The Diocese of Des Moines

Department of Evangelization and Catechesis


Icon - Christ, the Pantocrator




Building the Kingdom
Lenten Project: Holy Ghost Juniorate Seminary



Schools and parish formation programs of the Diocese of Des Moines are sponsoring a Lenten project to raise funds for a minor seminary in Nigeria which is led by the Holy Spirit Fathers. The seminary serves approximately 600 high school students under dire conditions. The Diocese of Des Moines has been blessed by the ministerial services of four Holy Spirit priests from Nigeria over the past two decades. Click on this link for the YouTube video from Bishop Pates. To view the Nigerian Lenten Project photos click on these links: students & staff, progress & completion, future projects.


Generous support last year resulted in a complete renovation of the seminary's academic building.  Further renovations are needed for the students' living quarters.  Your dollars will provide:

  • Renovation of six hostels
  • Reconstruction and modernization of students' restroom facilities

Below please find the following items to print:


Approved Diocesan Methodologies


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 515-278-5684, ext.130 or


Two new Confirmation Resources spotlight the Sacrament of Penance during the Confirmation Process.

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.


Confirmation Guidelines

for Parish Confirmation: Coordinators/Catechetical Leaders/Youth Ministers (Effective 7-1-12 • Update August 25, 2014) Click here