Pastoral Leadership Study Day focuses on mission priorities

Catholic ‘meat and potatoes’ discussed

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant

WATERLOO — Archbishop Michael Jackels compared the four mission prior­ities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque to “Catholic meat and potatoes” when speaking at the Pastoral Leadership Study Day on April 5 at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in downtown Waterloo.

Explaining his analogy, the archbishop said there is nothing extraordinary about any of the priorities he has identified for the archdiocese; they are simple, rather basic, but each plays a fundamental role for the future of the church.

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The archbishop’s comments were offered at the beginning of the semi-annual study day, which this spring focused on the archdiocese’s four pastoral priorities: strengthening programs for on-going education in the faith, enhancing the Sunday assembly for Holy Mass, teaching steward­ship as a way of life, and promoting vocations, and priesthood in particular.

Archbishop Jackels said the priorities were created “to communicate to our arch­diocesan church family that we are going to continue the mission of Jesus and the ministries of the church.” They “provide a common focus for a diverse and large church family,” he said, “from Ames to New Albin, from Buffalo Center to Maquoketa.”

He also stressed that the priorities are interconnected with one another. “You can’t hit one of these nails, but neglect the others,” he said. He encouraged faith communities in the archdiocese to devote some energy to all of them, and he challenged those already addressing the priorities to reevaluate their efforts and try to take them to the next level.

After the archbishop finished speaking, the more than 200 leaders from around the archdiocese who were in attendance spent the rest of the study day exploring the four priorities in more detail in breakout sessions. The sessions looked at what the four priorities mean in parish and school life and the part each participant might play in carrying them out in their diverse ministry roles.

After a day of sharing, discussing and strategizing in the different breakout sessions, participants left with specific ideas on how they can implement the four mission priorities and contacts for continued support.

One of the day’s participants was Marty Doerning, the music and liturgy director of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Webster City. She attended the study day with her parish priest, Father Stephen Meyer, and fellow parishioner Dan Hurt. “I always like the Pastoral Leadership Study Day,” Doerning said, when reflecting on why she decided to make the 90-minute trip to Waterloo that day. “You always learn something; you always take something back. It keeps us focused and it keeps us up to date with what is going on around the archdiocese.”

Jenna Feeney, the director of music and liturgy at Sacred Heart Parish in Waterloo, had a shorter drive to get to the study day, but like Doerning, was happy she had the chance to be there. “I enjoyed attending the Pastoral Leadership Study Day, because it helped renew me in my ministry,” she said at the end of the daylong event. “The speakers presented Archbishop Jackels’ mission priorities in a manner that was applicable, and I am eager to implement them more into my ministry.”

The Pastoral Leadership Study Day was co-sponsored by the Loras College Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Intellectual and Spiritual Life and the Archdio­cese of Dubuque. The next study day is scheduled for October 18, 2016.

Presenters at Breakout Sessions:

Strengthening Programs for On-Going Education in the Faith

  • Linda Manternach, director of the Office of Family Life for the archdiocese
  • Kevin Feyen, director of the Office of Adolescent Faith Formation for the archdiocese

Enhancing the Sunday Assembly for Holy Mass

  • Peggy Lovrien, director of the Office of Worship for the archdiocese
  • Father Alan Dietzenbach, associate pastor of St. Raphael/St. Patrick Parishes, Dubuque; chaplain of Wahlert High School, Dubuque
  • Tricia Lokmer, director of faith formation and RCIA coordinator, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Hiawatha
  • Sister Annette Kestel, PBVM, pastoral associate, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Hiawatha
  • Father Neil Manternach, pastor of Epiphany Parish, Mason City, and Sacred Heart Parish, Manly
  • Father John Haugen, pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Colesburg, and St. Mark Parish, Edgewood
  • Cassie Schetgen, director of liturgy and music at Holy Spirit Parish, Dubuque

Teaching Stewardship as a Way of Life

  • Sister Lynn Fangman, PBVM, director of the Office of Stewardship for the archdiocese
  • Paula Friedman, member of Resurrection Parish Stewardship Committee, Dubuque; chairperson of the Archdiocesan Stewardship Committee
  • Gene Seloover, chairperson of the Spires of Faith Cluster Stewardship Committee, Dyersville (St. Joseph Parish, Earlville); member of the Archdiocesan Stewardship Committee
  • Pam Satern, director of shared ministry, St. Pius X Parish, Cedar Rapids; member of the Archdiocesan Stewardship Committee

Promoting Vocations, and Priesthood in Particular

  • Father David Schatz, vocation director for the archdiocese; pastor of St. Mary Parish, Waverly

Photo by Jill Kruse. (l to r) Father Neil Manternach, Tricia Lokmer and Sister Annette Kestel, PBVM, are part of the panel leading the breakout session on enhancing the Sunday assembly during the Pastoral Leadership Study Day.

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