Department of Evangelization and Catechesis

Department of Evangelization and CatechesisDepartment Staff Members

John Gaffney, Department Director

Reachable by phone, 515-237-5026, or email

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

Justin White, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry

Reachable by phone, 515-237-5058, or email

Responsibilities include:

  • programming for directors of youth ministry and volunteers
  • programming for young adults throughout the diocese

Sherri Simmer, Administrative  Assistant

Reachable by phone, 515-237-5058, or email

Responsibilities include:

  • Administrative responsibilities relating to evangelization and catechetical programming throughout the diocese.

Father Protas Opondo, SJ, Director of Diocesan Campus Ministry

Reachable by phone, 515-271-4747 or email

>Responsibilities include:

  • Programming primarily for college ages students in the Des Moines area campuses

"Laudato Si" (Praise be to You: On Care For Our Common Home) -- Pope Francis issued his encyclical on the environment in 2013. 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.