Young Catholic Leaders

Diocesan Teen Leadership in the Diocese of Des Moines

The purpose of the Young Catholic Leaders (YCL) group is to challenge, empower, and accompany teen Catholics throughout the Diocese of Des Moines to take on an apostolic posture with every fiber of their being.  An apostolic posture is one focused on being a messenger of Christ to their peers (apostolos being Greek for “one who is sent”).

Through YCL, teens from all over our Diocese will assist one another in being instruments of God’s will for the Church, not only in their parishes but with their friends, family members, classmates, teammates, co-workers, and even strangers.

There is no need for a formal application to be a part of YCL; just register online if you're able to make it to at least 4 of the 6 YCL days, and you're set!

Young Catholic Leaders Days 


Each YCL day will take place on the first floor of the Catholic Pastoral Center, at 601 Grand Avenue, from 9am-5pm (includes 4pm Mass at St. Ambrose Cathedral across the street). 

January 12th

March 30th

May 18th

July 14th-19th (as part of High School week at Catholic Youth Camp)

September 14th

November 9th


YCL Committees will be the primary way in which members of the Youth Council spend their time at Young Catholic Leader Days.  These Saturdays will be spent not only in times of prayer & worship, but in working sessions devoted to shaping the future of their committee’s focused area.

YCL Committees

  • Youth Rallies & Conferences 

  • High School Retreats

  • Parish Involvement

  • Family Evangelization

  • Social Media Evangelization

  • Works of Mercy & Social Justice

Parent Council

In the interest of helping our families live their call to be the domestic Church and the first teacher of the faith, Parent Council Days will occur concurrently with YCL Days, and at the same location, in adjacent rooms.  The purpose of the Parent Council will be to brainstorm, organize, and pass along ways for our parishes to assist their parents in accompanying youth in their walk with Christ.

While certainly not mandated, parents are strongly encouraged and invited to attend the YCL Days with their children, in order to be active members of the Diocese of Des Moines Parent Council.

For questions or further information, email Justin White, Diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, or Jessica Maciel-Hernandez, Diocesan Coordinator of Hispanic Youth Ministry.


Como los padres de familia son los primeros maestros de la fe, a través del llamado que tienen de ser la Iglesia doméstica, los días de estas reuniones con padres de familia serán el mismo día que los días de YCL para los jóvenes, en el mismo lugar, y al mismo tiempo, en diferentes cuartos. El propósito de esta reunión con los padres de familia es para platicar sobre las diferentes maneras que las parroquias pueden asistir a los padres de familia para que ellos puedan acompañar a sus jóvenes en su caminar con Dios. La reunión no es mandataria, pero si nos gustaría que fueran parte de este grupo de padres.

Para más información pueden llamar a Jessica Maciel Hernandez 515-237-5051