The Diocese of Des Moines

Diocese of Des Moines Youth Ministry




Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Des Moines is committed to the goals of comprehensive youth ministry as laid out in the document "Renewing the Vision", published by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.  This document provides to all those who minister to adolescents a framework for which to build a foundation.  It is our attempt to help parishes and schools launch or continue this vision.  "Renewing the Vision" is a call to make ministry with adolescents a concern for the entire church community.

If you would like consultation on youth ministry or have any questions, please contact Justin White, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry, at, or by phone at 515-237-5098.  If you are a new youth minister (paid or volunteer), please let us know who you are so we can support you in your important work and keep you up to date!



It's tremendously important that we, as a Church, share our stories of faith with one another.  All too often, a fear of seeming self-centered, prideful, or "holier than thou" keeps us from allowing our faith in Christ to become a truly public affair.  Through our #WednesdayWitness posts, we hope to help the witnesses to the joy of Christ in Des Moines proclaim the message of the Gospel that much louder and further.  


E-mail your answers to the above questions, along with a clear picture of yourself that can be published on social media, and if selected, Justin White will follow-up with you to see about publishing your story on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


You don't have to e-mail about yourself if you'd rather not.  If instead you'd rather nominate someone who you believe has a story to tell, and is someone who lives as Christ through all they do every day, who makes the ordinary extraordinary by building the Kingdom of God through it, please send those in as well!



Discipleship Focused Youth Ministry is an approach to youth ministry, rather than a specific program or curriculum.  Through DFYM, parishes are seeing fruitful change: priests are finding new life, parents and adult volunteers are desiring to give more to the Church, and parish youth ministers are finding balance and proper order in the work they do for the Church.

Interested in learning more?  Join us for a DFYM workshop at St. Pius X in Urbandale on Jan 4th from 6:30-8:30pm.  Free will donations will be accepted for the workshop, but there is no fee to attend.  There will be a small cost for the optional dinner beforehand at 6pm.  RSVP for the workshop ASAP to Tessa Roberts (, and more information will be provided soon regarding the dinner.

The workshop is designed for youth ministry leaders to attend with their parish team - including pastors, collaborating parish staff, and youth ministry volunteers - so they can receive a common understanding of the DFYM vision & impetus, learn from the trial and error of other parishes who have made the switch, hear how to transition organically without overhauling, and have a space to discuss concerns & goals together as a parish with Eric Gallagher, who has facilitated this approach in his diocese and watched it spread across the country.

For more information, click here ( or watch an introductory webinar ( recorded with Eric Gallagher. Consultation along I-80 available by request.





Webinar with Eric Gallagher


Eric Gallagher, Director of the Office of Youth Discipleship & Evangelization for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, has been involved in youth ministry for twelve years. In addition to his diocesan ministry, Eric works to assist parishes with Discipleship Focused Youth Ministry (DFYM). DFYM is an approach to youth ministry rather than a specific program or curriculum. Through DFYM, Eric is seeing parishes change, priests find new life, adult leaders desiring to give more and more to the Church, and parish youth leaders who finally have balance and proper order in the work they do for the Church.


Recoded Presentation of the Webcast is below:







          Bishop Pates on Adolescent Catechesis and Youth Ministry


  • Bishop Pates issued his first pastoral letter on May 21, 2010 on the topic of adolescent catechesis. Read his introduction and his pastoral letter.


  • On May 17, 2012 Bishop Richard Pates announced a new diocesan policy regarding church/school activities on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. This policy is the culmination of a pastoral vision for high school youth that includes a comprehensive approach to adolescent catechesis.