Mission Statement: Sowing God's Spirit

In the wake of his Resurrection, Jesus rouses us to become witnesses of true love who are moved as the Spirit wills to bear God’s presence, healing compassion, and peace to a broken world. Sparked by the joy of the Gospel kindled in our own hearts, love turns fear to holy boldness as we listen and speak anointed words to persons who have grown lukewarm in their capacity to trust, and who find it hard to believe they are beautiful and beloved in God’s sight. We bless and build up each other. We overcome forces of division by the Spirit’s power to become one in Christ. Living by faith is the greatest adventure imaginable, for with God all things are possible. Sowing God’s Spirit is our mission and a labor that never grows old, for we are fed by the daily bread of grace that God multiplies among us.


Vision Statement: Cultivating Connections in Christ

As we Sow God’s Spirit in the world, we lean into our vision of cultivating connections in Christ. The seeds of love that we sow yield fruit as we discover Jesus. We are grafted by grace in relationships with Jesus and with one another, like a vine and branches. We form intimate bonds with Christ through the personal and collective experiences of (1) encounter, (2) friendship and (3) communion. Cultivating these connections in Christ is central to our vision as a people after God’s own heart.

Read the full vision statement and three ways we can cultivate connections in Christ.

Strategic Priorities

1: Cultivating connections in Christ by serving and leading the parishes of the Diocese.

  • 1.1 Create a culture of care/welcoming
  • 1.2 Invite people into an encounter with Jesus Christ
  • 1.3 Accompany our youth into discipleship with Jesus Christ
  • 1.4 Engage our young adults into full participation
  • 1.5 Prepare disciples for the domestic church

2: Cultivating connections in Christ by communicating our message more boldly and clearly

  • 2.1 Saturate various forms of media with the Catholic message
  • 2.2 Convey the beauty of Catholic teaching
  • 2.3 Share this strategic vision with the people of the Diocese

3: Cultivating connections in Christ by transforming the structure and culture

  • 3.1 Align the structure of the Catholic Pastoral Center to this strategic vision
  • 3.2 Enhance the culture of servant leadership/build trusting relationships


How did we begin this process?
In February 2021, Bishop William Joensen began a weekly Holy Hour on Mondays at St. Ambrose Cathedral and encouraged pastors and parishes throughout the Des Moines to do so as well with a threefold purpose: To pray for an end to the pandemic, to renew Eucharistic faith and worship among God’s people, and to ask the Holy Spirit what direction the Diocese of Des Moines should follow in the coming months and years.
How did we gather ideas and input from the faithful?

In the summer of 2021, the Diocese of Des Moines engaged the services of Dan Ebener, of Quad City Leadership Consulting,  to help plan a visioning process from which a new strategic plan would evolve. Last fall, nearly 40 focus groups and many one-on-one meetings were held with the faithful and leadership across the 23 counties of central and southwest Iowa that comprise the Diocese of Des Moines to learn what we're doing well, what are the challenges and how we might grow in faith together. 

 How does this relate to the synod process?

The information we gathered through listening sessions for the diocesan strategic visioning process was also applied to Pope Francis' initiative to launch a synod process. 

The Diocesan Synodal Synthesis was sent to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in  June 2022. The report is written to fulfill two goals: 1) to outline what we discovered in our process to regional leadership in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas as well as the USCCB, and 2) to narrate our synodal/visioning journey to clergy, religious and laity who may not have participated in the visioning discussions.  The report showcases: our process, how the top ten themes arose, the four main pastoral challenges the Church of Southwest Iowa needs to lean into, many synodal statistics discovered, and our next steps for the Diocese of Des Moines.

Region IX Synodal Synthesis

A synodal synthesis representing the 15 dioceses in Region IX (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas).  This report considers the common themes articulated throughout the Region IX dioceses and helps the reader identify pastoral needs that reach beyond the Church of Southwest Iowa. 

National Synthesis of the People of God in the United States

Here is a link to the national synthesis: The National Synthesis of the People of God in the United States of America. The synthesis marks the completion of the Diocesan Phase of the 2021-2023 Synod: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.  This link includes the document in both English and Spanish.  

 How can we pray for this diocesan process?
Here is a prayer (in English and Spanish) asking for divine guidance on this visioning process. We invite all in the diocese to use this prayer. 
 What has the Bishop said about a new vision for the Diocese?
Bishop Joensen has written about the visioning process the Diocese is undertaking in his monthly column. 


For more information, contact acox@dmdiocese.org, 515-237-5057.