deal humanely and practically with the current situation while estbalishing long-term legal provisions that can be reasonably enforced."




June 26, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

There will be a concert held on July 1st at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Des Moines beginning at 2:00 pm for the retirement of Sister Pat Scherer. Featured Performers are The Community Jazz Center Big Band, Gina gelder, and Abe Goldstein and The Java Jews. Admission is free with a free will offering for refugee ministry in the Des Moines-metro area.  




June 25, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

The fourth-annual 'Fairway Fathers' will tee off today in Des Moines. The vocations-awarness event, sponsored by the Office of Vocations, Serra Club of Des Moines, and the Knights of Columbus is open at no cost to golfers between the ages of 16 and 40. A Deli Lunch will be served as the young men team up with priests, including Bishop Pates for a round of golf at Blank Golf Course on the south side of Des Moines. The tournament will be followed by a brief program to promote vocations in the Diocese.




June 22, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

The Diocese of Des Moines is organizing a pilgrimage to Rio de Janiero, Brazil for World Youth Day in 2013. April Young, a pilgrim to Madrid, Spain in 2012 explains, "World Youth Day gave me a chance to experience the faith with many people from many cultures." For more information on travel dates, cost, and more, contact Jason Kurth at jkurth@dmdiocese.org, or call 515-237-5061.




June 21, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

"Fortnight for Freedom," a national campaign designated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in support of religious freedom, begins today. The Diocese will celebrate the Fortnight for Freedom with an Independence Day Celebration Walk and Picnic. More Information at http://dmdiocese.org/religious-liberty.cfm




June 18, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

We wish to congratulate Katie Flood, a 2010 graduate of Dowling Catholic High School and current sophomore at the University of Washington, for winning the 1500m run at the NCAA National Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines earlier this month. We wish her the best of luck as she continues preparations for the Olympic Trials that begin later this week. Go Katie!




June 15, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

We wish to congratulate Alegent Health Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs on their 125th anniversary. They celebrated their 125th anniversary this past May 22, in which Bishop Pates Blessed a new Healing Garden at the hospital.




June 14, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

Tonight at 6:00 pm, doors will open for NOVOS at St. Ambrose Cathedral in downtown Des Moines. Confession will be available at 6:30pm, followed by Mass being offered at 7:00pm. Following Mass, those attending will be invited to Legend's American Grill at 216 Court Avenue, a casual setting to meet other young Catholic adults. For more information, feel free to contact Tessa Schealler at (515)309-9136 or e-mail her at tessa@stmcenter.com.




June 12, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

Miranda Leek, an alumna of Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, secured a spot on the Olympic team for archery. We wish to congratulate Miranda on her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck as she prepares to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.




June 9, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Msgr. Frank Bognanno, pastor of Christ the King Church in Des Moines, read a letter from Bishop Richard Pates at Friday's Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally at the Capitol. Bishop Pates invited everyone to the July 1 Independence Celebration Walk & Picnic. The July 1 event celebrates our American and Christian heritage of religious liberty. Meet at noon that Sunday for the walk to the east lawn of the Capitol, where there will be music, speakers talking about threats to our religious liberty, and an ecumenical prayer service. Find out more about the picnic, the route of the walk, parking options at the Capitol and more by following this link.




June 7, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Catholic Charities will be sponsoring 'Catholic Charities Night' tonight at Principal Park, starting with a tailgate at 5:30 pm, and followed by the baseball game between the Iowa Cubs and the Nashville Sounds. Bishop Richard Pates will be throwing out the first pitch.

In addition to ticket sales, Catholic Charities have also made skyboxes available for purchase, each skybox having an unique theme related to the service of Catholic Charities, such as homelessness, hunger, and poverty. These themes will help to educate the guests while enjoying the baseball game. There will also be a silent auction that includes items to bid on, including tickets to the World Series.

The annual event raises money for essential social services provided by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Des Moines. Last year, over $60,000 were raised to support the organization through the event.

 




June 5, 2012
Written By: Peter Johnson

Three seminarians from the Diocese of Des Moines, Ross Parker, Adam Westphal, and Fabian Moncada, were ordained to the transitional deaconate last Friday, the last major step to priesthood. The Ordination was broadcast live on 1150 KWKY, and will be rebroadcast at noon on Wednesday June 6.




May 29, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates will ordain three seminarians as deacons as they continue to follow their call to priesthood. The ordination will be this Friday, June 1 at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, 2926 Beaver Ave. in Des Moines. The three candidates to be ordained are:

  • Adam Westphal, of Holy Trinity Parish in Des Moines. Adam says a retreat called Teens Encounter Christ in his senior year of high school was a key part of his faith journey.
  • Ross Parker, of St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Indianola. Ross says his vocational call is not only something between him and God but also involves the community and the greater Church.
  • Fabian Moncada Benevides, of Our Lady of the Americas Parish in Des Moines. Fabian, a former psychologist in Columbia, says he hopes to be an asset as a bilingual minister to the Hispanic community.

The transitional diaconate is the last major step in one's formation process before being ordained a priest. The priestly ordination for the three is slated for early June, 2013. For more information on vocations, please call 515-237-5014.




May 24, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The annual Memorial Day Mass will be celebrated at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines this Monday, May 28, at 10 a.m. Bishop Richard Pates will be presider and homilist. Everyone is welcome! In case of rain, Mass will be celebrated at 10:15 a.m. at St. Theresa Church at University Avenue and Merle Hay Road in Des Moines. The liturgy is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Bishop Daly Council #644.




May 23, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Tune in to "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" radio show on 1150 KWKY Catholic Radio and the Spirit Catholic Radio Network on Friday at 10 a.m. This is a show you don't want to miss! Bishop will be talking with Sara Eide and Joe LeValley about plans at Mercy Medical Center and about healthcare legislation. With 12 lawsuits filed by 43 different organizations this week, this is a timely topic for Bishop's radio show. Hear what Bishop Pates has to say.




May 21, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The U.S. bishops have called for local activities in celebration of our religious liberty in the two weeks, or "fortnight," leading up to the Fourth of July. In the Diocese of Des Moines, we're planning an Independence Celebration Walk and Picnic at the state Capitol on the Sunday prior to the national holiday. Come and gather at noon on Sunday, July 1 at St. Ambrose Cathedral, 6th Avenue and High Street  in Des Moines, and walk with us to the Capitol, where we'll picnic in celebration of our religious liberty. Lunch will be available to purchase or you can bring your own. Music (including instrumental and vocal) will be there. We'll have some speakers and a prayer service. Pamphlets on religious freedom and American flags will be provided for all participants. The program concludes at 2 p.m. with an additional hour for people to socialize. The event concludes at 3 p.m. If you can't walk, you're welcome to drive up to the Capital lawn, on the east side, and park near there so you can be a part of our festivities. Check our website here for details.




May 18, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates announced his approval and the implementation of a policy for the Diocese of Des Moines regarding church/school activities in the diocese on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings as recommended by the diocesan Presbyteral (priests) Council. This policy is the culmination of a pastoral vision for high school youth that includes a comprehensive approach to adolescent faith formation. Here is a copy of the policy.

 

One of the stated priorities of the Diocese of Des Moines is to focus more directly on the faith formation and youth ministry needs of teenagers and young adults. In issuing this policy, Bishop Pates said: "Our contemporary culture continues to invade the valuable time necessary for religius education as well as family time. This diocesan policy strives to make certain sufficient time is provided among the myriad activities that crowd the schedules of our youth. Priests, parents, religious educators and youth ministers recognize the lifelong benefit of such outreach."




May 17, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The effort to promote fair trade products for Catholic Relief Services has grown by one person. Tim McEntee, of our Lady's Immaculate Heart Parish in Ankeny has joined Kathy Regan, of St. Patrick Parish in Imogene, to encourage more use of fair trade products throughout the diocese. They've had some success: the Catholic Pastoral Center (where many diocesan offices are based) and the St. Thomas More Center (home of Catholic Youth Camp) are both switching to fair trade coffee. Fair trade refers to coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate and artisan crafts that are made in second- and third-world countries and sold here. "Just a few cents more for a cup of coffee provides the opportunity to eradicate poverty by putting food on the table of the grower, providing health care and educational opportunities," said Regan. See the full story in this month's edition of The Catholic Mirror, hitting mailboxes this weekend.




May 15, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Congratulations to local Knights of Columbus recently elected to statewide office during the convention in Sioux City recently.

 

Elected for the upcoming year are:

  • Joe Ramirez, Christ the King, Des Moines, state deputy
  • Dan Werner, St. Francis of Assisi, West Des Moines, state secretary
  • Jon Aldrich, Ss. John and Paul, altoona, state warden
  • Francis Schlueter, Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, Ankeny, state treasurer
  • Jason Follett, Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, Ankeny, 3rd degree executive committee

 

Local Knights of Columbus honored during the convention are:  

  • Knight of the Year -- Steve Cashman, St. Francis, West Des Moines
  • Grand Knight of the Year -- Donald Hauser, St. Augustin, Des Moines
  • Chaplain of the Year for DM Diocese -- Father Chris Reising, Our Lady of the Americas, Des Moines
  • Church Service Award -- Our Lady of the Americas, Des Moines
  • Council Service Award -- Our Lady of the Americas, Des Moines
  • Insurance Agent of the Year -- Steve Tatz, Basilica of St. John



May 11, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Fairway Fathers -- the annual vocations event that brings young men and priests together on the golf course to have some fun and talk about what it's like being a priest -- has been rescheduled. The event date has changed to June 25. Fairway Fathers will be held at Blank Golf Course on the south side of Des Moines, First t-times will likely begin at 10 a.m. with a deli lunch, prizes and a brief vocations program to follow. Fairway Fathers is a joint venture sposored by the Office of Vocations, Serra Club of Des Moines and the Knights of Columbus. The tournament is open to golfers ages 16 to 40 who team up with priests in our diocese, including Bishop Richad Pates. The purpose of the event is vocations awareness, not competition. There is no cost for young men to participate. Contact the Vocations Office for more information.




May 10, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

If you're a young Catholic in your 20s or 30s, then Novos on High is for you! Come out to St. Ambrose Cathedral (6th and High Streets in Des Moines) tonight. We'll open the doors at 6 p.m. with confession, then pray the rosary at 6:30 p.m. and celebrate Mass at 7 p.m. After Mass, we'll head to Legends American Grill (216 Court Ave.) for fun. Questions? Contact Tessa at 515-309-1936.




May 9, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The St. Thomas More Center, home of Catholic Youth Camp, could use your help. Volunteers are needed to help with some cleanup at the center. Email Ammy Webster if you have some time to get the center ready for the more than 1,600 youth who have signed up for Catholic Youth Camp this summer.




May 8, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Catholic Charities is taking applications for the sixth annual Bishop Charron Caritas Award. The award is presented to an individual and organizatio that shows exceptional compassion, service and love to all those in need through their volunteer work wtih Catholic Charities. Nominations for this award are open to the public and are due by May 15. Applications can be obtained by calling 515-237-5019 or emailing pnestvedt@dmdiocese.org or check out the Catholic Charities website.




May 7, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

As of April 27, the diocese has more than $3 million pledged (over 81 percent of the annual goal) for the Annual Diocesan Appeal. We thank each parish, volunteer and donor for their ongoing efforts and support of this appeal. The ADA allows Bishop Pates to provide ministry at 81 parishes throughout our 23 counties. In order to reach our goal of just over $3.7 million, we encourage parishioners to make a gift to support their parish and diocesan ministry. Gifts of any size are encouraged. Misplaced your pledge card? You can go online to make a gift. Click here. The diocesan website has been a popular tool for gift giving again this year!




May 4, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocese has begun planning for World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brail. Join Bishop Richard Pates and others from the diocese on a pilgrimage of faith. Contact Jason Kurth at jkurth@dmdiocese.org for more information.




May 3, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Now is the time to get your tickets for the June 7 Catholic Charities at the Iowa Cubs event at Principal Park. See a great game, visit with friends and know that proceeds from ticket sales purchased before the game benefit those served by Catholic Charities. Sponsored by Mercy Medical Center, this event raises enough funds to operate the St. Mary Family Center food pantry and clothing closet for six months. St. Mary's services 450 families. This is just one way you can have fun and support members of our community. Tickets range from $5 to $75. We have new ticket options, small-group packages and skyboxes. Ask your parish about tickets or contact Catholic Charities at 515-237-5089 or order online by clicking here.




May 1, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Registration for this summer's Catholic Youth Camp are up over last year, with more than 1,600 young people planning for fun in the name of God at the St. Thomas More Center in Panora. This will be the 52nd season and thousands of youth have memories of their experiences, directors and counselors from CYC. You can still register your children at the St. Thomas More Center website or you can contact Ammy Webster at 515-309-1936 or email her for more information.




April 25, 2012
Written By: Kyle Lechtenberg

We've made a couple of small changes to the Worship Office web pages that we hope will be helpful to people around the diocese. 

  • Seasonal Banner: Click on the words of the current liturgical season (currently the Easter Season)  to visit the St. Louis Center for Liturgy's excellent site focused on preparing individuals and families for the upcoming Sunday liturgy. Updated weekly.
  • Seasonal Image: Click on the image just below the banner to visit the USCCB's daily Mass reading page. The link always takes you to the current day's readings. The image is updated seasonally.
  • The Year of Grace: Updated annually, this handy reference lists key Sunday, holy day, and solemnity information, as well as special diocesan events. 

While you're there, browse our other pages, and send a note if you have ideas for our website. 

 




April 24, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Tune in Friday at 10 a.m. to "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" on 1150 KWKY Catholic Radio and Spirit Catholic Radio Network 102.7 FM to hear a salute to Dr. Tom Neal, director of the St. Joseph Educational Center and co-host of Bishop Richard Pates's radio show over the past three years. This is Tom's last show as he packs up and heads south to begin a new phase of his career in academia. Tune in to hear stories about the funny moments, powerful moments, various memories and reflections on the value of the show as a pastoral tool for Bishop Pates. Joining Bishop Pates and Tom will be Rachel Egan and Faye Akers, who will talk about the mission of the SJEC, which Tom has led over the past few years. They will focus on evangelization and the many programs and efforts of the center. To share your memories of "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" call 515-223-1150 between 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. this Friday, April 27.




April 18, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying the U.S. should establish full diplomatic relations and withdraw all restrictions on travel to Cuba to advance the cause of human rights and religious liberty. Read the bishop's statement in its entirety here.




April 17, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Retired Cardinal Justin Rigali visited Des Moines this past weekend to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at Christ the King and the Basilica of St. John parishes.




April 15, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Please keep the community of Creston in your prayers as it recovers from a tornado that touched down Saturday, April 14, hitting a local hospital. Father Joe Pins, pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Creston, said all church property appears to be fine. Early Sunday morning, he said at least three parishioners lost their homes.




April 13, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocesan Vocations Office has launched a new program geared toward young women discerning a vocation to religious life. The effort, called Bella Vita (which is Italian for "beautiful life") is patterned after the Andrew Dinners, held for young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. Bella Vita's mission is to offer exposure to the religious life and religious vocation through the visible witness of religious sisters joyfully living out God's call in their own lives. The next event is Wednesday, April 18, at St. Theresa Parish in Des Moines beginning at 6 p.m. Young women in ninth grade or oder are invited to 30 minutes of adoration followed by dinner and fellowship. A short talk and Q&A discussion follows with one School Sister of Christ the King, from Lincoln, Neb. and two Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus, of New Ulm, Minn. There is no cost. Please RSVP to vocations@dmdiocese.org.




April 5, 2012
Written By: Kyle Lechtenberg

The Des Moines Area Religious Council is delighted to announce the second lecture in the David Bear Memorial Interfaith Lecture Series.  This year’s event will be held on May 2, 2012, 7:00 p.m., in Waveland Hall at Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll Ave. in Des Moines.  Speaking on “The Role of Music in Worship” and leading us in song will be Kyle Lechtenberg, Director, Office of Worship, Roman Catholic Diocese of Des Moines and Linda Shivers, Cantor, Tifereth Israel Synagogue.  

 

This series of lectures is made possible by a legacy left by David Bear, a prominent Des Moines engineer and businessman for more than 50 years. Bear was passionate about serving the community.  A member and leader at Tifereth Israel Synagogue, he was a pioneer in breaking down barriers among people of all faiths.  In addition to his many other professional and community affiliations, he served as President of the Des Moines Area Religious Council in 1992 and was President of the DMARC Foundation in 1989 and 1990.  He continued to serve as a board member of the Foundation until his death in the spring of 2010.  In his honor, the Bear family has established the David Bear Memorial Interfaith Lecture Series.   The lecture is open to the public and there is no cost to attend. Please visit the DMARC website: www.dmreligious.org/lectures or call (515) 277-6969 for more information.




April 5, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The annual Good Friday collection is one means thorugh which we can all be witnesses of peace and help to protect and support the works of the Church in the Holy Land. The Holy Father asks all Catholics to support the Franciscans in their effort not only to care for the holy places but also provide for the welfare of our brothers and sisters in that part of the world. Bishop Richard Pates says their pastoral care is expressed in a wide-ranging effort on behalf of all the poorest social classes, both Christian and non-Christian. Through the efforts of the Franciscans for nearly 800 years, housing and health care have been provided and schools operated. The shrines and chapels of the Holy Land are maintained and service provided to 29 parishes. Your generosity will be a powerful sign of our support for the Christians living in the midst of the violence and instability of that part of the world and for the Franciscans who continue to ring the messag eof Jesus to the Holy Land.




April 2, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates celebrated Palm Sunday Mass at St. Ambrose Cathedral and again at St. Thomas More Center in Panora for 200 confirmation candidates taking part in a diocesan retreat this past weekend. With Palm Sunday, the Catholic Church enters holy week. Check your local parish for Mass times and services during the Triduum. The schedule for St. Ambrose Cathedral is as follows:

  • Daily 12:10 p.m. Mass on Monday-Wednesday and Friday
  • Holy Thursday, 5:30 p.m. Mass (no 12:10 p.m. daily Mass), Bishop presiding 
  • Good Friday 5:30 p.m. Mass in addition to daily 12:10 p.m. (Bishop presiding at lunchtime Mass)
  • Easter vigil, 8 p.m. (no 4 p.m. Mass nor reconciliation) Bishop presiding
  • Easter Sunday Mass times are 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. (Bishop presiding at 10:30 a.m.)

The reconciliation schedule at the cathedral is as follows:

  • Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. - noon
  • Monday-Wednesday, 5-6 p.m.
  • Friday, 11-11:30 a.m.

Stations of the Cross schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, 5 p.m.
  • Friday, "Downtown Way of the Cross" sponsored by The Bridge, 1-2:30 p.m.

 




March 30, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The bishops of Iowa are asking Catholics to dedicate their regular Lenten practice of abstinence, prayer and fasting today to be dedicated to religious liberty.

 

"Pray for your Church and political leaders that together we can find a solution that respects our respective roles in society," they said.

 

See their letter here.




March 29, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Highlighting the 2012 Christ Our LIfe Rgional Conference this fall are two Catholic clergymen who both will have prominent roles at the World Synod of Bishops on New Evangelization, which is held two weeks after the local conference.

 

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, of Washington, D.C., will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2012 conference to be held Sept. 22-23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Cardinal Wuerl will be joined by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, of San Antonio, Texas.

 

"We a distinctly Catholic conference, we are blessed to have two World synod participants in Iowa just before they and bishops from across the world undertake the pope's call for ensuring Catholics better know and live the bible," said Christ Our Life Regional Confernce spokesperson Lore McManus Solo. "Cardinal Wuerl and Archbishop Garcia-Siller will both bring elements of the New Evangelization into their Christ Our Ife Conference talks."

 

Look for more information in the upcoming issue of The Catholic Mirror. To learn more about the conference or to purchase tickets online, go to www.ChristOurLIfeIowa.com or call 866-952-9990.

 




March 28, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, seen in front of Miama Archbishop Thomas Wenski (standing) in this photo, waits with other bishops for the start of Pope Benedict XVI's Mass at Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in Santiano de Cuba on Monday. Bishop Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishop's Committee on International Peace and Justice, traveled with a small delegation of U.S. bishops for the Holy Father's visit to Cuba this week.




March 27, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Come and be a part of the diocesan celebration of Chrism Mass, at which Bishop Pates will consecrate the sacred chrism and bless holy oils that will be used in sacraments throughout the diocese in the coming year. Come to Chrism Mass at St. Ambrose Cathedral at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 30!




March 26, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

With the warm weather we've enjoyed, fun summer activities like road trips come to mind. Consider joining a road trip being organized by the diocesan young adult ministry. They're heading to Chicago on Memorial Day weekend for a Taize conference. Tessa Schealler, who coordinates the young adult group Novos on High, is going. Check out the website, the Facebook page and video. Then contact Tessa at tessa@stmcenter.com and let her know you're coming!




March 22, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Organizers of this September's Christ Our Life Regional Conference are seeking singers and instrumentalists to sign up now for the choir. They're also looking for those who play strings, brass, wind or percussion instruments. Early registration is important to reserve a spot in the choir and to obtain the music to begin learning the various compositions. The music director is Scott Reiker and Janet Bradford will be the assistant music director. An online rehearsal toolkit will be available in June with versions of recordings available for each voice part: soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Musical compositions span more than 1,000 years with music from as early as 800 AD to a newly composed piece Rieker wrote specifically for the Christ Our Life Conference.  Rehearsals for the choir will be held at St. Pius X Parish in Urbandale on the five Sundays prior to the conference. For more information or to register, go to ChristOurLifeIowa.com or email info@ChristOurLIfeIowa.com or all 866-952-9990.




March 21, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocesan Schools Office is seeking your participation in a brief online survey to gain insights about the education of children. If you have a school age child(ren), we would like ot hear from you. Just follow this link. The survey shoudl only take 5-10 minutes to complete. Thank you! Your feedback is greatly appreciated!




March 21, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Michael Weitl, a seminarian studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, was installed as an acolyte on March 4 at St. Peter's Basilica, also in Rome. Michael is the son of Howard and Sharon Weitl, of  Audubon. Michael, formerly of St. Patrick Parish in Audubon, graduated from Creighton University and has been with Madonna House in Canada, for which he is in formation for priesthood. His diaconate ordination will be in October, 2013 and his priesthood ordination shortly thereafter. If you are considering a vocation to the priesthood, contact our Vocations Office at 515-237-5014.




March 20, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

 Bishop Richard Pates will be on the Simon Conway show on WHO Radio today, Tuesday, to talk about the HHS mandate. Tune in about 4:35 pm and hear what Bishop has to say about this important religious liberty issue.




March 19, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

We thank St. Theresa Parish for compiling the annual list of communal penance services in the Des Moines metro area.

 

 

March 29, Sacred Heart, WDM, 6:30 p.m.

March 26, St. Theresa, DM, 7 p.m.

March 22, Ss. John & Paul, Altoona, 7 p.m.

March 20, St. Luke, Ankeny, 7 p.m. 

 

 




March 15, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

You are invited to the big annual diocesan-wide gathering, Chrism Mass, to be held on Friday, March 30 at St. Ambrose Cathedral. This beautiful celebration of the pastoral and sacramental life of the diocese begins at 7 p.m. If you haven't been to the Chrism Mass, make this year your first!

 

Chrism Mass is when Bishop Richard Pates blesses the oil and consecrates the chrism used in sacraments throughout the diocese in the coming year.

 

Dr. Aimee Beckmann-Collier, who has directed many choirs for diocesan events, will once again lead the choir for Chrism Mass. A bilingual Spanish/English music setting will be used for the Mass.

 

Come join us for this special celebration.




March 14, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates is returning from his 'ad limina' visit in Rome, where he prayed at the churches of Ss. Peter and Paul, met with Vatican officials and visited with the Holy Father.




March 13, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox


Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, has issued a number of statements over the last few days regarding the Farm Bill, Iran and the federal budget. You can read about these by going to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' website here.




March 12, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates and Bishop Emeritus Joseph Charron, C.PP.S. went to the Vatican for an ad limina visit, which occurs once every 5-7 years. They prayed at the churches of the apostles, visited with officials at the various Vatican offices and shared time with the Holy Father. Click here to see photos.




March 9, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Attention all members of the Diocese of Des Moines, with special invitation to RCIA catechumens, candidates, family, team and sponsors: You are invited to the annual Chrism Mass on March 30 at 7 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines. This is the Mass at which the oils used for sacraments throughout the coming year are blessed by Bishop Richard Pates. All are invited, in particular parents involved in baptismal preparation and confirmation candidates. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend.




March 8, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

John Cortesio, Jr. shares his thoughts in a Letter to the Editor sent to the Des Moines Register regarding the federal Health and Human Services mandate. Here is what he wrote.

 

      Donald Kaul’s op-ed on “The Fight for Reproductive Rights” applauds the Department of Health and Human Services mandate that would enshrine as a new right an employee’s entitlement to contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization under health insurance plans provided by the employer with no exemption for religious institutions whose religious beliefs this would offend. The mandate resorts to the charade that the insurer must provide this coverage for free even though these costs would in reality be borne by the employer through higher premiums. In addition, many church schools, hospitals, and charities self-insure and in those instances there cannot even be the slightest pretense that the cost is extracted from someone other than the employer.

      The op-ed piece tries to second guess the wisdom of the Catholic Church’s teaching by arguing that provision by its institutions of devices that prevent conception will result in fewer abortions. Concern for that end does not justify freedom from concern about the means. Further, the argument that fewer abortions would result from such means is persuasively debunked by the information set forth in op-ed columnist Ross Douthat’s piece, “The ‘Safe, Legal, Rare’ Illusion,” which appeared in the New York Times Sunday Review of February 18, 2012.     

      Mr. Kaul’s column extols the freedom “from” religion. In doing so, he would have the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the First Amendment thrown under the bus in favor of a “right” to coercively-provided services that is fabricated by administrative fiat.   These services are readily available and accessible, and employees of religious institutions would not be denied access by giving deference to the teachings of the employer’s religion. In characterizing the Catholic Church’s teachings on the subject as “self-serving” or “loopy,” Mr. Kaul assaults basic religious principles of the Catholic Church on the sanctity of human life. Though federal legislation may be enacted countering the new mandate, the mandate, if implemented, should not survive challenge under the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was enacted in 1993.   

          




March 7, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A Des Moines-area Catholic submitted a Letter to the Editor recently to the Des Moines Register recently regarding the mandate from the federal Department of Health and Human Services that would require Catholic organizations to fund contraception, including abortificients. The following is the letter submitted by Linda Nesbit.

 

 

To the Editor,

Donald Kaul's editorial, "The Fight Over Reproductive Rights"  of February 26, 2012 is so full of false statements it's hard to know where to begin.  Not to mention the intolerance and anger that he seems to harbor toward the Catholic Church.  But let's start with this.  Mr. Kaul uses a few straw man arguments to draw the readers attention away from the real issue.  Religious freedom as guaranteed under the First Amendment!  Since when does the federal government have the power to tell a religion what it can and can't believe and practice?  Isn't this why the Pilgrims came here in the first place?  The government's HHS mandate is wrong no matter what you believe about contraception.  Thomas Jefferson said so eloquently, "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical."  How much worse is it to force someone to pay for actions they abhor?




March 6, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Noted spiritual writer and presenter Fr. Ron Rolheiser will be speaking at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Hiawatha, Iowa on Saturday, April 14. Fr. Rolheiser will be addressing the topic: Living the Ups and Downs of Our Faith -- Dark Nights and Doubt; A Failure of Faith or a Failure of Imagination. This daylong conference is being sponsored by the Archdiocese of Dubuque, the Diocese of Davenport and the Diocese of Des Moines. The registration form for the event is attached. Cost for the day is $25, which includes morning hospitality and lunch. For more information, contact Dr. Cheryl Fournier by email or call 515-237-5006.




March 2, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A daylong marriage retreat based on the book "Thriving Marriages" by John and Claire Yzaguirre is planned for this Saturday at St. Augustin Parish Hall in Des Moines. Sponsored by the diocesan Office of Family Life and the Focolare Movement, the retreat costs $20 per couple but no one will be turned away if they can't afford it. To register or for more information email Adam Storey or call him at 515-237-5056.




March 1, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates created a video urging support from parishioners for the Annual Diocesan Appeal, which launches this weekend in all 81 parishes across the diocese of Des Moines. See what Bishop has to say about the role each of us can play in supporting the important ministries of the Diocese of Des Moines.




February 29, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines centennial video "Witnessing to Christ" is now playing on area public access cable channels. The video, highlighting six lay people from across the diocese talking about how they live the gospel every day, can be seen throug Easter. The half-hour video can be seen:

  • in the Des Moines metro area on Mediacom Ch. 18 on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
  • in the Atlantic area on Mediacom Ch. 18 on Sundays at 6 p.m.
  • in the Harlan area on HMU on Sundays at 3 p.m. and Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.



February 28, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

It's that time of year again for the annual voluntary subscription drive for our diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Mirror. A direct mail piece will arrive at all registered households in the Diocese of Des Moines soon. Please consider a subscription to The Catholic Mirror to help offset the cost of news gathering and production. While the newspaper is available through the diocesan website under "News" the diocese continues to mail it to all registered households. The Catholic Mirror is a cost-effective tool valuable for catechesis and evangelization in central and southwest Iowa.




February 24, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

During this Lent, take the Food Stamp Challenge. Here's how to do it. Each person receiving food stamps has a monthly allotment of $133.79. That translates to $4.50 per day, or $1.50 per meal. This is your food budget for all of the food you eat during the week. All food purchased and eaten during the challenge week, including fast food and dining out, must be included in the total spending. During the challenge, eat only food that you purchase for the project. Do not eat food that you already own. Share your experience at the Food Stamp Challenge conversation at facebook.com/CatholicCharitiesDM.

 

Each month, 373,856 Iowans use food stamps as their main source of food. Try the challenge and donate the money you save on food to the St. Mary Family Center, Catholic Charities' food pantry and free clothing closet. St. Mary's is one of the many pantry sites that helps supplement food needs when food stamps are just not enough.




February 23, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Now that Lent is underway, consider being a part of Catholic Relief Services' Operation Rice Bowl. This is a great way of responding to the needs of those who ae hungry in our own community and around the world. Resources are available in parishes and school community settings. In addition to the rice bowl and Lenten calendar, your parish has access to a prayer service, Stations of the Cross, lesson plans and more. These resources are also available at orb.crs.org. During Lent, let us join in solidarity with the rest of the U.S. Catholic community to donate, fast and pray for those in our world who hunger and suffer the other hardships of poverty.




February 22, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Ash Wednesday is this week, Feb. 22, kicking off the Lenten season. This is a significant day in the Catholic Church year beginning a period of forty days of prayer, fasting and charity. Catholics traditionally are marked with ashes of burnt palm branches as a sign of their recognition of their common humanity as well as their sinfulness and need for repentance in their lifelong journey of conversion. Anyone who desires it may join in this centuries-old tradition to be marked with ashes on Ash Wednesday. Membership in the Catholic Church is not a prerequisite.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (April 6) are days of fasting within the Church for those between the ages of 18 and 59. They may eat only one full meal and two other meals consisting of substantially less food. There should be no food taken between meals. Anyone whose health is threatened by fasting is exempted. Catholics age 14 and older also abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent.

Distribution of ashes will be held throughout the diocese on Ash Wednesday. People can call their local church for times. Ashes will be distributed at St. Ambrose Cathedral, at 6th and High Streets in Des Moines, on Wednesday during the 10 a.m., 12:10 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. liturgies.




February 21, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Novos on High is a vibrant community of Catholic young adults in their 20s and 30s in the Des Moines area seeking faith and fellowship. The group meets this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Jordan Creek Theater to see the movie "October Baby." Cost is free for the movie but individuals must reserve tickets online at www.octoberbabymovie.net/events.  For more information, email Tessa Shealler or call her at 515-309-1936.




February 16, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates offered the homily at the closing Mass of the 2012 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, D.C. yesterday, Feb. 15.

 

The purpose of the gathering is for leaders and colleagues who are involved with social justice issues to have an opportunity to share best practices, plan for emerging needs and identify areas for cooperation. It's a time for leaders to learn about the larger picture of Catholic social justice ministry and pressing domestic and global challenges relating to human life and dignity, and justice and peace. The group prays together and advocates for policies that will protect and support people suffering poverty and injustice.

 

In his homily, Bishop Pates encouraged those in attendance to open themselves with a spirit of prayerfulness and humility so they can be ready to act authentically, boldly and lovingly for justice.

Bishop Pates encouraged the group to protect each gift of human life, from conception until natural death. With that, he said, comes the responsibility to render dignity to each other. We do this by looking at how policies and advocacy affect the poor, he said. He referred to the Second Vatican Council's declaration of the Church's fundamental option for the poor.

 

 ". . . the right of having a share of earthly goods sufficient for oneself and one's family belongs to everyone. The Fathers and Doctors of the Church held this opinion, teaching that men are obliged to come to the relief of the poor and to do so not merely out of their superfluous goods.  . . . remember the aphorism of the Fathers, 'Feed the man dying of hunger, because if you have not fed him, you have killed him, and really to share and employ their earthly goods, according to the ability of each, especially by supporting individuals or peoples with the aid by which they may be able to help and develop themselves.'" (Gaudium et Spes, no. 69)

 

In bringing justice to the poor, Bishop Pates said we must balance what we do with how we do it. For instance, the Church teaches healthcare is a human right and it is needed to maintain the dignity of each person. It's a matter of conscience, and the founders of the United States recognized "freedom of conscience" as a companion to the right of Freedom of Religion, he said.

 

"Thus, the original rules established by the cabinet department of Health and Human Services implementing healthcare legislation are unacceptable," said Bishop Pates. "These rules as applied to Catholic Church institutions violated the First Amendment and the precious right of conscience.  The revised rules as recently proposed by the President need to be studied to determine if they correct the concerns.  We further ask, at this juncture, should the protective surety needed be pursued by legislation or judicial determination?  As we insist that governmental intrusion into the freedom of religion is unacceptable we serve the common good by preserving a right that is a cornerstone of our democracy." 

 

Bishop Pates shared about his recent visit of solidarity with bishops in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). "From the mountaintop of the Lord, we see that the human family is one," said Bishop Pates. "All are children of God. The shrinking globe necessitates sharing our vision of justice with and on behalf of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. From our perspective as the most wealthy nation, it is imperative to embrace the poor worldwide and accord the justice that is their due."

 

Bishop Pates encouraged those in attendance, as they return home, to bring with them strong convictions because it is with those that hope and the inevitability of justice will prevail.

 

The entire homily of Bishop Pates can be viewed at dmdiocese.org/bishop-pates-homilies.cfm.




February 15, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The fifth annual Art of Healing awareness event and fundraiser for Catholic Charities  Phoenix House Domestic Violence Shelter and Sexual Abuse Program in Council Bluffs will be on Thursday, March 29 at St. Peter's Social Hall in Council Bluffs. The event will kick off sexual assault awareness efforts taking place in the month of April. Contact Rachel Mabrey at 712-256-2059 or email her for more information.




February 14, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Today is the annual Legislative Breakfast at the state Capitol. All four sitting bishops of Iowa, through the Iowa Catholic Conference, invite legislators to stop by a meeting room for breakfast and an opportunity to visit one on one about issues of concern to the Church in Iowa that are part of pending or proposed legislation.




February 9, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

 

Bishop Richard Pates was asked to issue a letter to the faithful regarding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rule on mandatory health care coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. He sent a letter to all priests and deacons on Wednesday (Feb. 8) asking that the letter either be read from the pulpit or included in bulletins the weekend of Feb. 11-12.

 

The government issued the rule on Jan. 20. On Jan. 23, Bishop Pates sent a statement encouraging education, prayer and action to all priests and deacons. He asked that they help educate parishioners on the issue and included resources from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Pates also spoke on the mandate in the diocese's monthly e-newsletter "In the Diocesan Loop" distributed Feb. 3 to parish and school leadership throughout the diocese.

 

 

SIX THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE HHS MANDATE

 

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers the following clarifications regarding the Health and Human Services regulations on mandatory coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

 

1.  The mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals.  These institutions are vital to the mission of the Church, but HHS does not deem them "religious employers" worthy of conscience protection, because they do not "serve primarily persons who share the[ir] religious tenets."  HHS denies these organizations religious freedom precisely because their purpose is to serve the common good of society—a purpose that government should encourage, not punish.

 

2.  The mandate forces these institutions and others, against their conscience, to pay for things they consider immoral.  Under the mandate, the government forces religious insurers to write policies that violate their beliefs; forces religious employers and schools to sponsor and subsidize coverage that violates their beliefs; and forces religious employees and students to purchase coverage that violates their beliefs.

 

3.  The mandate forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as well as contraception.  Though commonly called the "contraceptive mandate," HHS's mandate also forces employers to sponsor and subsidize coverage of sterilization.  And by including all drugs approved by the FDA for use as contraceptives, the HHS mandate includes drugs that can induce abortion, such as "Ella," a close cousin of the abortion pill RU-486.

 

4.  Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate.  Catholics who have long supported this Administration and its healthcare policies have publicly criticized HHS's decision, including columnists E.J. Dionne, Mark Shields, and Michael Sean Winters; college presidents Father John Jenkins and Arturo Chavez; and Daughter of Charity Sister Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States.

 

5.  Many other religious and secular people and groups have spoken out strongly against the mandate.  Many recognize this as an assault on the broader principle of religious liberty, even if they disagree with the Church on the underlying moral question.  For example, Protestant Christian, Orthodox Christian, and Orthodox Jewish groups--none of which oppose contraception--have issued statements against the HHS's decision.  The Washington Post, USA Today, N.Y. Daily News, Detroit News, and other secular outlets, columnists, and bloggers have editorialized against it.

 

6.  The federal mandate is much stricter than existing state mandates.  HHS chose the narrowest state-level religious exemption as the model for its own.  That exemption was drafted by the ACLU and exists in only 3 states (New York, California, Oregon).  Even without a religious exemption, religious employers can already avoid the contraceptive mandates in 28 states by self-insuring their prescription drug coverage, dropping that coverage altogether, or opting for regulation under a federal law (ERISA) that pre-empts state law.  The HHS mandate closes off all these avenues of relief.

 

Additional information on the U.S. Catholic bishops’ stance on religious liberty, conscience protection and the HHS ruling regarding mandatory coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs is available at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/index.cfm.

 

 




February 8, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The annual Prayer for Life gathering will be March 5 at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church, 1552 Maple St. in Des Moines, featuring keynote presenter Walter B. Hoye II. The day offers presentations from 9:30-1 p.m., lunch included. Folks are invited to meet at the state Capitol rotunda at 3 p.m. to hear Rev. Hoye and lobby state legislators.

 

Hoye is founder and president of the Issues4life Foundation, the California Civil Rights Foundation and is a core member of the National Black Pro-Life Coalition. He is the author of "Leadership from the Inside Out" and is a pro-life speaker and consultant. He holds master's degrees in sociology and business administration. He was won several pro-life awards and has been jailed for peacefully protesting on a sidewalk outside an abortion clinic in California. He is a husband and father of two grown children.

 

Hoye's organization Issues4life Foundation targets and works directly with African-American leaders nationwide to strengthen their stand against abortion and resolve the issues surrounding the moral responsibiltiy of biotechnology in the African-American community.

 

The Prayer for Life day activities are cosponsored by Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church, Iowans for LIFE, Catholic Charities Social Justice Consortium, Council of Catholic Women, The Family Leader, Iowa Catholic Conference, Iowa Right to Life Committee, Knights of Columbus and Teen Pact.

 

To register or get more information, contact Iowans for LIFE at 515-255-4113 or iowansforlife@msn.com.




February 7, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A recent editorial in the Des Moines Register headlined "A dozen issues and people to watch" listed several people in the Des Moines metro area to watch in 2012. The people listed are either involved in a high-profile issue or are "'doers' if not leaders," according to the newspaper. Among those listed is Antonio Banuelos, of St. Ambrose Cathedral Parish. he was born in Mexico, earned degrees at the University of Texas-El Paso and Drake University and settled in Des Moines. Antonio owns Mayan Business Solutions, a translation service for the medical and legal fields. Antonio does much translation from English to Spanish for the Diocese of Des Moines and is a leader on the diocesan Hispanic Pastoral Commission. He and his wife, Mayra, are involved in their parish and the Hispanic Christian Family Movement.




February 6, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocese, through its Campus Ministry, is offering the second annual student health care conference on Friday, Feb. 10, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. This year's conference, called "Where Spirituality and Healing Begin" will feature a keynote talk on what research says about the link between spirituality and healing plus sessions on conscience protection for health care workers and health care as related to social justice. For more information or to register, click here.




February 2, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urges us to write to Congress encouraging support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467). This act is being proposed to correct the threats to religious liberty and the rights of conscience. The act would ensure that those who participate in the health care system "retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions." It is important that members of Congress be urged to co-sponsor the measure. To see who is co-sponsoring the bill right now, go to www.thomas.loc.gov. You can help by calling the US Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or call your Congressman's local office. You can also get contact information at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. Feel free to use the message: "Please co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR 1179, S 1467). This measure ensures that the rights of conscience of all participants in our nation's health care system will be respected."




February 1, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

During this Catholic Schools Week, Bishop Richard Pates will be celebrating Mass with educators from our Catholic Schools. The Mass is today at St. Joseph Church on Des Moines' east side, beginning at 2 p.m.




January 29, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Cardinal Rigali is coming! Did you see the ad in the January edition of The Catholic Mirror? Cardinal Justin Rigali, now retired, will be coming to the Diocese of Des Moines April 14 & 15 to celebrate Divine Mercy weekend at Christ the King Church, on Des Moines' south side.

 

Cardinal Rigali, the youngest of seven, was born and raised in Los Angeles. After ordination, he served a number of years abroad and accompanied Pope John Paul II on several of his visits. In the United States, he  served the Archdioceses of St. Louis and Philadelphia until his retirement in 2011.

 

For more information on the cardinal's visit and plans for this year's Divine Mercy Sunday activities, go to divinemercydesmoines.com.




January 28, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Father Richard L. Bergman, 82, died this past Saturday at the Bishop Drumm Care Center in Johnston after having been a priest for 56 years. The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Holy Trinity Church in Des Moines, his home parish, with a rosary at 7 p.m. The funeral Mass is Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 10 a.m. at Holy Trinity Church.

 

Father Bergman attended Dowling Catholic High School, Loras College and Mt. St. Bernard Seminary. He was ordained in 1955 at St. Ambrose Cathedral by Bishop Edward Daly.

 

Father studied Canon law in Rome. In 1966, he began leading the Tribunal Office of the Diocese of Des Moines, which handles matrimony and annulment issues. He held that assignment until 1978. He also served at: St. Anthony and Visitation (now Our Lady of the Americas) Parishes in Des Monies; St. Mary, Panama; St. Michael, Harlan; St. Joseph, Earling; St. Mary/Holy Cross, Elkhart; St. Patrick, Irish Settlement; Assumption, Churchville; St. Patrick, Bayard-Jamaica; St. Mary, Lacona; St. Augustine, Milo; St. Mary, Rosemount; All Saints, Stuart. Father Bergman was pastor of All Saints Church in Stuart when an arsonist burned the church down. He retired in 1997.




January 26, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

On Sunday, Catholic Schools Week kicks off nationally.  The Catholic schools from the Diocese of Des Moines are celebrating the week with a variety of activities and open houses.  Se sure to visit an open house to tour a school, meet teachers, administrators and staff, and learn more about Catholic schools.  For a listing of all the open houses, visit www.dmdiocese.org/catholic-schools.cfm.

 




January 24, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human services issued a rule requiring virtually all private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives, female sterilization procedures and related "patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity." This is considered a direct assault on Freedom of Conscience and the free exercise of religion through the First Amendment.

 

To better understand the rule and what's at stake, check out this press release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this backgrounder and these questions and answers. In addition, here is a video message from Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, in which he explains the situation.

 

Updates will be posted on Catholic Charities Social Justice Consortium webpage.




January 23, 2012
Written By: Father John Acrea

God can't steer a car in park


My name is Father John Acrea. I'm a priest of the Diocese of Des Moines and one of the spiritual directors at the St. John Vianney Seminary in Minnesota.  I know that Bishop Richard Pates is inviting young men from high school sophomores to college age to visit us. As a seminary spiritual director and a priest of Des Moines, I would like to invite you personally to come to our open house Feb. 9-11. Get out of “park” with your vocation possibilities.


St. John Vianney Seminary is, first of all, not a building but 135 men who feel God might be calling them to priesthood.  They come to seminary check out that inner voice.  Seminary “works” if they decide to stay and if they decide to leave.


We live in the seminary building on the north side of campus.  We have our own chapel. The seminarians attend classes with all of the other students at St. Thomas University.  We also get to share the new gym and the new student center.
I am proud of the men here.  We have guys from the farm and city.  We have men who have been on duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.  We have men who have transferred from Purdue University, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, etc.  They have played football for the university, run track, cross country, baseball, the university choir and orchestra.


If you have thought that God is calling you to the priesthood, come and check out the life in seminary and the kind of men who are here.  God bless you all.


Remember, “God does not call the qualified.  He qualifies those he calls.”
Check us out on the web:

     www.vianney.net  -- Main web page
    http://vianney.net/visitvianney    --Registration Form
    YouTube: http.//Vianney.net/video –This was produced by one of our seminarians.

For more information, you can contact Father John Acrea via email.

 

 

 




January 21, 2012
Written By: Kyle Lechtenberg

 See the press release below; worship aid for the service here

For Immediate Release

 

Date:      January 20, 2012        

ContactAnne Marie Cox (515) 237-5057

                acox@dmdiocese.org 

 

 

Join ecumenical prayer service Sunday

 

In commemoration the 104th Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and in conjunction with a unique photography exhibit by Jim Zeller: "Christ is Among Us: The Churches of Des Moines," you are invited to join Bishop Richard Pates and other Christian leaders in common prayer.

The religious leaders who have indicated they will join Bishop Pates in leading the service are, in alphabetical order: Father Basil Hickman of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George; the Reverend Jean McCarthy, Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa; the Reverend Chris Olkiewicz of Windsor Heights Lutheran Church, the Reverend Sarai Rice of the Des Moines Area Religious Council; the Reverend David  Sickella of the Urbandale United Church of Christ; and the Reverend Tom Webster of Wakonda Christian Church.

The service will be held this Sunday, January 22, at 4 p.m. at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 601 Grand Ave., Des Moines. Mr. Zeller's exhibit opening celebration at the Pastoral Center will be the same day, from 2-6 p.m, and the exhibit will be open for viewing Mondays-Fridays from January 18-February 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Organizers have worked with the Des Moines Area Religious Council to select the order of service developed jointly by the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. 

More information about this service can be found at this web address:http://www.oikoumene.org/fileadmin/files/wcc-main/documents/p2/2011/WOP2012eng.pdf

 

The Diocese of Des Moines includes 81 parishes in 23 counties in central and southwest Iowa.
 

Anne Marie Cox

Office of Communications

Diocese of Des Moines

515-237-5057

communications@dmdiocese.org

 



January 20, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Tune in today, Friday, at 10 a.m. to 1150 KWKY Catholic Radio or the Spirit Catholic Radio Network to "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" radio show as Bishop Richard Pates broadcasts live from Dowling Catholic High School and celebrates Catholic schools in our diocese. The annual Catholic Schools Week celebration begins Jan. 30.

 

This week's radio show guests include: Dowling Catholic High School parent Gabrielle Cahalan of Sacred Heart parish (West Des Moines), St. Malachy School (Creston) Principal John Walsh, St. Theresa School (Des Moines) eighth grader Ethan Kluesner, and Shelby County Catholic School (Harlan) eighth grader Samantha Schmitz.

 

KWKY, found at 1150 AM, broadcasts from Des Moines. Spirit Catholic Radio Network, at 102.7 FM, broadcasts out of Omaha. The show can also be found online at kwky.com and kvss.com. The show will be rebroadcasted on KWKY 1150 AM Saturday at noon and Sunday at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.




January 19, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Join us for the annual diocesan Mass for Life this Saturday at 5 p.m. at Christ the King Church in Des Moines. Bishop Richard Pates will be the celebrant and the Mass is sponsored by Catholic Charities.

 

As the Mass is celebrated, many from our diocese will be traveling to Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life on Monday. Buses coordinated by Iowans for LIFE will be carrying folks to the Capitol for the march, a rally and Mass.

 

The Mass follows a daylong pro-life workshop called Life is Precious, held at Christ the King Parish, coordinated by area parishes.

 

For more information on the Mass for Life, the prolife workshop and other initiatives of Catholic Charities Social Justice Consortium, click here.




January 13, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

During this National Vocation Awareness Week we remember our diocese's 14 seminarians who are heading back to school. Among them is Andrew Windschitl, who studies at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. In addition to classes several days a week, he goes to an area parish that gives seminarians opportunities to apply what they're learning in a real parish environment. Sometimes, he says, seminarians learn something entirely new at the parish that they didn't leearn in the classroom. "It's heartening to both work with and learn from the faithful as it is a true representation of what priesthood will be like," he said. For more information on the diocesan seminary program, call 515-237-5050.




January 12, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Please pray for our 14 seminarians during this National Vocations Awareness Week! Among our seminarians is Trevor Chicoine. He entered the seminary program in 2009 right out of high school and currently is in his third year at St. Pius X Seminary at Loras College in Dubuque. Trevor majors in philosophy with a minor in liturgical music. He says that, in addition to the academic and pastoral formation, he's making a lot of friendships. The seminary has men you are into comouters, music and even a few NASCAR fans. If you're interested in exploring a vocation calling, contact the diocesan Vocations Office at 515-237-5050.




January 11, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This is Vocations Awareness Week! Please keep in your prayers our seminarians who are discerning a vocation to serve God's people through the priesthood. Among our 14 seminarians is Fabian Moncada. He is in his third year of theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. In addition to his studies, he helps at St. Rita Parish, learning about administrative leadership. He will be ordained a transitional deacon on June 1 at Holy Trinity Church in Des Moines.




January 10, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Hear from four local people who are ascending the famous Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest point in Africa, this week with a group called Above and Beyond Cancer. Thanks to WHO Radio and 1150 KWKY Catholic Radio, we'll be able to hear from Msgr. Frank Bognanno, Deacon Dave Bartemes, Tim Meyer and Dr. Richard Deming talk of their adventure as it happens. They talked with WHO Radio on Sunday. On Wednesday, hear their stories in a special report on 1150 KWKY Catholic Radio (1150 AM) hosted by Jon Leonetti at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday. Listen to WHO Radio(1040 AM) for the interviews throughout week. A big thank you to Mercy Medical Center, a major sponsor of the trip, for helping to arrange the interviews as well as getting photos and blog posts. Watch www.aboveandbeyondcancer.org or www.facebook.com/mercydesmoines for updates from those on the trip.




January 9, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Thanks to Mercy Medical Center for sharing this image of Msgr. Frank Bognanno as he celebrates Mass on the eve of Epiphany Sunday in Africa. Msgr. Bognanno, a cancer survivor, is traveling with a group of cancer survivors and caregivers on a journey to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. You can follow Msgr. Bognanno, retired Deacon Dave Bartemes and others on the trip at www.aboveandbeyondcancer.com or through Mercy's Facebook page www.facebook.com/mercydesmoines.




January 5, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Mercy Cancer Center's Dr. Richard Deming is in Africa today with 18 cancer survivors on a journey to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Among those on the trip are Msgr. Frank Bognanno, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Des Moines, and retired Deacon Dave Bartemes, of St. Pius X Parish in Urbandale. Check out the group's website, follow their journey by blog and see the photos of their trip.




January 4, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates will be celebrating the annual diocesan Mass for Life on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. at Christ the King Church, 5711 SW 9th St. in Des Moines. The annual Mass for Life, organized by Catholic Charities Social Justice Consortium, promotes the Church's belief of the sanctity of life and dignity of the human person from conception to natural death. Jan. 21 marks the 39th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. For more information, contact  Wendy, the consortium's respect life contact, or go to Catholic Charities website.

The Mass for Life follows a daylong retreat the same day called Life is Precious, organized by Des Moines area Catholic churches and also held at Christ the King Parish. Abortion survivor Melissa Ohden will be speaking, along with Father Guthrie Dolan on basic Catholic teaching on life issues. Deadline for registering is Jan. 18. Contact Wendy to register for this free retreat. Lunch will be provided. A free-will offering will be accepted.




January 3, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

On Jan. 14 the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Catechesis will be hosting a daylong evangelization workshop with Paulist Father Frank DeSiano. Father DeSiano is a nationally known and respected expert in the area of evangelization and currently serves as president of Paulist Evangelization Ministries. Father DeSiano will be speaking on two topics near and dear to our hearts: Parish and Mission and Serving the Absent Catholic. Clergy, parish staff, and those interested in evangelization ministry would surely benefit from the day. The workshop, which will be held at All Saints Parish in Stuart will begin at 9:30 p.m. and conclude by 2:30 p.m. Cost for the day is $5 to cover the cost of lunch. Pre-registration is required. To register contact Sherri Simmer, secretary for the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis at ssimmer@dmdiocese.org or call her at 515-237-5058.




December 29, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Tune in to "In the Heartland with Bishop Pates" radio show this Friday at 10 a.m. to hear Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates and Omaha Archbishop George Lucas together sharing their thoughts about the biggest stories of 2011 and what they anticipate moving ahead in the New Year! The radio show can be found at 1150 KWKY Catholic Radio 1150 AM in central Iowa and Spirit Catholic Radio Network 102.7 FM in western Iowa. The show is repeated on KWKY on Saturday at noon and Sunday at 8 a.m., 11 a.m, 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Not near a radio? Tune in Friday at 10 a.m. to kwky.com or kvss.com.




December 28, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

1150 KWKY Catholic Radio will be celebrating retired Bishop Joseph Charron's birthday Dec. 30 with a daylong tribute to him. The station will air reflections he made through the years and tributes to him on his 72nd birthday. Tune in to 1150 AM throughout the day.

 

To send Bishop Charron a birthday card, you can put it to his attention at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 601 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50309.




December 23, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Reflection on answering the call

By Deacon Steve Reed
    
    Last Saturday morning, Jan, my wife, asked what I had planned for the day.  I told her I had some maintenance projects at the office.  She said she was going to Valley Junction where she volunteered to go shopping with a child, and they needed more volunteers.  I was not too excited.  I was not interested in a shopping trip.  Jan said, “Well, you do not have to go, if you do not want to. “   

     Well fellows, have you heard your spouse say, “We do not have to exchange anything on Saint Valentine’s Day?” You know better!
    Jan drove to the West Des Moines Community Center in Valley Junction where she volunteered me to accompany a child on a shopping trip.  I was assigned a young Hispanic girl about 6 or 7 years of age.  My assigned child could speak some English, but Spanish was her primary language. Jan was assigned an eight year old boy of Northern European descent.
    We all rode on a West Des Moines school bus to a Walmart.  The little girl had lost her list for gifts for her family.  She initially spoke of her little brother who was attending a day care.  She knew that she wanted to give him a particular toy for a gift.  But she had to think long and hard about what she wanted to give her father who working that Saturday and her mother.  She announced that she now remembered: a sweater for her mom and a pair of pants and a shirt for her dad.  Wow, she had no sizes or measurements!  We were allowed $60 credit to buy all the gifts for her family and of course, we needed to buy a toy for the little girl, as well.  

      We were allowed 45 minutes to do the actually shopping in the Jordan Creek Walmart.  I had never been in a super Walmart.  Talk about a challenge!  We were able to find a red sweater for mom and we purchased a black Wrangler shirt for her dad, plus a gift for her preschool brother and and one for the little girl.  Jan was doing her assignment with the little boy she was helping.
    We returned to the bus on time and we traveled back to the West Des Moines Community Center where we wrapped the gifts. Later, I had pizza with the little girl with whom I shopped. She spoke of her family.  I had never met her parents, but I could garner that they were working hard to make a new life for her and her little brother.  When the girl’s mother showed up, I introduced myself and later moved to the table where Jan and the little boy she was helping sat.
    The boy's mother worked four jobs while his father was attempting to be certified  a dirt bike mechanic. At age 8, the boy mowed lawns for money.  He said his mom’s car was a piece of junk and they had to use a piece of rope to pull a car door shut.
    Just before Jan and I were to accompany the boy and his sister to meet his uncle to pick them up, the little girl I'd helped came over to give me a big hug.  I may never see her again, but it was a great experience.
    This was a call to Jan and me to help the working poor in their struggles.  Not that I was totally oblivious as my own mom had to work one full-time and two part-time jobs to keep the wolves at bay while raising the four Reed children.
    I am confident that each and every one of us is called by God daily to do our part. We can do much more if we do not talk ourselves out of stretching ourselves.  Please think about such throughout this liturgical year and beyond.

 

Deacon Reed serves St. Mary of Nazareth Parish in Des Moines.




December 22, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Novos on High, a gathering of young adults, will have a Christmas party tonight at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Reconciliation begins at 6 p.m. Rosary is at 6:30 p.m. and Mass begins at 7 p.m. A special collection will be taken to benefit Catholic Charities. After Mass, the group will celebrate Christmas at Legends. For more information, contact Tessa Schealler at 515-309-1936 or novos@dmdiocese.org.




December 21, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Please keep in your prayers Sister Nan Ross (John Wiliam) of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the BVM sisters. Sister Nan died Monday at age 83 at Marian Hall in Dubuque. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery. In the Diocese of Des Moines, Sister Nan served in ministry and as a tutor at Mt. Ayr Elementary School in Maloy from 1996-2009. In other parts of the country, she served in education, as a pastoral associate and director of religious education as well as assistant to the administrator of her religious community's motherhouse. In addition, she served as administrator of the BVM Center at Mount Carmel in Dubuque. Sister was born in Newton. She is survived by nieces, nephews and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 64 years. Memorials may be given to the Sisters of Charity BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Dr. Dubuque, IA 52003 or online at www.bvmcong.org/whatsnew_obits.cfm.




December 19, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Pates spoke with Vatican Radio's Chris Altieri about recent federal legislation regarding religious freedom and the importance of it for bishops both at home and abroad. Check out this link, with the mp3 file of the broadcast included.

 




December 16, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Watch for your copy of The Catholic Mirror coming this weekend. The December issue will include a followup on the diocesan Centennial Celebration, plus news on a parish sharing its facilities with a congregation of another faith, an update on construction projects around the diocese and news from our schools.




December 13, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Watch your mailbox this weekend for the December issue of The Catholic Mirror. Look for news on :

  • the Cristo Rey project,
  • young adult outreach efforts,
  • the cooperation between the Catholic church in Churchville and a Methodist congegation,
  • the renovations at Christ the King Church in Des Moines,
  • the launch of a capital campaign at St. Mary Church in Shenandoah and more.



December 9, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, in a letter to parishes, wrote: "Last year, while visiting a senior-care facility, Pope Benedict noted, 'indeed, the provision of care for the elderly should be considered not so much an act of generosity as the repayment of a debt of gratitude.'" This weekend, Dec. 10 and 11, our parishes will be taking up the annual collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious, an opportunity for us to honor and thank thousands of senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests for their faithful service.

 

Although we may not always realize it, we are all beneficiaries of the tremendous contributions these religious have made to the Church in the United States. Certainly in our own diocese, we were blessed by the presence of women religious in our schools and hospitals long before the Diocese of Des Moines was officially established. "As I reflect on the dedication of our senior religious, I recall how they shaped my own faith in my home archdiocese and for all the ways our diocese has been blessed by their service," wrote Bishop Pates.

 

"Today, many religious communities struggle to care for their elderly members. Increasing health care costs and decreased income make it increasingly difficult to provide the care they so richly deserve. Our contributions to this collection allow us to join hands with those religious communities in support of their senior members. In doing so, we also are supportive of their continued ministries in our midst.

Please join me in financial support for the Retirement Fund for Religious and in praying for God’s continued blessing on our nation’s religious communities," he said.
 




December 7, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Catholic parishes in the Diocese Des Moines are planning celebrations to commemorate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on and around the feast day, which is Monday, Dec. 12. 

 

The feast is a significant cultural and religious event for Hispanic people as they honor Our Lady of Guadalupe as Patroness of the Americas.

 

On the morning of Dec. 9, 1531, the Blessed Mother appeared to a Mexican Indian named Juan Diego who was on his way to Mass and catechesis in the Catholic faith. She asked Diego to go to the local bishop and give him her message to build a temple, identifying herself as Our Lady, the Mother of God. When the bishop did not believe Diego’s story she asked Diego to take a sign to show him. The sign consisted of roses of all colors, which Diego carried on his cloak, or ‘tilma.’ The bishop then believed upon seeing the cloak and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The image remains clear today and is displayed in a church in Mexico City.

 

The opportunities for commemoration of the feast day in the diocese are numerous, including many in the Des Moines area.

 

Our Lady of the Americas Parish, 1271 E. 9th St. in Des Moines, will honor Our Lady of Guadalupe with 12:30 p.m. Mass on Sunday, Dec. 11, and a tamale sale following Mass. A novena will take place at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, as will 6 p.m. Mass, and a re-enactment of the apparitions at 8:30 p.m. At 10 p.m. Sunday a procession will depart Our Lady of the Americas for St. Ambrose Cathedral Parish, 607 High St., and culminate with midnight Mass celebrated by Bishop Richard Pates at the cathedral. The Mass will be followed by las mañanitas (morning singing). Our Lady of the Americas will also celebrate Mass for the feast on Monday, Dec. 12, at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

 

Other Des Moines-area parishes have festivities planned as well.


              Sacred Heart Parish, 1627 Grand Ave. in West Des Moines, will celebrate Mass at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 12. The Mass will include a re-enactment of the apparitions and a procession bringing roses to Our Lady. A reception follows with hot chocolate, sweet bread and music from Los Niño de Tepayac.

 

The Basilica of St. John, 1915 University Ave. in Des Moines, will have los cavallitos (traditional dances), from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, followed by the Rosary at 7 p.m. and a procession around the church at 8 p.m., concluding with Mass at 9 p.m.

 

Christ the King Parish, 5711 SW Ninth St. in Des Moines, will celebrate Mass at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 12.

 

On the west end of the diocese, Corpus Christi Parish in Council Bluffs continues a novena begun Saturday, Dec. 3, through Sunday, Dec. 11. Las mañanitas will begin at 5 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, followed by hot chocolate and sweet bread. Mass will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, followed by food and dancing. A mariachi band will accompany the dancing at Mass and the reception following. 

     

Elsewhere in the Des Moines diocese, St. Patrick Parish in Lenox will celebrate Mass at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 12.

 

St. Bernard Parish in Osceola will celebrate midnight Mass on Sunday, Dec. 11.

 

In Perry, St. Patrick Parish will celebrate Mass on Monday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. followed by a potluck dinner in the St. Patrick School gymnasium. A procession will be held from the church to the dinner, where there will be music and reading of the story of Juan Diego. Free-will donations will be accepted.

 




December 5, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Pates is offering a vocations retreat Dec. 16-18 for men, age 18 to 40, who are interested in the priesthood. The retreat will take place at the Creighton University Retreat Center in Griswold. There will be communal and private prayer, Eucharistic adoration, Mass, and presentations by Bishop Pates. A retreat fee of $25 is requested, however, no one will be turned away for financial reasons. Contact the Office of Vocations at (515) 237-5061.




December 2, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

 

1150 KWKY Catholic Radio is offering to help schools and parishes broadcast when classes or events are cancelled or postponed due to inclement weather. Add KWKY to your list of media to call: 515-223-1150.

 




November 30, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates and retired Bishop Joseph Charron will read the Christmas story to children at 2 p.m. and at 3:30 p.m. during Catholic Charities annual No Room at the Inn event this Sunday at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 601 Grand Ave. in DM. It is hoped that the event inspires people to join in efforts to help lift people out of poverty with dignity.




November 30, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Cristo Rey Des Moines project on indefinite hold

      After two years of intensive research, community discussion and study, it has been determined that the proposed Cristo Rey Des Moines project be put on indefinite hold with the Cristo Rey Network until additional philanthropic financing can be identified.
     Cristo Rey is a college preparatory high school in the Catholic tradition exclusively for low income students of all faiths whose needs are not being fully met in a traditional public school. Cristo Rey Network schools employ an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides students with real world work experiences.
     With the support of a congressional grant, the Diocese of Des Moines began a feasibility study in September 2009. The study was conducted to determine if there was a need, interest from students and parents, and support from the business community based on the guidelines from the Cristo Rey Network (CRN) to establish a Cristo Rey school in Des Moines.
     In the fall of 2010, the CRN approved the Des Moines feasibility study, certifying that there was sufficient need, interest among parents and students, and support from businesses to make Cristo Rey a success. Pending appropriate and sufficient funding, Cristo Rey Des Moines could be established.
     Even though the feasibility study was approved, there was not sufficient philanthropic support. The Cristo Rey Network requires $2 million upfront funds for the first year of operation. Based on guidelines from the CRN, the local Cristo Rey Advisory Board determined it would need a total of $10 million in start-up funds for the first five years of operation. In addition, a basic endowment of $10 million is needed to sustain the school. The endowment is necessary to create an ongoing, stable model that does not rely too heavily on annual fundraising.
     Thus, the total amount needed to be raised is $20 million for viable operation. In the Des Moines community, between $4 million and $5 million dollars for this purpose was identified.
     “Having a solid financial foundation for a Cristo Rey Des Moines project is essential to ensure its long term viability,” said Bishop Richard Pates. “I am convinced that our community would benefit from a Cristo Rey school and plan to continue to advocate for needed educational institutions for children in our community who have the capacity but presently lack opportunity.”
     Bishop Pates further noted: “The feasibility study identified approximately 8,000 students in the greater Des Moines area who qualify for the reduced and free lunch program. This is the target audience of a Cristo Rey School. According to our study, 360 of the 8,000 students benefit from a program that is transformative.”
     The opportunity for capable but underprivileged youth has been valuable in other Cristo Rey Schools. The possibility of having a local Cristo Rey school is on indefinite hold should one or more donors choose to support this unique model of school which, over time, could benefit thousands of deserving young people.
 




November 29, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

     More than 300 nativity scenes from around the world will be on display this Sunday, Dec. 4 from 1-5 p.m. at 6th and Grand Avenue in downtown Des Moines. The exhibition of nativities is the centerpiece of events hosted by Catholic Charities intended to inspire others to join in efforts to help lift people out of poverty with dignity.

    Working together to reduce poverty with an emphasis on respect and dignity is what the work of Catholic Charities is all about, says Nancy Galeazzi, executive director. “At Catholic Charities, we address poverty not only in terms of income, but also barriers like a lack of emotional and spiritual resources or education. We work to help people reach their full potential,” she said.

     In addition to an array of traditional and unique nativity displays from around the world, local choirs and a live nativity scene will be featured. Bishop Richard E. Pates and Bishop Emeritus Joseph L. Charron will also read the Christmas story during the event at 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

     Admission to the event is a gift of a personal care item or cash donation to help people served through Catholic Charities Poverty Reduction Programs: St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter, St. Mary Family Center, Hispanic Community Outreach and Refugee Resettlement.

     No Room at the Inn is part of Catholic Charities Week 2011 held Nov. 28-Dec.4. “Together, we can help lift people out of poverty with dignity” is the theme of the week-long poverty awareness campaign organized by Catholic Charities, which serves the 23 counties of southwest Iowa. Catholic Charities Week and No Room at the Inn festivities include:

  • Bare Essentials Campaign- Schools, businesses, churches and individuals can collect personal care items to help people living below the poverty line.
  • No Room at the Inn Fundraising Reception – Friday, Dec. 2 from 5-8 p.m.
  • Poverty Simulation – Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to  Noon
  • Musical Open House and Nativity Exhibition – Sunday, Dec. 4 from 1-5 p.m.

 

    For a full schedule of weekend events and information about Catholic Charities Poverty Reduction Programs go to www.CatholicCharitiesDM.org or call 515-237-5078.

     Founded in 1924, Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Des Moines is dedicated to offering help and hope to those in need throughout central and southwest Iowa.  Catholic Charities, a United Way agency, provides pregnancy counseling and adoption services, individual and family counseling, Hispanic community outreach and refugee resettlement services. Other Catholic Charities programs include St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter, Phoenix House Domestic Violence Shelter and St. Mary Family Center. For information about Catholic Charities of Des Moines, its programs and services, please visit www.catholiccharitiesdm.org.

 

 

 




November 20, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Please keep in your prayers Father James Polich, pastor of St. Augustin Church in Des Moines, who passed away Sunday after a battle with cancer. See his obituary here. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at St. Augustin, where friends and family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. A vigil service will begin at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. on Wdnesday, Nov. 23, at St. Augustin Church, 545 42nd St. in Des Moines. Burial will be at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.

 

Father Jim Polich was born on Christmas Eve of 1944. His home parish was St. Joseph in Des Moines. He was ordained a priest in 1971 by Bishop Maurice Dingman in Harlan, Iowa.

 

He had attended Dowling Catholic High School and Immaculate Conception Seminary in Conception, Mo. He held a master’s in divinity from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. and a doctorate in theology from Fordham University in New York.

 

Father Polich was a teacher. He taught at Glenwood State School on the west end of our diocese. For 9 years from the late 1970s into the early 1980s, he served on the faculty of Dowling Catholic High School and the St. Joseph Education Center as resource person in theology, religious education and continuing education for adults. In 1986, he helped develop the Creighton Certificate Program, a distance education effort with Creighton University. The diocese is a partner in that program, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. He returned became the board chair of the St. Joseph Education Center in 2008 and has been serving in that capacity since then. Fr. Polich’s role in education went outside the diocese as well. He served the theology department at Fordham University in New York for two and a half years and for five years was on the faculty of Conception Seminary in Conception, Mo.

 

Father Polich was a pastor. Immediately after ordination, he served Visitation parish briefly. He went on to serve St. Mary Church in Hamburg, a parish in the far southwest corner of our diocese, for three years in the mid-1970s. He also served St. Mary in Avoca and St. Patrick in Walnut for six years in the 1990s. Since 2000, he has served at St. Augustin Parish in Des Moines.

 

Father Polich had an interest in ecumenical efforts and for years, assisted with the coordination of the annual Catholic/Lutheran reconciliation event that occurred every autumn for about 30 years. This gathering, among Catholics and Lutherans, fostered interfaith dialogue and was a direct result of the pope’s visit to Iowa in 1979.




November 20, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Please keep in your prayers Father James Polich, pastor of St. Augustin Church in Des Moines, who passed away Sunday after a battle with cancer. See his obituary here. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at St. Augustin, where friends and family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. A vigil service will begin at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. on Wdnesday, Nov. 23, at St. Augustin Church, 545 42nd St. in Des Moines. Burial will be at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.

 

Father Jim Polich was born on Christmas Eve of 1944. His home parish was St. Joseph in Des Moines. He was ordained a priest in 1971 by Bishop Maurice Dingman in Harlan, Iowa.

 

He had attended Dowling Catholic High School and Immaculate Conception Seminary in Conception, Mo. He held a master’s in divinity from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. and a doctorate in theology from Fordham University in New York.

 

Father Polich was a teacher. He taught at Glenwood State School on the west end of our diocese. For 9 years from the late 1970s into the early 1980s, he served on the faculty of Dowling Catholic High School and the St. Joseph Education Center as resource person in theology, religious education and continuing education for adults. In 1986, he helped develop the Creighton Certificate Program, a distance education effort with Creighton University. The diocese is a partner in that program, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. He returned became the board chair of the St. Joseph Education Center in 2008 and has been serving in that capacity since then. Fr. Polich’s role in education went outside the diocese as well. He served the theology department at Fordham University in New York for two and a half years and for five years was on the faculty of Conception Seminary in Conception, Mo.

 

Father Polich was a pastor. Immediately after ordination, he served Visitation parish briefly. He went on to serve St. Mary Church in Hamburg, a parish in the far southwest corner of our diocese, for three years in the mid-1970s. He also served St. Mary in Avoca and St. Patrick in Walnut for six years in the 1990s. Since 2000, he has served at St. Augustin Parish in Des Moines.

 

Father Polich had an interest in ecumenical efforts and for years, assisted with the coordination of the annual Catholic/Lutheran reconciliation event that occurred every autumn for about 30 years. This gathering, among Catholics and Lutherans, fostered interfaith dialogue and was a direct result of the pope’s visit to Iowa in 1979.




November 16, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Are you wondering what the changes in the Mass will look like thanks to the revised Roman Missal? Check out the three new teaching Mass videos that Our Lady's Immaculate Heart parish in Ankeny developed in collaboration with the Worship Office. They're posted on Vimeo. Thanks to Rodger Routh of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Parish for the excellent work on producing the videos, and thanks to Msgr. Steve Orr and all from the parish who participated in the teaching Mass.




November 15, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

 Congratulations to Bishop Pates! Yesterday he was voted by his fellow bishops to be chair of the Committee on International Justice & Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The committee assists the bishops, both collectively and individually, in advancing the social mission of the Church on international justice and peace through policy development, advocacy, education, outreach and acts of ecclesial solidarity. The committee advises the bishops on international public policy issues, especially integral human development, human rights, religious freedom and peace.




November 14, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

What’s next now that the centennial is a fond memory? Catholic Charities is gearing up for its big No Room at the Inn event. This year, it will be Dec. 2-4 at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 6th and Grand. Right now, they’re looking for people who are willing to share their nativities with the hundreds of people who come to see the exhibit. Have your nativity set join more than 300 on display. These include sets from around the world. Last year, there were sets from Ecuador, El Salvador and Africa. Catholic Charities has a team of people dedicated to cataloging and keeping your nativity safe until and throughout the event. For more information, contact Trish at Catholic Charities or call 515-237-5078.




November 11, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Want to see pictures from the succesful diocesan Centennial Celebration this past Sunday? If you're not a fan of the diocesan Facebook page, you're missing out! Join nearly 500 people staying in touch with the latest from the Diocese of Des Moines through Facebook. Check out the many pictures from last Sunday's Centennial Celebration. We've posted photos of the children's programming, the wildly successful Youth Rally at the Polk County Convention Complex and the events at Hy-Vee Hall. Stay on top of news from the diocese by being a fan.




November 10, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Creighton Programs in Ministry

          The Spring 2012 course, “Theology in Ministry” will begin Friday evening January 6 with registration/preliminary session. There will be 6 Saturday sessions from 9 a.m. – 3 :30 p.m.: Jan. 7, Feb. 4, Feb. 25, March 24, April 21 and May 5. The instructor is Dr. Cheryl J. Fournier, D.Min. Scholarships and matching funds are available plus tuition grant for first-time registrants. For information or brochures contact: Office of Evangelization, Adult Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry, Diocese of Des Moines, 601 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309; cfournier@dmdiocese.org; www.dmdiocese.org; 515-237-5006.



November 9, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates and the diocesan Vocations Office is in the midst of visiting all regions of the diocese to hold Andrew Dinners. These are opportunities for young men of the diocese to visit with Bishop Pates in an informal setting for prayer, to hear his and area priests' vocation stories, and to ask questions about what a life as a priest is like. For more information, contact Father David Muenchrath, director of the diocesan Vocations Office or check out the diocesan Vocations website.




November 8, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The religious superiors and bishops of Iowa gathered recently as part of a 40-year tradition to get together once a year and discuss issues pertinent to the ministries of the dioceses and religious communities. The gathering was in Des moines this year in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the diocese.




November 3, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Be a Part of History: Diocesan Centennial

 

Celebration this Sunday, Nov. 6

 
All are invited to be a part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Diocese of Des Moines this Sunday, Nov. 6, at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. Doors open at 9 a.m. and programming begin at 10 a.m.
Adults and children will begin the day at Hy-Vee Hall (Third and Center Streets). Youth, grades 6-12, will begin their day at the Polk County Convention Complex (Grand Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets).
There is easy access to both locations. Free parking is available on the street and in city-owned lots on Sunday. Please note Iowa Events Center parking lots (those associated with Hy-Vee Hall and Veterans Auditorium) will charge $7.
A small parking lot sandwiched between the north side of Veterans Auditorium and Crocker Street can be used by the handicapped. Through the generosity of Mercy Medical Center, a shuttle bus will run from the parking lot to Hy-Vee Hall and back to assist those who cannot make the walk. Parking in this lot will cost $7.
Individuals parking near the Youth Rally at the Polk County Convention Complex are encouraged to use a city garage at Fifth Street and Keo Way (just east of the convention complex on Fifth Street).
Children, youth and adults will come together at Hy-Vee Hall for the afternoon festivities beginning at 2 p.m. No registration is needed. Afternoon activities include Centennial Commendation honors, a video and festive Mass.
A Google map of the Iowa Events Center, which includes Hy-Vee Hall shows an overhead view of the site, surrounding streets and parking lots.
The following link on the Iowa Events Center website provides driving directions.



November 2, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The disabled and elderly are encouraged to use special transportation for this Sunday's Centennial Celebration. A parking lot directly north of Veterans Auditorium and south of Crocker Street is designated for the disabled and elderly. Mercy Medical Center is providing a shuttle service taking people from that parking lot to the Third Street entrance of Hy-Vee Hall for the Centennial Celebration. Thank you to Mercy Medical Center for helping! 




November 1, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

   A collection will be taken during this Sunday's diocesan Centennial Celebration Mass at Hy-Vee Hall for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in El Salvador.

   Bishop Richard Pates has established a relationship with the Diocese of Zacatecaluca in El Salvador. Our diocese now has two Salvadoran priests serving here and a man in the seminary program with the intention of serving our diocese after his ordination to priesthood.

    In addition, we have three parishes that have relationships with parishes in El Salvador. The local parishes are: Assumption in Granger, St. Boniface in Waukee and St. Catherine of Siena in Des Moines.

   During the Centennial Celebration Mass, half of the gifts collected will go to the seminary in the Diocese of Zacatecaluca. The other half will be divided into thirds and sent to the three communities supported by our three parishes.

   Come to the diocesan Centennial Celebration this Sunday at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines and, through your gift during the collection, support Catholics in El Salvador.




October 31, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Iowa Hawkeye Defensive Tackle Dominic Alvis, of the northwest part of our diocese, is among those in the diocesan video "Witnessing to Christ" who share their experiences of trying to live the gospel in every moment. Alvis says at one point after going to college, he realized he could throw up his hands and give up in times of stress, or throw up his hands and ask for God's help. Come to the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration and see the video. Be inspired. No registration is necessary if you're coming for the afternoon activities of honoring parishes, watching the video and being a part of a festive Mass. Afternoon activities begin at 2 p.m. For more information, check out the diocesan website here.
 




October 28, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Premiering at the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration will be a video, "Witnessing to Christ," that features six lay people from across the Diocese of Des Moines talking about what it means to witness to Christ and the challenges of doing it in every moment. Emilio Nieto, of Des Moines, talks about how he found himself going to Mass each weekend and hearing the readings, seeing the consecration, but not really understanding what was happening until he had an awakening to Christ. Wanting to pursue that further, he asked a priest about how he could live what he sees happening at Mass. Emilio has become involved in his church and relies on the values of his faith, such as treating others fairly, in trying to be a witness to the gospel.  Come to the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration and see the video. Be inspired. No registration is necessary if you're coming for the afternoon activities of honoring parishes, watching the video and being a part of a festive Mass. Afternoon activities begin at 2 p.m. For more information, check out the diocesan website here.




October 27, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Casey's General Store President Bob Myers says his faith is reflected in everything he does. Myers is one of six lay people from throughout the diocese featured in a video premiering at the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration called "Witnessing to Christ." In the video, they talk about what it means to witness to Christ and the challenges of doing it in every moment. Bob, who came into full communion with the Church through the RCIA process, says his business and ethical decisions reflect the values of his faith such as respecting others. Come to the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration and see the video. Be inspired. No registration is necessary if you're coming for the afternoon activities of honoring parishes, watching the video and being a part of a festive Mass. Afternoon activities begin at 2 p.m. For more information, check out the diocesan website here.
 




October 26, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Premiering at the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration will be a video, "Witnessing to Christ," that features six lay people from across the Diocese of Des Moines talking about what it means to witness to Christ and the challenges of doing it in every moment. Kathleen Kilnoski, of Council Bluffs, says it was in her college years when she saw her life as being in service to others. Now as a judge, she shares specific examples of how she has been of help to others. Come to the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration and see the video. Be inspired. No registration is necessary if you're coming for the afternoon activities of honoring parishes, watching the video and being a part of a festive Mass. Afternoon activities begin at 2 p.m. For more information, check out the diocesan website here.
 




October 25, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Drake University Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb is among six lay people featured in "Witnessing to Christ," a video premiering at the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration. Focusing on the last step in the evangelization proceess, "Witnessing to Christ" shares the personal experiences of six people in the Diocese of Des Moines who talk about what it means to witness to Christ and the challenges of doing it in every moment. Sandy, of Holy Trinity Parish in Des Moines, takes a unique approach using her skills as an administrator. Come to the Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration at Hy-Vee Hall for the afternoon's video and festive Mass. Be inspired. No registration is necessary if you're coming for the afternoon activities beginning at 2 p.m. For more information, check out the diocesan website here.




October 24, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Premiering at the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration will be a video, "Witnessing to Christ," that features six lay people from across the Diocese of Des Moines talking about what it means to witness to Christ and the challenges of doing it in every moment. Mike Curran, of Chariton, Iowa, is among those featured. With four kids and a large agricultural operation, finding time to serve God can be a struggle. But, Mike says, he's been blessed by God and feels called to give back through stewardship of his time. Come to the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration and see the video. Be inspired. No registration is necessary if you're coming for the afternoon activities of honoring parishes, watching the video and being a part of a festive Mass. Afternoon activities begin at 2 p.m. For more information, check out the diocesan website here.




October 21, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Antonio Banuelos, of St. Ambrose Cathedral parish in Des Moines, will be among those sharing their experiences of Living and Following Christ during the diocese's 100th anniversary celebration Nov. 6 at Hy-Vee Hall. The day's theme is evangelization and the program for the day takes a closer look at the parts of the evangelization process: Awakening in Christ, Living in Christ, Following Christ and Witnessing Christ. Headliner Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis,  will focus on Awakening in Christ. Immediately following will be Antonio, along with Kathy Regan and Ron and Maria Vakulskas Rosmann talking about their perspectives on Living and Following Christ. Don't be left out of this amazing experience as we come together as a diocesan faith community for the Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration. Register here or by calling 515-237-5097.




October 20, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Ron and Maria Vakulskas Rosmann, of Shelby County in the northwest part of our diocese, will be among the speakers sharing their experiences of Living and Following Christ during the diocese's 100th anniversary celebration Nov. 6 at Hy-Vee Hall. With an overarching theme of evangelization, the day's focus will be on the parts of the evangelization process familiar with those who were part of the parish-based On a Journey Together program. Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will deliver the keynote address on Awakening to Christ. The Rosmanns will be among those sharing their thoughts on Living and Following Christ. Let us know you're coming for this once-in-a-lifetime experience by registering here or calling 515-237-5097.




October 19, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Kathy Regan, of St. Patrick Parish in Imogene in the southwest part of our diocese, will be among four people who will speak at the diocese's 100th anniversary celebration following keynoter Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn. Regan, along with Antonio Banuelos and Ron and Maria Vakulskas Rosmann, will talk about the second and third steps in the evangelization proceess: Living and Following Christ. Regan, a certified spiritual adviser, long has been involved with youth ministry and at St. Albert School in Council Bluffs. More recently, she has become more active with Catholic Relief Services, serving as our diocese's ambassador for trade products such as coffee and chocolate. Take a moment and let us know if you're coming to the Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration by following this link or calling 515-237-5097.




October 18, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will be the keynote speaker at the diocesan Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration at Hy-Vee Hall. With an overarching theme of evangelization for the day, Archbishop Flynn will focus on the first step called Awakening to Christ. Those who were part of the five-season On a Journey Together parish-based process will be familiar with the idea of awakening to Christ and his role in our lives. To register for the diocese's 100th anniversary celebration on Nov. 6 please sign up here or call 515-237-5097.




October 16, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

   Catholic Charities USA, among the nation’s largest human services and disaster response networks, hosted leaders from Catholic Charities agencies across the country in Washington, D.C. October 13 -14 for events including a roundtable discussion and a White House policy briefing.  CCUSA is a leading voice in the conversation about how to better serve the millions of Americans living in poverty.

   Local Catholic Charities Executive Director Nancy Galeazzi and Director of Poverty Reduction Sol Varisco were there. 

   On Thursday, Oct. 13, CCUSA held a roundtable discussion at the National Press Club, moderated by The National Journal’s Major Garrett, about the principles needed to reform the safety net in an economically sustainable way that better addresses the needs of individuals. 

    On Friday, Oct. 14th, 160 leaders from Catholic Charities agencies across the country traveled to the White House for a policy briefing to exchange ideas on human services, housing, immigration and the economy.

    White House Director Jon Carson of the Office of Public Engagement said, “Catholic Charities USA is an incredible network of social service organizations that support our neighbors in need. We’re looking forward to having CCUSA leaders from around the country here at the White House for a day of discussion and collaboration as we work towards our shared goals.”

    This meeting comes on the heels of the release of Census bureau data showing historic numbers of Americans living in poverty, CCUSA’s hosting of the first Annual National Poverty Summit in Fort Worth, Texas, and the re-introduction of The National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act, (NOCRA) S. 1565, legislation developed by CCUSA to identify long-term solutions to the nation’s poverty crisis.

    Nancy Galeazzi, executive director of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Des Moines, said, “It is truly an honor to be part of these conversations. Locally, we work with people living in poverty every day and to be able to bring their stories of hardship and struggle into conversations is essential for the development of meaningful solutions.”

 

 

 

   Last year alone, Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa helped more than 25,000 people in central and southwest Iowa. Programs include: Counseling Services, St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter, St. Mary Family Center, Phoenix House Domestic Violence Shelter and Sexual Abuse Program, A New Beginning Adoption & Pregnancy Counseling, Hispanic Community Outreach and Refugee Resettlement. Catholic Charities is a United Way agency.

 




October 5, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The annual, statewide Iowa Institute for Social Action will be this Saturday at St. Patrick Church in Iowa City. The one-day conference, sponsored by all four Iowa dioceses, will focus on how the respect for life and dignity of the human person is a fundamental belief and basis for all of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. The keynote speaker will be Helene Paharik, of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. For more information, or to register, go to www.iowasocialaction.org.




October 4, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A number of churches have held or are planning to hold a pet blessing in celebration of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers lists the following blessing for pets and animals:

O God,

you have done all things wisely;

in your goodness you have made us in your image

and given us care over other living things.

Reach out with your right hand

and gran that these animals may serve our needs

and that your  bounty in the reosurces of this life

may move us to seek more confidently

the goal of eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord,

Amen




October 3, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Life Chain, a prayerful witness for life, was this past Sunday. In Des Moines, folks from many churches lined Merle Hay Road to provide a prayerful witness and encourage life. Catholic churches represented included St. Theresa, Basilica of St. John, St. Anthony, St. Joseph, St. Mary of Nazareth and Holy Trinity.




September 30, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of St. John in honor the Blessed  Pope John Paul II on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 10:30 a.m. The Mass is honoring the late pontiff because he designated St. John Church a basilica. The Mass is also in honor of the Diocese of Des Moines centennial. Bishop Richard Pates will be the celebrant and Father Aquinas Nichols will concelebrate. A potluck will follow in the parish hall.




September 26, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Now is the time to register online for the Iowa Institute for Social Action's upcoming workshop Oct. 8. Featured speaker is Helene Paharik, of the Dioces eof Pittsburgh. She plans to share with attendees a vision of hope of the Church promoting the dignity of the human person as one body united in love. The event will be at St. Patrick Church in Iowa City and its sponsored by all four diocese of Iowa plus the Iowa Catholic Conference. For more information, go to iowasocialaction.org.




September 23, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates shows vestments gifted to him by the bishops and people of Ivory Coast during his recent trip to Africa. He wore them during a Mass of Holy Spirit that Dowling Catholic High School celebrates at the beginning of every school year. Pictured with Bishop Pates are JoJo Jok and Brody Adams.




September 21, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This weekend there will be a special collection for seminarians. All registered parishioners will receive a letter and brochure in the mail from Bishop Richard Pates prior to the collection. Gifts to this collection support the education and formation costs associated with seminarians. You can make gifts at the special collection in your parish or by going online to dmdiocese.org/donate/cfm and selecting the Seminarian Special Collection. Please be generous. Thank you!




September 16, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocesan schools office shares information on a good opportunity. U.S. Cellular's campaign Calling All Communities is giving schools an opportunity to win a top prize of $150,000 or secondary prizes of $50,000. Go to a U.S. Cellular store and get a code, then input it at uscellular.com and vote for your school. No purchase is necessary and you don't have to be a U.S. Cellular customer to vote. Caroll Kuemper Catholic High School and Central Lutheran School each won $100,000 in the past two years. Vote for your Catholic school by Oct. 6.




September 16, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Andrew Dinner scheduled for Sept. 22 in Guthrie Center has been cancelled. To learn more about a variety of upcoming opportunities for discerning one's vocation, check out vocationsonline.com or the latest issue of The Catholic Mirror, which has a calendar of upcoming Vocations events.




September 14, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocesan Campus Ministry program and the St. Joseph Educational Center have invited Dr Peter Kreeft, noted Catholic  author, professor and lecturer, to Des Moines for a number of speaking opportunities this Thursday and Friday. His schedule is as follows:  
 

Thursday September 16:
 
Raising Catholic Kids
7:30 - 8:30 pm (followed by Q & A)
Dowling Catholic High School Auditorium, West Des Moines
Dr.  Kreeft, Boston College Professor of Philosophy, father, grandfather, and author over 60 books, will share from his personal experience an inspiring reflection on how you can raise your kids Catholic in a world sometimes hostile to faith.
 
 
Friday September 16:
In the Heartland with Bishop Pates: Radio Show
10:00- 11:00 am on KWKY Radio (Station 1150 AM)
Dr. Kreeft will be a guest on Bishop Pate’s weekly radio program.  Tune in to 1150 AM KWKY Radio or Spirit Catholic Radio Network at 102.7 FM to hear the interview and discussion.

Diocesan Clergy Q & A with Dr. Peter Kreeft, Friday, September 16
2:00 - 3:00 pm
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center, Des Moines,1150 28th Street, Des Moines, Iowa
This is a special evnt open to the priests, deacons and seminarians of the diocese. Dr Kreeft will hold an hour session to answer your question.  Q & A session is open to all clergy in the Des Moines Diocese.  It is a chance to talk with Dr. Kreeft in a smaller setting. 
 
“The Truth Will Set You Free: Academic Freedom and the Pursuit of Truth”
(Second Annual Newman Lecture)
3:30 - 5:00 pm (reception following)
Drake University, Cowles Library Reading Room
Des Moines
Dr. Kreeft is a member of the Philosophy department at Boston College and a recognized expert in the field of Christian apologetics.  His presentation is titled, “The Truth Will Set You Free: Academic Freedom and the Pursuit of Truth.” We would like to invite college students and especially those who work in higher education as faculty and staff to be a part of this event. A reception will follow the event.
For more information, call (515) 271-4747.
 



September 11, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

               The horror of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 continue to be remembered at Christ the King Parish in Des Moines. On that day 10 years ago, the parish’s pastor, Msgr. Frank Bognanno, was near the U.S. Capitol speaking at a conference to military priests of the East Coast. A bishop stepped out of the room, then returned with a somber look. He told the group one of the Twin Towers had been struck by a plane. The group turned a television on and watched as a second plane struck the second tower. Immediately, the priests celebrated Mass for the terrorists and then the priests who served at the Pentagon and at the U.S. Navy base in Norfolk, Va. rushed back to the people they served. When he returned to Iowa, Msgr. Bognanno was determined that his parish would celebrate a Mass every Tuesday from then on for the conversion of terrorists. He plans to continue that 10-year run of Tuesday afternoon Masses on Sept. 11 with Mass at 5:30 p.m. at Christ the King Church. All are welcome to attend.




September 8, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

January may seem like a long way off, but if you're interested in going to the Youth Rally & Mass for Life as part of the annual pilgrimage to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. this coming January, you need to register before the end of this month! The Diocese of Des Moines is coordinating a youth pilgrimage in conjunction with Iowans for L.I.F.E. It is critical to register by Sept. 29 so the diocesan liaison can order tickets. If you've already made plans to attend the youth rally but haven't contacted the diocesan liaison or your parish youth minister to get tickets, please contact Tessa Schealler, our diocesan liaison for the event, at 515-309-1936 or tessa@stmcenter.com. You can register through Iowans for L.I.F.E. for the trip, but tickets for the Youth Rally (which includes the Mass for Life) at the Verizon Center have to be ordered through Tessa. Tickets are not required for the Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Check out the website for the St. Thomas More Center for registration forms, health forms and more information about signing up for this pilgrimage.




September 6, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

KWKY Catholic Radio 1150 AM is boosting the airtime for "In the Heartland with Bishop Pates," a weekly, hour-long radio show that airs live on Fridays at 10 a.m. on KWKY and Spirit Catholic Radio Network on 102.7 FM out of Omaha. The show is streamed on kvss.com and kwky.com so you can hear it online. Now, the show can be heard multiple times on the radio over weekends. KWKY is replaying the show on Saturdays at noon and four times throughout the day on Sundays: 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

 

The show features co-hosts Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates and theologian Dr. Thomas Neal, director of the St. Joseph Educational Center in West Des Moines. The show begins with Bishop Pates and Dr. Neal sharing their thoughts on current events, then interviewing a newsmaker or person of interest on the topic of the day. In the last 15 minutes, Bishop Pates takes questions. Call 515-223-1150 about 10:45 a.m. on Fridays, or e-mail questions to communications@dmdiocese.org.




August 30, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines has opened up a phone line specifically for registering people attending the Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration at Hy-Vee Hall. Bring your family! Bring some friends! It's not every day our diocese celebrates its' 100th anniversary! You can register online at dmdiocese.org/100 or call the diocese at 515-237-5097 to register. Putting in your registration is critical so the diocese can order enough box lunches and have the appropriate number of chaperones for daycare and children's programming. Register early and mark your calendar now for the diocesan Centennial Celebration on Nov. 6!




August 29, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Today is Bishop's Catholic Charities Golf Classic at Echo Valley Country Club, begining with 11:30 a.m. lunch and 1 p.m. shotgun start. The Church Challenge is back. Which parish do you think will nab the trophy this year?




August 26, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

On Sunday, Bishop Richard Pates will celebrate the Rite of Candidacy for three of our seminarians. They are: Matthew Krastel, of St. Mary of Nazareth in Des Moines; Luis Mejia, of the Diocese of Zacatecoluca, El Salvador; and Andrew Windschitl, of St. Francis of Assisi in West Des Moines. All are invited to the rite, which will be celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines at 11:15 a.m. What does candidacy mean? Those who experience this rite will now move to a time of education and formation in preparation for ordination. The Rite of Candidacy is affirmation that the seminarians have given themselves to the best of their ability to the process of formation. The next major step is ordination to the transitional diaconate prior to ordination to the priesthood.




August 19, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Get a jump on enjoying the Iowa State Fair this Sunday by starting early with Mass on the fairgrounds. Mass will be celebrated on Sunday at 7:15 a.m. in Pioneer Hall.




August 17, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

                The Diocese of Des Moines kicked off online registration  today for the big Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration at Hy-Vee Hall.

“We tried to make the registration process as simple as possible,” said Anne Marie Cox, director of Communications who oversees the website. Anyone who cannot register online is encouraged to call the Diocese of Des Moines at 515-237-5079 so their information can be included on the list of those who are coming.
Registering online is critical to good planning. The diocese is planning a day-long event that includes a box lunch and children’s programming.
“By registering online, we can make a good estimate on how much food we’ll need and provide the appropriate number of chaperones for the children’s activities,” said Jason Kurth, vice chancellor and a key organizer for the event. “The registration forms also tell us how many people may need special services for the hearing-impaired or handicapped accessibility. It is essential that we have this information so we can be inclusive in welcoming all people of the diocese to the Centennial Celebration and provide a safe and entertaining environment for our youth.”
The theme for the November 6 Centennial Celebration is: “A Journey Together Celebrating Evangelization: Past, Present and Future.”
The doors open at Hy-Vee Hall for the November 6 Centennial Celebration at 9 a.m. The program begins about 10 a.m. The program includes keynote speaker Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, along with some small-group faith sharing and individuals sharing their stories of how they witness to the Gospel in their daily lives. A box lunch will be provided and a special appearance will be made by Youth Rally speaker Steve Angrisano. A diocesan Youth Rally will be held concurrently in the morning for 6th-12 grade children at the Polk County Convention Complex. Also in the morning, there will be programs for children Kindergarten-5th grade and daycare for potty-trained children ages 3-5. After lunch, the youth and children will join the adults at Hy-Vee Hall for a video featuring people of the Diocese of Des Moines sharing how they witness to Christ every day. Those who have made significant contributions to the diocese over its first 100 years will be honored, and the day will conclude with a festive Mass.
Please encourage the use of the online registration system at www.dmdiocese.org/100.



August 17, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Teresa Dunbar, a parishioner of Sacred Heart parish in West Des Moines, will be leaving soon for Kenya thanks to Catholic Relief Services. For a long time, Dunbar has wanted to do more for the people of Africa. She now gets her chance with CRS to visit Kenya and get a first-hand look at the needs. Follow her journey through her posts on Facebook and see if she finds a way not only she, but others, can have a role in helping the lives of others. Dunbar is a member of the diocesan CRS Advocacy Team, which is raising awareness of hunger around the world.




August 15, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Bishop Richard Pates encourage pastors and parishioners to support a special collection sometime in September for the people of East Africa, who are experiencing famine as a result of drought. More than 12 million people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are in need of humanitarian assistance to cope with what many are calling the worst drought in decades. "As we move into the season of harvest and thank God for what our land produces here in the heartland, may we keep in mind those who struggle every day for enough food to survive," said Bishop Pates. Your parish may have a special collection for African Famine relief sometime in September or you can make a contribution through the diocesan website. All funds collected will be sent to Catholic Relief Services. CRS has had people assisting East Africa for many years. Staff is there now helping with famine relief.




August 12, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Today, Aug. 12, is the 100th birthday of the Diocese of Des Moines. On this day in 1911, Pope Pius X established our diocese, which had been a part of the Diocese of Davenport and, prior to that, the Archdiocese of Dubuque. We encourage you to take a few moments today and pray our diocesan Centennial prayer.

 

Holy God,

You have filled diocesan hearts with the fire of your love for 100 years.

We know you are present with us now

We trust you will be with us always.

Holy Spirit,

Continue to awaken us so that we may witness to the presence of Jesus,

In this moment and in the years to come.

Lord,

Renew us constantly so that our homes, parishes, communities and world

Are transformed into your kingdom on earth

Where peace and justice reign

Forever and ever

Amen.

Join us as a diocesan community on November 6 at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines for a daylong faith conference and festive Mass capping a year of celebration for the Diocese of Des Moines' 100th anniversary!




August 12, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

If you're looking to get a head start at the Iowa State Fair this weekend, consider going to Mass at the fairgrounds. Mass will be celebrated at Pioneer Hall on Sunday at 7:15 a.m.




August 11, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Tune in to "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" tomorrow at 10 a.m. Bishop Richard Pates will kick off the show with some thoughts on World Youth Day and then visit with Father David Smith and the folks at the Creighton University Retreat Center in Griswold, Iowa. The hour-long show can be heard on KWKY 1150 AM out of Des Moines and Spirit Catholic Radio Network 102.7 FM out of Omaha. Not near a radio? Tune in through the computer at www.kvss.com.




August 8, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

In an effort to help parishes throughout the Diocese of Des Moines promote and register participants for the November 6 Centennial Celebration and Mass we are holding a series of meetings (one in each region) throughout the diocese. At these meetings, the diocese will provide information on the event as well as promotional materials for parishes such as posters, flyers, save-the-date magnets, volunteer opportunities and registration forms. Feel free to attend the meeting that best fits your schedule and location within the diocese. Priests, parish centennial representatives and other parish leadership are invited to attend any of the following meetings:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 30: Corpus Christi Parish (Council Bluffs) Queen of Apostles Great Hall from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug 30: St. Mary’s Parish (Shenandoah) Parish Hall, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 1: Ss. Peter and Paul (Atlantic) Triple Room in Parish Hall, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6:  Holy Spirit Parish Hall (Creston) Parish Hall, 6:45 -7:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 7:  Catholic Pastoral Center (Des Moines) Main Level Lobby, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 8: St. Michael Parish Office Meeting room (Harlan) Rectory Basement, 7-8 p.m.

Contact centennial@dmdiocese.org with any questions.




August 6, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Mark your calendar to attend a Council Bluffs regional celebration of the Catholic community on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. at St. Albert School. In honor of the diocese’s centennial, come to this prayer service and ice cream social with Bishop Richard Pates, Father Paul Monahan and Jesuit Father Bob Dufford. On display will be items from the history of our local Catholic community including stained glass windows, chalices, vestments and more.




August 5, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

We don't want to wait until the next issue of The Catholic Mirror to bring you this story!

 

 

By Patti Brown

 

Her hearing isn’t very good anymore, but when you consider that her ears have heard sounds in three different centuries—since April 4, 1897—she’s got a good excuse.


Despite a walker that she uses to get to the dining room, Dina Manfredini is healthy and strong and, at 114, the oldest member of not just Sacred Heart Parish, or the Diocese of Des Moines, but the oldest person in Iowa.


In fact, Dina is one of 88 supercentenarians—people who are older than 110 in the world -- and right now she is the world’s fourth oldest person and the second oldest person in the United States, according to the Gerontology Research Group’s list of verified living supercentenarians.


Dina was born and raised in Sant’Andrea, a small town in northern Italy, the month the after William McKinley became president of the United States and just a few weeks before Guglielmo Marconi sent the first wireless communication over the open sea. It was still the Victorian age, in fact Queen Victoria was celebrating 50 years on the throne in England. That spring, Pope Leo XIII promulgated his encyclical Divinum Illud Munus, and in September, Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, who became Pope Paul VI, would be born in a nearby village.


She came to America as a bride in 1920 and settled with her husband, Riccardo, in a tiny mining camp on the southwest edge of Des Moines. Riccardo was 15-years older and had come to America first before sending for Dina.


The couple raised four children, Mary, Dante, Rudy and Enes. Today, Enes Logli says she and her siblings walked five miles each way every Saturday to and from the old Sacred Heart Church on 4th Street in Valley Junction for catechism classes. “We lived ‘out in the country’ near 42nd and Park. So we couldn’t always get to Mass on Sunday mornings, but we always got to catechism classes,” said Logli. “My parents lived their faith. They were poor, but we didn’t realize it. We didn’t have electricity back then.”


Dina’s husband worked in the city’s coal mines until hurting his back. Then she went to work to make ends meet. As the nation prepared for World War II, Dina worked at the Des Moines Ordnance Plant in Ankeny where 2 million rounds of ammunition were produced a day. She also worked at Swift cracking eggs that would be turned into powdered eggs for U.S. soldiers. She also cleaned houses until she was 90, lying about her age so people wouldn’t think she was too old to work.


In 1939, Dina and her husband bought a little bungalow on 1st Street in Valley Junction. Riccardo died in 1965 and Dina continued to live there until moving into the Martina Place Assisted Living Residence at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston about four years ago when she was 110. These days, she spends much of her day sleeping.


“She is one of the most amazing people,” said Father Tom DeCarlo, chaplain for the residents of Bishop Drumm. “Her hearing is bad but she responds to Italian and I am able to speak some Italian to her.”


In addition to her four children, three of whom are still living, Dina has seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.
 




August 4, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Your Catholic radio station could use some help. KWKY 1150 AM is in need of a director of sales. Must know Des Moines market and be a community person. Full-time position. Salary, commission, benefits. Call Mike Peters at 515-867-3617




August 3, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Check out the diocesan centennial logo on the front of the first place Fourth of July parade float by St. Pius X Church. For the past 14 years, the parish has had a float in the annual Urbandale parade. Volunteers of all ages helped design, build and decorate the float. Mark your calendar now to attend the Nov. 6 Centennial Celebration at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.




August 2, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Council Bluffs area is planning a regional celebration of the diocese’s 100th anniversary on Sept. 11 at St. Albert High School at 2 p.m. time. The celebration, with a prayer service and ice cream social, will highlight the growth of the Catholic faith in the Counicl Bluffs region as the diocese prepares for the diocesan-wide celebration of its centennial on Nov. 6 in Des Moines.
Father Paul Monahan will be master of ceremonies, which will open with on-screen images and the song “And God Said it was Good” led by composer Jesuit Father bob Dufford. The St. Albert Elementary School choir will sing. Bishop Richard pates will offer reflections and prayers will be offered in both English and Spanish and will be interpreted for the hearing impaired.
Alegent Health Mercy Hospital, a part of the community since 1887, will sponsor an ice cream social. Other sponsors include Oard Ross Drug Inc. (since 1903), Cutler O’Neill Funeral Home (since 1901), McGinn Law Firm (since 1914), Knights of Columbus Council 1045 (since 1905), Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree (since 1906) and St. Joseph Cemetery Association (since 1866).
On display will be various items from the history of the Catholic community of the region, said Mary Lou McGinn, a coordinator of the regional event and member of the diocesan Centennial Steering Committee.
Two stained glass windows from the former Mercy Hospital chapel, belonging to Joan Gubbels, of Corpus Christi Parish, will be there. The windows, 6-feet by 18-inches, were purchased through a St. Albert School auction, Gubbels said.
Telling the story of the faith through artifacts was a popular form of sustaining the faith back during the time of Jesus, she said.
“It tells the story,” she said. “Now, we can all read so we know the story. But art and music were the way to tell the story (years ago).”
Also on display will be a chalice with Bishop Drumm’s name engraved on the bottom. Another chalice dated Sept. 29, 1905, was brought from St. Francis Xavier Parish to Holy Family church when it opened in 1908.
Other items on display will be a Knights of Columbus sword and a St. Joseph Cemetery burial grounds account beginning in 1866, McGinn said.
St. Peter Church has the monstrance and sanctuary lamp from the former St. Francis Church, she said. The parish also has an old host maker with a long handle, she added.
Folks at St. Patrick Parish in Neola found an old set of black vestments with gold thread that had been used for funerals years ago, McGinn said.
Anyone with an item for the exhibit may contact Diane McKee at dsuemckee@cox.net or call 712-309-2341 before Aug. 15. Items that are easily viewed, rather than books, are encouraged.
The Council Bluffs region includes the parishes of Council Bluffs – St. Patrick St. Peter and Corpus Christi – plus St. Patrick in Neola, St. Columbanus in Weston and Holy Rosary in Glenwood.
 




August 1, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Holy Family School in Des Moines is beginning classes today, Aug. 1, as it launches a continuous learning calendar. Holy Family is the first Catholic school in Iowa to take this innovative approach to education. The school will no longer use the traditional nine-month calendar with a three-month summer break. Rather, the school will offer continuous classroom education with one six-week break and a few more breaks of shorter duration.
 

The school’s decision to move to a continuous learning calendar was made to boost academic performance, said Principal Martin Flaherty. Studies show students lose some of what they learned during the three-month summer break and teachers spend time going over that material when students return to school.
 

“With this continuous learning calendar, the breaks between education sessions seem to be timed well for both the teachers and students in that they are long enough to be rejuvenating, but not too long to lose educational ground,” Flaherty said. “All of our research points us to the same conclusion: adopting a continuous learning calendar would benefit our kids. It’s the right thing to do.”
 

The change comes after much research and consultation with parents, more than 90 percent of whom support the decision. Principal Flaherty held meetings with parents, and conducted and anonymous survey of parents (offered in Spanish, Arabic and English) to gauge their support.
 

“I can’t believe how smoothly everything has gone,” said diocesan Schools Superintendent Dr. Luvern Gubbels. “Their enrollment has steadily increased this year. Word about the quality of what’s going on here is getting around.”
 

In addition to getting support from parents, there had to be support from teachers to make the move a success. Holy Family’s teachers spent time interviewing educators at Capitol View Elementary School, a Des Moines public school in physical proximity to Holy Family, which has adopted a continuous learning calendar. They returned encouraged and anxious to go to a continuous learning calendar at Holy Family.
 

Research was done to determine the success in other schools like Holy Family. “We looked at a lot of different studies from professional educators,” said Father John Bertogli, canonical administrator of the school. “When inner-city schools with vast cultural diversity moved to continuous learning calendars, they saw the academic structures strengthened. There’s a greater sense of consistency and integrity in the programs.”
 

In connection with this calendar change, Holy Family School Inner-City Youth Foundation is in the midst of building a $200,000 endowment that will fund programming during the school breaks that more closely reflects the learning camps that many other children experience during the traditional summer break. Mary and R.W. Nelson, founders of Kemin Industries, have pledged to match $1 for every $3 given to the foundation.
 

Many children have opportunities to continue their education through summer camps offered by libraries, museums and the like, said Father Bertogli. “Our kids have very limited opportunities,” he said.


Holy Family School is a gem in the city. It has a diverse student population and has support from friends of the school who appreciate the education approach and diversity at the school. The school is close to its 245-student capacity, with an enrollment of 242 and a waiting list for the next school year.
 




July 28, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Please keep Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Holy Father's representative in the United States, in your prayers. He passed away yesterday at age 73. Below is an obituary provided by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 

Archbishop Sambi remembered as friend of the United States

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital July 27. He was 73. Staff at the nunciature, his residence in Washington, on July 22 asked for prayers of the Catholic community for him.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Archbishop Sambi was a friend of the United States.
“As the personal representative of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Sambi enjoyed the highest respect and deepest affection of the bishops of the United States and of our Catholic people,” Archbishop Dolan said in a July 28 statement.
Archbishop Sambi was appointed U.S. nuncio, or ambassador, in December 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to the U.S. appointment, Pope John Paul II had named him nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine in 1998. The appointment made him only the second Vatican ambassador to Israel, after the Vatican and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1994.
Archbishop Sambi was a native of central Italy and was ordained a priest in 1964. He was named an archbishop and nuncio to Burundi in 1985, a position he held for six years until being named nuncio to Indonesia.
During Pope Benedict’s April 2008 visit to the United States, Archbishop Sambi accompanied the pope and hosted him at the nunciature, where the pope held a historic private meeting with five victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Before the pope’s arrival, the archbishop said Pope Benedict was coming to “strengthen the faith, the hope and love of the Catholic Church in the United States,” adding that he hoped the pope’s visit would “bring a new wind of Pentecost … a new springtime” to the U.S. church.
Archbishop Sambi recognized the global role of the United States and the U.S. church and told the bishops in 2006 an anecdote from his time as Vatican representative to Indonesia. He recalled a Christmas he spent in a remote village in Indonesia where in street shops, he said, “I found Coca-Cola and Marlboros.”
“I think the United States and the church of the United States has something more to bring to the world than Marlboros and Coca-Cola,” he told the bishops.
Shortly after being named U.S. nuncio, Archbishop Sambi told Catholic News Service, the official news service of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, of the reach of the church in the United States.
“I travel a lot throughout the world. It is difficult to find a part of the world where the charity of U.S. Catholics did not reach the poor or sick people,” he said.
Archbishop Sambi received many honors, including an honorary doctorate in public and ecclesial service, May 8, from Regis University in Denver. In 2009, he received the Living Stones Solidarity Award, which honors those who have made “a sustained and extraordinary effort to love, support and stand in solidarity with the Christians in the Holy Land.” It is bestowed by the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation.
Last September he was the principal celebrant of a Mass marking the 13th anniversary of the death of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, which coincided with the U.S. Postal Service’s issuance of a stamp bearing her likeness.
“This stamp looks almost like a holy card. I pray it may serve in some small way as a reminder of Mother Teresa,” Archbishop Sambi said. “May Jesus stamp upon our hearts the same spirit as Mother’s to love God, the church and the poorest of the poor more than ourselves.”
At a 10th anniversary observance in 2009 of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification signed by Catholics and Lutherans, Archbishop Sambi told a Washington audience that today’s disciples of Jesus, like the first disciples, should be recognized by how they love each other and, guided by Jesus, they should walk together in a spirit of unity, mutual respect and brotherhood.
“Each act of unity is a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus,” said the archbishop.
At the 2007 convention of the National Catholic Educational Association, he called teachers “the greatest artists of the world … because you sculpt the best of what you are, not in a piece of marble but in human beings who are the glory of God.”
“Each of us has forgotten a lot of what we were told in school,” he added, “but a lot of what’s inside is from the example of teachers.”
Archbishop Sambi had not yet been appointed to the U.S. until when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, but a year after the storm, he took what locals call a “misery tour” of New Orleans. It was only then, he said, he realized the extent of the damage. “You cannot measure the extent of it until you come on the spot,” he said.
#####
 




July 25, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Jim Roths and Father Larry Hoffmann, of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Ankeny, pause near Griswold on day one of RAGBRAI. They and several others comprise team "Seats of Wisdom," the team riding in celebration of the diocese's 100th anniversary. Members of the team will be on Bishop Pates' radio show this Friday. In the Heartland With Bishop Pates airs at 10 a.m. on KWKY 1150 AM/Des Moines and Spirit Catholic Radio Network 102.7 FM/Omaha.




July 21, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates received a "thank you" letter from Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, for our diocese's gift of $49,250 for the people of Japan recovering from a massive earthquake.

 

Hackett wrote: "Please accept my deepest appreciation to the people in the Diocese of Des Moines for your generous contribution and heartfelt concern for the people of Japan. Your support allows Catholic Relief Services to bring help and hope to those devastated by natural disasters. Bishop Isao Kikuchi, the president of Caritas Japan, was overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from around the globe. Bishop Kikuchi extends his most heartfelt gratitude 'to all the good people who showed their willingness to support Japan during the time of this disaster with prayers, messages and donations. A tremendous number of emails we received in our office in Tokyo reminded us that we are not living in solitude, but solidarity.' "




July 18, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Check out this press release issued by the folks who handle the Saint John's Bible. It's about our touring print exhibit that's going on in celebration of our diocese's 100th anniversary. It also talks about our fine-art exhibit held earlier this year, also in celebration of our centennial.




July 14, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

On Friday's edition of "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" you'll hear Bishop and Tom Chapman, executive director of the Iowa Catholic Conference, talk about what happened and what didn't happen during this most recent legislative session. Tune in to KWKY 1150 AM out of Des Moines or Spirit Catholic Radio Network 102.7 FM out of Omaha/Council Bluffs. The show will be repeated on Saturdays at noon on KWKY.




July 14, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

We’re doing a new edition of the Teaching Mass, one which will focus on the new texts. It will be video recorded at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Parish in Ankeny this Monday night, July 18, from 6-9 pm. Everyone is invited to attend the taping. Our goal is to get four 20-minute segments that will be available to parishes in DVD and online formats: Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rites. People who come to the taping will experience Msgr. Steve Orr and liturgical ministers from Our Lady's Immaculate Heart doing many of the movements for Mass. We’ll do the liturgical components for each segment, then Father Steve will give words of explanation. In the editing process, Father Steve’s explanation will be used as a voice-over to the liturgical texts and actions. Come to the taping Monday night at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Church in Ankeny!




July 13, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Iowa State Fair begins in less than a month. If you're planning an early start on the Sundays of the fair, know that Mass will be celebrated on the fairgrounds. The schedule is for Mass to be celebrated at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday Aug. 14 and Sunday Aug. 21 at Pioneer Hall.




July 6, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines is gearing up for a big celebration Nov. 6 at the Iowa Events Center/Hy-Vee Hall and needs your voice. If you'd like to be a part of the 200-plus choir we're creating for this spectacular event, contact the diocesan Office of Worship at worship@dmdiocese.org. The director will be Jim Cacciatore, assistant director of vocal music at Ankeny High School. There will be one rehearsal in late October in Atlantic for all singers and  a dress rehearsal in Des Moines on Nov. 5 for all singers.




July 5, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Sister Joelle Mauer is celebrating her 60th jubilee as a member of the Holy Cross religious community. Sister ministered as director of liturgy and music from 1984-1994 at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Originally from Wisconsin, she served as director of vocations for the Holy Cross Sisters, worked more than 20 years in religious education and parish music, established and served in the Office of Worship in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, La. and was senior housing facility director and coordinator of the senior Holy Cross sisters at Bell Tower Residence in Wisconsin. She currently works with the poor in Owensboro, Kentucky.




June 30, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates has released a video about Marriage-Building Parishes, a new iniative of the Diocese of Des Moines. Check out what he has to say. In addition to his remarks, hear some thoughts from Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop Sam Jacobs, Bishop Daniel Conlon and more about what the Catholic Church teaches about marriage. After watching this 10-minute video, look at what our diocese has to offer on its website regarding marriage: upcoming workshops, outreach by the Marriage Ministry office and more.




June 28, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Fairway Fathers, held June 20 at Blank Golf Course in Des Moines, was a success. Thank you to the countless individuals and groups, sponsors and volunteers, who offered many hours to help us continue the annual tradition. Fairway Fathers is an opportunity for young men who are considering a vocation to the priesthood to spend time golfing and talking with our diocesan priests about how and why they answered the call to be a priest. The event offers the young men some time to ask questions they may have and for priests to share what it's like being a priest. For more information about a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, check out our diocesan website on vocations.




June 16, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

More and more parishes are becoming adept at using ParishSoft software. In fact, the software company is running a contest of parishes that are sharing their success stories. Among them is our very own St. Mary Parish in Red Oak. Check out this link in which they share their success story of  using ParishSoft and then vote. St. Mary's is so very close to winning and the price is an iPad2. Help our parish be well represented!




June 10, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This Sunday, Father Wayne Gubbels will be celebrating his 40th anniversary of ordination. Father Gubbels will celebrate with Mass at St. Patrick Church in Audubon at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday with an open house at the parish center following Mass. Father Gubbels serves as pastor of two parishes in the north central part of our diocese: Holy Trinity in Exira and St. Patrick in Audubon.




June 9, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Humility Sister Marie Finnegan, 86, died Wednesday at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston. She served the Diocese of Des Moines as an educator in Dunlap and Stuart, as a teacher at St. Anthony and Christ the King Schools in Des Moines and as principal of St. Joseph School in Des Moines. Today, Thursday, rosary will be at 4 p.m. and vigil service at 7 p.m. at the Bishop Drumm Our Lady of Peace Chapel in Johnston. Tomorrow, Friday, visitation will be at Humility of Mary Center, Magnificat Chapel in Davenport with rosary at 4 p.m. and vigil service at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass is Saturday, June 11 at 11 a.m. at the Humility of Mary Center in Davenport.

 




June 8, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Our Catholic Charities Disaster Response Team is monitoring the predicted flooding situation in western Iowa. In particular, counties in our diocese that anticipate significant impact include Pottawattamie, Mills and Fremont. Watch Catholic Charities' website for information on the need for donations and volunteers. Catholic Charities has set up an online means of donating to help those who will experience a major impact from the rising Missouri River.

 

In the event of a local, regional, or national disaster, the Catholic Charities Emergency/Disaster Response Program mobilizes the agency's services and resources and works in partnership with parishes to respond at the local level. The agency's efforts are also coordinated with those of other service providers in the government, not-for-profit, and healthcare sectors. This program may additionally provide assistance with, and information for, long term relief, such as support services and financial assistance.




June 4, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates ordained Father Guthrie Dolan to the priesthood Friday evening at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Click here to see some photos, or go to the Diocese of Des Moines Facebook site to see a gallery of photos. Click here to read the homily. Father Dolan will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving:

  • Saturday, June 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines
  • Saturday, June 4 at 5:30 p.m. at All Saints Church in Stuart
  • Sunday, June 5 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Church in Des Moines.



June 3, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Deacon Guthrie Dolan will be ordained a priest today, June 3, at 7 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral. A reception will follow at the Catholic Pastoral Center. Deacon Dolan was ordained to the transitional diaconate at St. Joseph Church, his home parish, last November. He graduated from at St. Mary of the Lake—Mundelein University seminary last month.




May 27, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Three of our priests will be celebrating major anniversaries of their ordination to priesthood this Sunday. Father Ken Gross, of St. Mary Parish in Red Oak and St. Patrick Parish in Imogene, will celebrate his 40th anniversary with a 3 p.m. Mass in Red Oak. Fahter Larry Hoffmann, of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Ankeny, will celebrate his 40th anniversary as a priest at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Parish in Ankeny at 5 p.m. Fahter James Polich, of St. Augustin Parish in Des Moines, will celebrate his 40th anniversary as a priest with a reception after Masses this weekend and evening prayer at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

 

Last weekend, Father Bob Aubrey celebrated his 40th anniversary of ordination. He will celebrate that plus his upcoming retirement on June 5 at White Oak Vineyards in Elkhart.

 

Father Michael Berner, of St. Anne Parish in Logan and St. Patrick Parish in Missouri Valley, celebrated the 25th anniversary of his priesthood earlier this month.




May 26, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates would like to pass along to you an invitation to an open house Sunday, June 5 for the new Informed Choices Medical Clinic, a Des Moines metro area pro-life clinic at 1355 50th St., Suite 400, in West Des Moines. The open house is from 1-7 p.m. Bishop Pates will be there at 6 p.m. The clinic expects to have a four-dimensional ultrasound machine and offer basic medical care such as pregnancy testing/counseling, post-abortive counseling, blood work, STD testing, early prenatal care, referrals to pro-life physicians and support for those who wish to place their children for adoption. For more information, contact Jenny Condon, clinic director, at 515-440-CARE (2273) or email jenny@choicesclinic.com.




May 21, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The May issue of The Catholic Mirror should be in mailboxes this weekend. Read about:

  • who went to Rome for the beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • which priests were reassigned to which parishes
  • the name of our newest parish
  • first-person accounts from our newest priests: one who will serve in the diocesan priesthood and one who chose to be ordained for a religious community
  • the just-announced fifth season for the On a Journey Together Program.



May 20, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Congratulations to all of our graduates in public and Catholic schools! St. Albert seniors graduated last Sunday and Dowling Catholic High School seniors graduate today!




May 19, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

U.S. bishops release John Jay College study on causes and context

Yesterday, May 18, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released the John Jay College of Criminal Justice study on the causes and context of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The major conclusions of this study can be summarized rather succinctly:

  • There is no single “cause” of sexual abuse by priests.
  • Most cases of abuse occurred in the period of 1965-1985, and most current reports are of abuse that took place more than 25 years ago. The chief trend that emerged was the rise of abuse incidents in the 1960s and 1970s and the sharp decline in the mid-1980s.
  • The best way to protect children from abuse is to create safe environments where appropriate boundaries between adults and children are maintained.
  • Sexual abuse of minors is a human problem that all of society must always guard against.
  • The Diocese of Des Moines has established a safe environment program required by The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This program provides for background evaluations for employees and volunteers who have regular contact with children as well as safe environment training through the Virtus program. Nearly 11,000 individuals in the Diocese of Des Moines have been trained since the program was established. Another significant component of the program is the screening of candidates for the seminary as well as the education program provided in this regard during their seminary formation.


Procedures are in place through which the diocese responds promptly to any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. A Victim Assistance Advocate and an Allegation Review Committee are appointed to support the process. The diocese has reported allegations of sexual abuse of a minor to public authorities and cooperated with any investigation by law enforcement officials.


All of these procedures are annually audited by a firm retained by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Once every three years the audit is conducted onsite here in the diocese.


“We have been pleased that each annual audit has found the Diocese of Des Moines in compliance with the requirements of the charter,” said Bishop Richard Pates. “I am most grateful to our priests, deacons, staff and volunteers for their commitment to our diocesan program and for all they do to provide a safe environment for all of God’s children.”


The full John Jay College of Criminal Justice study entitled The Causes and Concerns of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States can be accessed here.




May 18, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A Des Moines child psychiatrist became the youngest member of the Sisters of Humility recently when she professed her final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Sister Lynn Mousel, who had worked at Orchard Place in Des Moines, is moving to Great Falls, Montana, where she'll live with her religious community and work as a psychiatrist at an organization with outpatient and group home services. Listen to this video of Sister Lynn talk about her calling and her journey toward religious life.




May 17, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Spanish Immersion program at St. Anthony School in Des Moines is accepting registrations for its 2011 kindergarten class. After a successful first year, the program will be expanded so that this year’s kindergarteners will continue as first graders next year while the program enrolls a new set of kindergarteners in the fall of 2011. The program is open to all students. If you are interested in learning more about the Spanish Immersion program, contact Principal Dr. Joe Cordaro at 515-243-1874 or visit www.stanthonydsm.org.




May 16, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Season 4, Witnessing to Christ, has completed in our parishes. Thank you to all who have been a part of this process of renewal. Your participation has been part of our spiritual preparation for our Centennial Celebration which will be held on Nov. 6 at Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines. The day will be another opportunity for us to be renewed in spirit as we celebrate the love of God in each of us and in our diocese. Please plan to join in the grand celebration.
This fall, we will have another opportunity to gather in small groups as we prepare for the Nov. 6 event. Companions on the Journey, the fifth book will be available in September. The booklet will look at some of the people who have helped to shape who we are as the People of God in Southwest Iowa. It will allow us to glimpse their faith and action and see how that faith continues to inspire and call us to live our baptismal commitment today.
More information will be coming soon. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Cheryl Fournier at cfournier@dmdiocese.org or by calling 515-237-5006.
 




May 13, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Dominican Friar Dominic Patrick "P.J." McManus will be ordained to the priesthood tomorrow at St. Pius V Church in St. Louis, Mo. by Bishop John R. Gaydos, Jefferson City, Mo. Brother Dominic, born in Des Moines and a former parishioner of St. Theresa Parish, is one of two children of Patrick and Virgene McManus. After graduating in 2001 from Dowling High School in West Des Moines, he attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and was awarded a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, English and Catholic Studies.  Brother Dominic entered the Order of Preachers in August of 2006, taking religious vows at St. Dominic Priory in Denver, Colo. From 2006-2011, Brother Dominic has pursued theological studies at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis.

 

Following ordination to the priesthood, Friar Dominic will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on May 21 at 10 a.m. at St. Theresa Parish in Des Moines. After his ordination, Dominic will pursue graduate studies with the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo in Rome, Italy.

 

Aquinas Institute of Theology is a St. Louis-based Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry sponsored by the Dominican Order. Impelled by the Catholic faith and the Dominican mission, Aquinas Institute of Theology educates men and women to preach, to teach, to minister and to lead.

 




May 12, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines continues to enjoy a partnership with the University of Dayton, a Catholic university sponsored by the Marianists, a community of brothers and priests. The University's Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) offers people in the diocese the opportunity to continue to grow in knowledge of our faith through the participation in on-line courses which last 5 weeks. Because we partner with the university, tuition for each non-credit course is $40.
The next cycle, which begins June 19, will have a good number of courses available. Registration is now open and will remain open through June 15. For more information please visit the VLCFF website at http://vlc.udayton.edu or contact Dr. Cheryl Fournier at cfournier@dmdiocese.org or by calling 515-237-5006
 




May 11, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop names diocese’s newest parish Corpus Christi

 

Bishop Richard Pates named the diocese's newest parish in the Council Bluffs area Corpus Christi, which means Body of Christ. Effective July 1, the parishes of Queen of Apostles, Holy Family and Our Lady of Carter Lake will merge to create the new Corpus Christi Parish with three worship sites.   Each site will continue to be identified by its present name.


“The name Corpus Christi was chosen because it means Body of Christ,” said Bishop Pates. “The name speaks to who we are as formed by the Eucharist, what we do, how we live out our identity as the Body of Christ, and what we desire to continue to grow into. The name itself is unifying and at the same time dynamic.”


The name Corpus Christi was suggested by a number of people from the 3 parishes. Deacon Bob McClellan, one of those who recommended the name, said it In “will lend itself to ongoing catechesis as we expound to current parish members and educate future members about who we are as a community of believers in Christ. The name Corpus Christi will continue to proclaim to the wider community our great love of Christ, his sacrifice and his call for us to become his hands, feet and mouth here on earth.”


Father Dan Kirby, pastor of the three parishes that will merge, invited people in March to send him their suggestions for a name of the new parish.

 

Queen of Apostles, Holy Family and Our Lady of Carter Lake have been working closely since June, 2002. Each parish maintained its autonomy while collaborating on joint ministries and activities with success. Recently, the tri-parish Visioning Council approached Bishop Pates for direction. Discussion began last June, and Bishop Pates affirmed moving in the direction of forming one new parish with three worship sites.


With the three faith communities coming together to form one parish, the pastor will have one Finance Council and one Pastoral Council and a consolidation of administrative duties for him and his staff.
Effective July 1, the diocese will have 81 parishes in 23 counties in central and southwest Iowa.
 




May 10, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The diocese’s Victim Assistance Advocate is Mary McCoy, a staff member at Polk County Victim Services. She helps victims of sexual abuse of minors by clergy through a complaint process and in seeking support and counseling services. She can be reached at 515-286-2024 or advocate@dmdiocese.org.




May 9, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Pates would like to identify all of our parishioners who will be turning 100 during the diocesan centennial year. If you know of someone, please send their name and parish to communications@dmdiocese.org.




May 6, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This past weekend, Bishop Pates presided at the graduation of students from Mercy College of Heatlh Sciences. As part of the ceremony, Bishop blessed the hands of the future health care workers for their ministry in healing.




May 5, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Tune in this Friday to Bishop Pates' radio show "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" to find out the name of the diocese's newest parish. It was announced in March that three Council Bluffs-area parishes would merge to create one new parish with three worship sites. The parishes that are merging are Queen of Apostles, Holy Family and Our Lady of Carter Lake. They have worked collaboratively since 2002 on various ministries and efforts, yet as separate parishes they continue to each have their own Pastoral Council and Finance Council. By becoming one parish, the three communities will have one Pastoral Council, one Finance Council and consolidate administrative duties for staff and the pastor. Find out the name of the newest parish on Friday by listening to KWKY 1150 AM out of Des Moines or Spirit Catholic Radio 102.7 FM out of Omaha. Can't listen? Go to www.kwky.com or www.kvss.com or tune in on Saturday when the show will be replayed at noon on KWKY 1150 AM.




May 4, 2011
Written By: Anne Marie Cox