In the Heartland With Bishop Pates: Embracing the Future With Prayer

by Bishop Pates | June 20, 2018

Bishop Pates shares prayers for The New Moment

In the coming months the Diocese of Des Moines will experience the announcement and installation of its 10th bishop.

 The arrival of the new shepherd is the occasion for a more intense focus on the diocesan priority of evangelization.  Pope Paul VI taught, “The Church exists to evangelize.”

 With that in mind, the Diocese of Des Moines has launched into a period titled:  The New Moment.  It originated from the diocesan participants attending the Catholic Leadership Convocation in Orlando last year.  Given the current religious landscape in the United States, the convocation leaders pronounced:  As American Catholics, we do not live in an era of change but a change of era.  It is a dramatic time of action for us.

 This conclusion was reached in light of the numbers of American people who are abandoning religion entirely.  For us Catholics, particular attention was drawn to the Millennial generation those 18-35.  Among these, it is predicted only one in four will continue affiliation with any religious denomination.

 Our diocesan delegation after much prayer, thought and conversation emerged with establishing the movement:  The New Moment.  In this period of change, three dimensions were identified:

  •  Jesus
  • Missionary Discipleship
  • Pivot to the Millennials

 In the instance of Jesus, it is a return to the heart of our faith with attention to the relationship with the Lord of life each of us personally has as well as together as the community of believers.  With Peter we attest:  “You are the Son of God.  You have the words of life.”

 The second feature of The New Moment is missionary discipleship.  Because the teachings of Jesus hold the key to life’s meaning we wholeheartedly follow his way.  The intention of God is not to keep these relationships exclusive but to expand them to be totally inclusive of all our brothers and sisters.

 In the third place, the signs of the times point us to the millennials to share with great conviction the benefits of our faith journey.  As I move around the diocese, visiting our parish communities, I am impressed as to how our parishes are reaching out to our sisters and brothers in the millennial generation.

 Realizing we depend on prayer in all of our activity and in anticipation of the arrival of our new bishop, I am asking all of our parishes, communities and diocesan institutions to pray the following two prayers at the conclusion of the Prayer of the Faithful each Sunday until our new bishop is with us sometime in the coming months. 


The New Moment Prayer


O God of all times,

 In this New Moment, help us to deepen our relationship with Jesus as we engage our calling as His disciples. May we bravely go out in witness to the Lord’s compassion and mercy, in order to touch all generations, especially the millennials.

Give us insight into your intimate love and grant us courage to embrace The New Moment. We ask this through your Son Jesus Christ.



Prayer for our New Bishop


O God, Gentle Shepherd,
you lead your Church to The New Moment with loving care,

You have blessed our diocese time and again with good,

wise, and holy bishops.

We are grateful for Bishop Pates’ dedicated ministry to us.

We ask you to bless him as he completes his service

to the Diocese of Des Moines.

Grant us another Bishop who will

inspire the clergy, religious, and laity of our community
to work generously with him

so that we might grow together in your love
and continue the good work

you have begun in us for the sake of all people.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

 I am grateful for the unity of Prayer throughout the Diocese of Des Moines as we anticipate and embrace the future God has in store for us.  Our cooperation in welcoming his unfailing providence will unfold many rich blessings.

Bishop Pates

Since his installation on May 29, 2008, Bishop Pates' priorities have been to build up an inviting vocation culture, reach out to newcomers and the Spanish-speaking community, educate and experience evangelization, and to engage youth and young adults as vibrant and valued members of the faith community.