The Diocese of Des Moines

Department of Evangelization and Catechesis

Icon - Christ, the Pantocrator



Department Staff Members


Mr. John Gaffney, Department Director

  • ​Phone Number is 515-237-5026
  • E-mail is 
  • Responsibilities include:
    • ​adult faith formation programming
    • lay ecclesial ministry formation especially in the formation of catechetical leaders and catechists, directors of youth ministry and volunteers, and adult faith formation directors which includes portions of RCIA team formation
    • catechetical services which continually reviews resources for use in parish and school formation program

​Mrs. Tessa Roberts, Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry

  • ​Phone Number is 515-237-5098
  • E-mail is
  • Responsibilities include:
    • programming for directors of youth ministry and volunteers
    • programming for young adults throughout the diocese

​​Mrs. Sherri Simmer, Administrative Secretary

  • Phone Number is 515-237-5058
  • E-mail is
  • Responsibilities include:
    • Administrative responsibilities relating to evangelization and catechetical programming throughout the diocese.

​​Mr. Chris Wadle, Executive Director of the Saint Thomas More Center

  • ​Phone Number is 515-309-1936
  • E-mail is
  • Responsibilities include:
    • Catholic Youth Camp
    • Retreat Center that specializes in programming for teens and young adults
    • ​Website is: 

​Father Mark Owusu, Director of Diocesan Campus Ministry

  • ​Phone Number is 515-271-4747
  • E-mail is
  • Responsibilities include:
    • ​programming primarily for college ages students in the Des Moines area campuses

"Laudato Si" (Praise be to You) -- Pope Francis issued his encyclical on the environment June 18. At this link you can read the encyclical, see Bishop's statement on the teaching document, find the homily from St. John Paul II' visit to Iowa in which he addressed care of our environment, and get the date for the upcoming Rural Life Mass.


Youth Ministry

NCYC 2015  "Here I am Lord"



What is NCYC?  The National Catholic Youth Conference to be held in Indianapolis on November 19-22, 2015, is an exciting, biennial three-day experience of prayer, community, and empowerment for Catholic teenagers and their adult chaperones. Teens and their group leaders enjoy speakers, workshops, live music, rousing large sessions, reconciliation, and a huge closing liturgy. Perhaps best of all teens are part of an enormous community of peers who love Jesus and their Catholic faith and aren't afraid to show it! Teens and youth leaders can together harness the experience and bring it back to their parishes!! For the NCYC website click here.


All parishes should have received a packet in the mail with information regarding registration, fundraising and promotion for the National Catholic Youth Conference to be held November 19-21, 2015 in Indianapolis, IN.


Link to the Youth Ministry page for more information and  Online Registration 


Contact Information for questions or assistance:

•  Tessa Roberts – Diocesan Delegation Leader –

•  John Gaffney – Logistics and On-Site Manager –

•  Sherri Simmer – Office Administration & Registration Manager –