The Diocese of Des Moines


NEW FLSA Job Descriptions for Diocese of Des Moines Catechetical Leaders

Bishop Pates has made the decision that we will be able to use the “Ministerial Exemption” to cover positions within our diocese in which one’s responsibilities include “the proclamation of the Gospel.”  Besides those whose job responsibilities include lifelong formation in faith, it also includes directors of music ministry and also those whose primary responsibility is conducting retreats.


The job descriptions themselves have been carefully created using language that supports the new Department of Labor mandate.  Please do not change any word of the areas titled: Role Specifics, Primary Job Function, Physical Demands and Work Environment.  The area that can be changed in these sample job descriptions is titled Position Responsibilities.  There may be things that you are required to do and others that are not part of your parish role.  Some parishes may combine elements of adult faith formation with religious education and there is language to support those roles.  You will also notice language that is similar across all the job description roles.  They are designed to promote good ministerial practices and lifelong formation of the lay minister.  These include the following responsibilities:

  • Participates and seeks consultation and input at regular meetings of the Parish Pastoral Council and/or Lifelong Faith Formation Council.

  • Informs the parish staff and leadership about documents and developments in the area of adult catechesis.

  • Represents the parish in diocesan and regional efforts and events to promote and educate about adult faith formation.

  • Maintains a relationship with the Diocesan Department of Evangelization and Catechesis (and the St. Joseph Educational Center in the Des Moines region) for consultation, support and resourcing.

  • Tends to his/her own ongoing formation through participation in opportunities for professional development.

  • Supports a program of catechist formation according to diocesan certification norms.

  • Assures that appropriate legal responsibilities are met within the context of a parish program.

  • Participating in diocesan professional development opportunities for youth ministers (AFF and RE directors/coordinators) and in any local associations.

Please work closely with your pastor/business manager to make sure a new job description is in place by the end of November, 2016.  Below please find PDF files of the new catechetical leader job descriptions:

Adult Faith Formation Director/Coordinator Sample Job Description

Religious Education Director/Coordinator Sample Job Description

Youth Ministry Director/Coordinator Job Description


Catechetical Services

Catechist Formation

CLADD - Catechetical Leadership Association for the Diocese of Des Moines

CLADD is a diocesan network for all parish catechetical leaders, etc.

Hispanic Catechetical Programming

CLADD Constitution final April 2012 

Charitable & Non-Profit Organization Directory--Central Iowa updated 11-6-14




Intergeneration Faith Formation is an approach to religious formation that incorporates every generation within the parish community, not just the children or youth.   It was established in the Diocese of Des Moines over 15 years ago.  Those parishes who utilize intergenerational formation  show that it nurtures children, adolescents, and adults to identify with and integrate into the parish faith community because their learning and formation takes place in the context of community: all ages learning together.  One of the key features of Intergeneration Faith Formation is the use of take home materials for the family: no matter what size or developmental period the family is in.   For more information please contact John Gaffney 515-237-5026 or


The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children from age three through adolescence that was established and approved in the Diocese of Des Moines more than ten years ago. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd highlights essential aspects of the Christian message that nurture the child’s need to love and be loved and the child’s capacity to enjoy God’s presence in her/his life. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the Catholic Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. One of the key features of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is the use of catechetical materials specially designed for children. Another feature is the use of a prepared environment, called the Atrium, to foster children's religious life. For more information please contact Mary Heinrich 515-321-9440 or




Bishop Pates has approved two new lesson plans to be used during the high school Confirmation preparation process: The Sacrament of Penance Lesson Plan and An Evening of Prayer and Preparation before the Celebration of Confirmation.

1. The Sacrament of Penance

A Catechetical Evening with the Rite: Designed to be used early in the process as a whole community catechetical event.  The confirmandi, parents and family, catechists and sponsors are encouraged to attend the evening which culminates in the Sacrament of Penance.  By positioning this evening early in the process, we are encouraging frequent use of the Sacrament of Penance, during Advent and Lent and retreats.  The gathered community is also reminded of the everyday need for reconciliation in our life as we journey with God and neighbor.  Below please find the lesson plan, three forms of an examination of conscience and the Act of Contrition.

2. Evening of Prayer and Preparation prior to the Celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation

A whole community event which combines prayer, practice for the Celebration of the Confirmation Rite and ending with the Sacrament of Penance.  This is a modified service based upon the RCIA Holy Saturday service for Catechumens.  Not only does this evening prepare the confirmandi for the logistics of the Rite, it also helps prepare their interior disposition through one last opportunity to examine one’s conscience and participate in the Sacrament of Penance.  It is important to gather the Confirmation preparation community for this evening prayer and preparation service including parents and family, sponsors, and catechists.



for Parish Confirmation: Coordinators/Catechetical Leaders/Youth Ministers (Effective 7-1-12 • Update November 1, 2017) Click here for the document.