Volume XIII Issue IIII January 29, 2024

 Dear Erin,            

Year of Prayer in Preparation for the Jubilee Year of 2025

Pope Francis, rather quietly, has called for a Year of Prayer that will prepare us for the next Jubilee Year in 2025. The official announcement came during the Angelus on January 21, 2024, but the year officially began during Advent.

The practice of celebrating a jubilee year has biblical roots, especially in the Book of Leviticus. Accordingly, a jubilee year was celebrated every 50 years, and it was a time for forgiveness, newness, hope, and liberation from burdens. Debts were forgiven.

Further reading on Jubilee in Scripture

This Year of Prayer is to be focused on the great value and need for prayer in our personal lives. While there will be no special initiatives during this preparation year, the Dicastery for Evangelization will be providing resources to dioceses throughout the year. They will post on the USCCB website.

USCCB Year of Prayer explained

Deacon Matt Halbach returns to DOSA

Deacon Matt Halbach, senior catechetical consultant for Sadlier and director of deacon formation for the Diocese of Des Moines, will be in DOSA for a week in March. He will be providing a series of workshops on family catechesis, including addressing the catechetical leaders at their March 12th gathering, addressing clergy, and providing a workshop for families. He will finish the week providing the Ministry Formation annual retreat.

Registrations for these first three (free) events will open soon.

Looking for a couple of host sites.

Dcn Matt is being sponsored by Sadlier Religion Publishers

The informational Zoom sessions in preparation for the 3 Rites of Election will be held:

Tuesday, January 30 at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, January 31 at 10:00 am

Links have been sent via email to the email address of the person who submitted your registration form. Others may also attend. The links will be emailed again this week. If you did not receive the first email, please contact Erin at Erin's Email

While there is no need to register, a representative from each parish who registered people is required.

Also, we sent a typed list of your catechumens and candidates to the coordinator of record. Any corrections from what was submitted regarding spelling and accent marks are due by back Wednesday of this week at the latest. We will be contacting several locations who did not provide pronunciation of the more challenging names.

Confirmation with Youth in DOSA

Some reminders and best practices:

Administering Confirmation to Youth in DOSA

Administering Confirmation to Youth (Spanish)

Both Bishop Pohlmeier and Bishop Estévez will be confirming this year, so please make sure you are aware and preparing appropriately for each.

Letters to the confirming Bishop are expected to be in his hands 3 weeks prior. They are to be typed.

Prior to the celebration, the youth should be gathered and calmed in a space outside of the main body of the church.

Also, many members of their families are not familiar with being in church, so providing something like the Eucharistic Revival Sacred Silence pages might help these folks to more fully prepare for this sacred moment. These are below and the OCF has copies in the office.

Sacred Silence pew card (English)

Sacred Silence pew card (Spanish)

If there are to be pictures in church with either Bishop, you should have at least one person whose only role is to make this run smoothly and reverently.

16th Annual Summer School of Theology

June 17-21, 2024

Dr. Joshua McManaway

McGrath Institute for Church Life

He has Spoken to Us through a Son:

Christology, Salvation, Revelation

Ministry Formation Program information sessions for the Class of 2027

The Diocesan Ministry Formation Program (MFP) is frequently called the best kept secret in the diocese. Now in its 32nd year, it should not be. In October 1990, Bishop John J. Snyder tasked some local leaders to create a program that would help the laity to live out their baptismal call to evangelize. He wanted this program to focus not only on theological background, but also on the development of pastoral application, leadership skills, and personal spiritual growth. One can expect from the MFP:

●Three years of comprehensive growth in theological topics, human development, pastoral skills, and spiritual formation through classes, group study, skills workshops, prayer experiences, and retreats.

We are hosting 5 information sessions across the diocese to share more information and practical steps:

Monday, January 29  Catholic Center 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Monday, February 5  St. Matthew Parish 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Sunday, March 3 Queen of Peace Parish following 10:00 am Mass

Monday, March 11 St. Catherine of Siena Parish 6:30 -8:00 pm

Monday, March 18 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish  6:30 – 8:00 pm

An RSVP is nice, but not a requirement: Lauren's Email

Certification Update (s)

Updated Certification Policy for DOSA

Bishop Pohlmeier has approved updates to the certification policy for the diocese. These are effective on February 1, 2024. Most of the changes are updates based on what has been provided for us in the Directory for Catechesis. Other updates are further clarifications on what is expected for people to teach in the name of the Church. Each department head will discuss these updates at their respective next gathering of their leaders.

Certification Policy

Basic Certification

We are pleased to announce the time and location for the annual "Catholic School Special. Registration has opened. (early, but to get people thinking about their new hires)

June 10 -13, 2024

San Juan de Rio Parish Hall, upstairs meeting room hosted by San Juan del Rio School

Monday, June 10, 2024 Faith Development and Catechetical/Legal

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 Role of the Catechist and Practical Skills

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 Scripture and Church

Thursday, June 13, 2024 Liturgy/Sacraments and Basic Beliefs

Jotform to register

We will be offering a few "pop up sessions" during the spring. If you have a teacher/catechist who needs one or two classes to finish, please email me at Erin's Email

Resources for Lent to get you started thinking...


Daily Reflections during Lent from Bishop Barron, also sign up for his free daily Lenten reflections

Catholic Apostolate Center: incredible collection of free online videos, clips, and other resources. Available in Espanol. Some Young adult content.

Creighton University Online Ministriesbulletin flyers, free downloadable Stations of the Cross, online retreats...

CRS: How to Practice Lent: videos, recipes, corporal and spiritual works of mercy

Hallow complete Guide to Lent for Catholics fully updated for 2024

40 ideas for Lent (Sr. Janet Schaeffler, O.P.

USCCB Resources for Lent 2024 (available in Spanish and English)

Youth and Families

Catholic Icing: Lenten Activities for Children

Diocese of Des Moines "Living Lent"

Loyola Press: Stations of the Cross for Children and Youthvideos, reflections, activities

Loyola Cycle B resources for Lent

40 ideas for 40 days for families (Joe Paprocki)

Sadlier Lenten Resources: All available in Spanish and English: for classrooms and for families

Continuing Formation

(Level III Opportunities)

Bishop Stowe to speak at Flagler College

Dr. Timothy Johnson, the Craig and Audrey Thorn Distinguished Professor of Religion at Flagler College has extended a special invitation to members of the Diocese of St. Augustine for the upcoming USDIN Judeo-Christian Lecture Series on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at Flagler College (the Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center), 50 Sevilla, St. Augustine. The guest speaker is Bishop John Stowe who will share his insights on Pope Francis's Vision for the Catholic Church. Bishop Stowe was appointed the bishop of the Diocese of Lexington in 2015 after completing his education in philosophy, history, divinity and church history. Attendees can look forward to a thought-provoking lecture. All are welcome to attend this free event.

Unlocking the Importance of Understanding Theology of the Body

Presented by Laura Domanico

Wednesday, January 31 at 4 p.m. EST

Join Laura Domanico for a FREE webinar, Unlocking the Importance of Understanding Theology of the Body, where she will discuss:

  • The essential value of Theology of the Body and how understanding it empowers teachers to guide students in moral and ethical development.
  • How educators well-versed in Theology of the Body contribute to positive learning environments by fostering authentic love and mutual respect, thus enhancing the quality of student relationships
  • Ways in which Theology of the Body aids teachers in helping students navigate various complex questions

Go to this Webinar

Conversations that Matter: The Eucharist and Catholic Social Teaching

The Eucharist and Catholic Social Teaching

Webinar discussion on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 | 3 - 4:15 p.m.

In 2022, the USCCB announced plans for the Eucharistic Revival, which will culminate in a pilgrimage later this summer when Catholics from around the country will gather in Indianapolis for a Eucharistic Congress. In light of the upcoming Congress, the effects or fruits of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist call for deeper discussion. In the words of Pope Benedict, “A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented” (Deus Caritas Est, §14), and the Catechism of the Catholic Church states “the Eucharist commits us to the poor” (CCC, n. 1397). Our speakers will explore this intrinsic connection between the Eucharist and Catholic Social Teaching, especially as it concerns the poor. Join us as we ask how, why, and in what ways does the Eucharist commit us to the poor.


Jennifer Newsome Martin, Ph.D., is a Catholic systematic theologian with expertise in the thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Holding a joint appointment in the Program of Liberal Studies and the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, she will begin in July 2024 as the Director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.

William T. Cavanaugh, Ph.D., is Professor of Catholic Studies and Director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University. His degrees are from the universities of Notre Dame, Cambridge, and Duke. He is editor of eight books and author of nine more, including, most recently,

Emmanuel Katongole, Ph.D., earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Catholic University of Louvain, undergraduate degrees in philosophy and in theology (Urbaniana, Rome) and a diploma in theology and religious studies from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Katongole, a Catholic priest ordained by the Archdiocese of Kampala, is a professor in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies with a joint appointment in Theology & Peace Studies.

Link to register

The Spirit of Mentoring Ministry Helpers

M. Donna MacLeod

February 6th 3:00 PM

Jesus could have done the sacred work of the Father without seeking others to join his efforts but he chose to have helpers. Whether you offer Seasons of Hope Catholic grief support or lead other ministries, join M. Donna MacLeod, a seasoned team developer, bereavement ministry specialist, and author, to explore how to guide, support, and inspire helpers to bring the Lord’s compassion and joy to all they do in ministry. Using examples from Seasons of Hope that put Jesus’ soulful model of leadership into action, we’ll offer insights on what it takes to be the best mentor you can be and consider ways to turn the challenges of mentoring into opportunities for spiritual growth.

Go to this webinar

Catechesis on Prayer &

Prayer Practices

John Michael Reyes

Tuesdays February 6 & 13


Leadership Skills & Practices

for Catechetical Leaders

Dr. Dan Ebener

Thursdays March 7 & March14


Building Intercultural Competence in Catechetical Ministry

Sr. Ruth Bolarte, D.Min.

Thursdays April 11 & 18 


Inviting, Forming, and Supporting Parish Catechists

Jayne Mondoy

Tuesdays May 7 & May 14


Tuition for each course is $50. Link to register for these: NCCL Courses

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