The Diocese of Des Moines

Department of Evangelization and Catechesis



Icon - Christ, the Pantocrator


CLADD Retreat ~ February 12 & 13, 2015


"Echoes of Mercy: Building a Culture of Compassion Through Catechetical Ministry" A retreat for Catechetical Leaders of the Des Moines Diocese. Our presenter is Dr. Thomas Neal, Academic Dean, Professor of Theology at Notre Dame Seminary. To be held at Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Des Moines Northwest. Click on these links for more information English flyer or Spanish flyer.


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