The Diocese of Des Moines shares the Church's goal of walking with her marriages and families in all their stages, and offering to them the support that Christ is always ready to offer. As St.  John Paul II wrote in his letter to families, the Church desires to walk with every person in his or her joys and struggles, hopes and sorrows, anxieties and challenges "firmly convinced that it was Christ himself who set [each person] on all these paths".

Pornography Addiction

Reclaim Sexual Health offers scientific research and insights behind the addictions of masturbation and pornography and also offers an anonymous online recovery program.

The My House Initiative also offers information on the nature of masturbation and pornography addiction and resources to help in recovery, and find support while fighting with this addiction. Send an email to connect with local efforts toward freedom


Families of Character is a discussion-based education program that helps couples develop a short and long-term vision for their families. This program is based on developing the virtues within a family, and can easily be facilitated at a parish level.At home with our faith is a valuable parenting newsletters that families or parishes can subscribe to.

Faith and Safety is a website developed by the USCCB and the Greek Orthodox Church to help educate parents, teachers, and other adults on how to be digitally safe.

Spousal Prayer

Two workbooks that can be very helpful in inviting couples to pray together are Spousal Prayer and The Parish as a School of Prayer, both published by the Catholic Word Publishing Group.

Marriage Enrichment

The 6 Dates Program, and the follow up Beatitudes program is an excellent marriage enrichment tool that invites couples to go out on six consecutive dates and discuss reflection questions that will foster communication, offer catechesis, and also help couples continue to nurture their marriage.

Marriage Encounter is a retreat experience that helps already married couples rediscover the spark in their relationships and keep their marriages alive and vibrant. These retreats are conducted in each of the four Iowa dioceses quarterly, rotating between the dioceses.

Theology of marriage

There are many places to learn about Catholic theology of marriage. The most direct place to encounter the Church's teaching is in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 1601-1666. A few books might also be helpful for someone wanting to learn more about the Church's theology of marriage. These books include: Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan a document written by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Good News about Sex and Marriage by Christopher West, and Called to Love by Carl Anderson and Jose Granados.

Marriage after an annulment

Remarriage in the Catholic Church: A Couple's Guide published by 23rd Publications is a short, effective resource that addresses the particular experiences of marriage after an annulment as well as the experience of becoming a step-parent. This 99-page workbook provides helpful insights, discussion questions, and an appendix of activities that can help a couple apply the information found within the workbook. Sponsor couples are encouraged to use this resource while working with engaged couples that have experienced these realities.

Divorce Healing is a site that offers resources such as books, podcasts, and DVDs for individuals who have suffered from a divorce, as well as a blog and a question and answers forum. This site is faithful to the Church's teaching on divorce while also ministering to people pastorally and charitably. The site also offers an online divorce healing program called Journey of Hope.

Our diocese also runs the program Catholic Divorce Survival Guide. To find out about upcoming groups contact Adam Storey at 515-237-5056.


It is important to recognize infertility as a grave cross that some couples are asked to carry. If a couple is asked to carry this cross, they should be informed about the moral options of infertility treatment. The Pope Paul VI Institute based in Omaha has been treating infertility in a morally licit way since 1985, and it has had great success in diagnosing and treating many forms of infertility. Another available resource for couples suffering from infertility, and for those people who minister to these couples is the book The Infertility Companion for Catholics: Spiritual and Practical Support for Couples by Angelique Ruhi-Lopez and Carmen Santamaria.

End of Marriage

Beginning Experience is a support opportunity for those suffering a loss through death, divorce or separation. This is a retreat based program that also involves small group meetings leading up to the experience. For more information please call: Father Bob Schoemann 515-418-1938, Kathy Irving 515-339-7191, Jay Fredrick 515-480-2306 or Marla Williams 515-710-4471.