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

Mr. Justin White, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry

  • ​Phone Number is 515-237-5058, until June 2017
  • E-mail is the Administrative Secretary:  until June 2017
  • 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. Joseph Connolly, 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.