Deacon Formation: Resources



The following links are provided as a service to those who are engaged in Diaconal ministry or formation. The diocese is not responsible for their content, and does not necessarily agree with the material found or opinions expressed on those sites. Some of the sites are explicitly Catholic; others are not. Please report any concerns or broken links to the Director of Formation. 

Pastoral Resources


Pastoral Care / Hospital and Health Care Ministry / Prison & Jail Ministry


Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (5th Edition) From the USCCB website.
To Live Each Day with Dignity USCCB website addressing the issues of euthanasia and phyisican-assisted suicide. Multiple resoureces are posted on the site, including the US Bishop's statement on these issues (click here to read).
Reiki Therapy A document from the US Bishops, concluding: "Since Reiki therapy is not compatible with either Christian teaching or scientific evidence, it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the Church, such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or to provide support for Reiki therapy."
National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC)

See especially their educational resources webpage, which includes links to other websites, prayer & spirituality resources, and information on ethical issues.

Salvifici Doloris

Pope John Paul II's reflection on the meaning of human suffering; on the Vatican website

Dismas Ministry A national Catholic outreach among inmates and those affected by crime. Website includes links to other resources.
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Pastoral Care / Parish Ministry


Pastoral Care of Teens From the Diocese of Arlington
Pastoral Care of Persons with Disabilities (1978)
Guidelines for the Celebration of Sacraments (1995)
Welcome & Justice for Persons w. Disabilties (1998)
Bienvenida y Justicia (en Español)
From the US Bishops (NCPD website)
Pastoral Care of the Elderly From the Pontifical Council for the Laity (Vatican Website)
Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (CDF, 1986)
"Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children & Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers" (USCCB, 1997)
"Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination" (USCCB, 2006) [PDF version]
From the Vatican (CDF) and the US Bishops.
Pastoral Care of Migrants: "Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity" (USCCB, 2000) From the US Bishops.
For more resources, click here.
Pastoral Care and the Environment: "Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good" (USCCB, 2001)
Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis (pending)
From the US Bishops and Pope Francis.
For more resources, click here.
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Mental Health Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.
NAMI: FaithNet NAMI FaithNet is a network of NAMI members and friends dedicated to promoting caring faith communities and promoting the role of faith in recovery for individuals and families affected by mental illness. This site is a reflection of a closer partnership between NAMI, NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliate leaders.
NAMI: Iowa  
NAMI: Greater Mississippi Valley  
Archdiocese of Chicago: Commission on Mental Health The purpose of the Commission on Mental Illness is to educate and resource parishes on the spiritual and supportive needs of persons with serious mental illnesses such as bi-polar disease, major depressive illnesses, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. Since mental illness not only affects the individual with the disease but also family members, the needs of the entire family are addressed.
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Domestic Violence Resources


In their 2002 Document, When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women, the US Bishops unequivocally condemned domestic violence and called upon the Church to reach out to victim and perpetrator alike. Click on the links and see what your parish can do....


National Dometic Violence Hotline
Phone: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
TTY: 1-800-787-3224
Poster with tear-off tabs.
Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Helpline
Hotline: 1-800-770-1650
The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence seeks to engage all people in a movement to change the social and political systems that perpetuate violence against women. ICADV does this through education, advocacy and quality services. Click here for a map and contact information for services around the state.
Children and Families of Iowa: Domestic Violence Services
Hotline: 1-800-942-0333
For the Des Moines Area.
Iowa International Center: Domestic Violence Resources Information targetted specifically to immigrants.
Bulletin Insert A full page insert in Spanish and English.
Bulletin Paragraphs Short quotes that can be reproduced inside your bulletin.
The Domestic Violence "Power and Control Wheel" A visual aid in understanding what can constitute domestic violence.
Pax in Familia How Can We Help to End Violence in Catholic Families: A Guide for Clergy, Religious and Laity – a 100-page illustrated booklet by Dr. Christauria Welland, with Imprimatur from the Diocese of San Diego, CA, USA, on violence in Catholic families, how to respond to and prevent violence, and how to educate Catholic youth and couples for peace.
Women Healing the Wounds
(National Council of Catholic Women)
Downloadable resources from the National Council of Catholic Women, including a comprehensive 52 page document that includes ideas for meaningful projects, education, a safety flyer and much more. Available in Spanish as well as English.
FaithTrust Institute "FaithTrust Institute is an international, multifaith organization working to end sexual and domestic violence. We provide communities and advocates with the tools and knowledge they need to address the religious and cultural issues related to abuse. FaithTrust Institute works with many communities, including Asian and Pacific Islander, Buddhist, Jewish, Latino/a, Muslim, Black, Anglo, Indigenous, Protestant and Roman Catholic."
HopeLine Verizon's program for collecting no-longer used cell phones and accessories and making them available to DV programs. They also provided this infogrpahic on chronic medical conditions and domestic violence.
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Liturgy of the Hours


Click here for LOH resources on our Liturgy Links page.
Click here for LOH planning sheets and other resources on the Liturgy Library page.
Information on the Liturgical Calendar can be found on the Liturgy Events webpage.
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Safe Environment Program & VIRTUS


Use these links to access information about the Diocesan Safe Environment Program or the VIRTUS Website.
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Academic Resources


Academic Writing

The following links provide help in properly citing references, according to a variety of methods:


Son of Citation Machine Citation machine helps students and professional researchers to properly credit the information that they use. Its primary goal is to make it so easy for student researchers to cite their information sources.
Boston College: Citing with Integrity An overview of ethical citation practices.
Purdue University's Online Writing Lab: American Psychological Association (APA)
Documenting Electronic Resources

Modern Language Association (MLA)
University of Wisconsin-Madison's Writing Center: APA
Chicago/Turabian Style
The Ultimate Grammar Resource Guide Links to numerous resources regarding proper English grammar.
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Canon Law


Ad Tuendam Fidem
Motu proprio
of John Paul II (5/18/98) making changes to the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
Sacrae disciplinae leges
Code of Canon Law - Vatican
Code of Canon Law - Great Britain
USCCB - Complementary Norms (application of 29 canons to the Church in the US)
Msgr. J. Gray
Selected Reference Documents related to the Code of Canon Law, as prepared by Monsignor Jason Gray of the Diocese of Peoria. Contains electronic versions of the 1983 Code of Canon Law (as updated 2010), the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, and the 1917 Code of Canon Law.
Canon Law Books
A source for common textbooks in Canon Law, including much of the Gratianus Series from Canada.
Canon Law Research Guide
Here is a research guide a civil lawyer put together on Canon Law. Some useful links and reference material for a variety of sources.
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Catholic Social Teaching


Information Access to Catholic Social Justice Teaching
CST Resources - Villanova

FDLC: Liturgy and Justice

Office for Social Justice Home Page (Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul)

USCCB Office for Justice, Peace and Human Development

USCCB: Human Life and Dignity

USCCB: Resources on Racism

Organizations: Catholic Charities USA
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Rural Life
Iowa Catholic Conference

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Laudato Si - On Care of Our Common Home Resources
Catholic Climate Covenant Homepage (Encyclical page)
Glossary of Terms (CNS)
Prayers from Laudato Si (Catholic Rural Life Wesbite)
EcoJesuit: Guidance Map (Synopses and other resources)
Toronto Archdiocese
USCCB: Statement by Archbishop Kurtz
USCCB: Environmental Justice Page
-Caring for God's Creation: Resources for Liturgy, Preaching, and Taking Action
-Laudato Si Discussion Guide
-Laudato Si Bulletin Insert
USCCB: Other Resources for Parishes
Word on Fire (Fr. Robert Barron)
Vatican Video
Washington Archdiocese - Resources for Parishes
-Complete Parish Tool-Kit
The Tablet (London): Synopsis and Study Guides
NCR: A Reader's Guide to Laudato Si'
RENEW International: Creation at the Crossroads
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Church History


American Catholic History


Historical Maps Overview


Christian Classics Ethereal Library
(emphasis on the Early Church)
History of the Liturgy (Yale)
Early Church Fathers
Medieval Sourcebook

Early Church Texts


Smith Creek Music Hymnology (History of Hymnody)
FDLC: The Liturgical Movement
Timeline of Art History
(The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
FDLC: Liturgical Reform
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Evangelization and Catechetics / Youth Ministry


21st Century Catholic Evangelization Loyola Press - Sunday Connection
Catholic Youth Foundation Outside Da Box - videos for youth ministry
The Five Loaves St. Mary's Press - resource center
LifeTeen Vibrant Faith at Home (ecumenical)
Lifelong Faith  
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See our Liturgy Links and Liturgy Library pages.
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Philosophy (including Ethics)


Catholic Health Association

This link will take you to the CHA's ethics page; click here to retrieve the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (4th edition) from the USCCB website. The CHA also publishes an ethics newsletter, which is available here. See this link for Key Ethical Principles.

Commission on Biomedical Ethics From the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The site includes reference materials as well as links to other sites.
Loras College / Archdiocese of Dubuque Bioethics Resource Center
AND Archdiocese of Dubuque - Bioethics
Multidisciplinary in nature, the Bioethics Resource Center at Loras brings together the perspectives of medicine, philosophy, theology, and law in approaching the problems of bioethics.
National Catholic Bioethics Center The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), established in 1972, conducts research, consultation, publishing and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences, and derives its message directly from the teachings of the Catholic Church. The NCBC also sponsors a channel on YouTube, where a number of educational videos are posted.
Philosophy: An On-Line Resource Guide Links to various resources for the study of philosophy.
Philosophy Bites Podcasts by contemporary philosophers.
On-line Encyclopedias The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Philosophy Pages
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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Preaching & Scripture


See our Preaching Links page.
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Spanish Language Resources


Google Translator  
Aprender Español  
La Mansion del Inglés Resources for learning English for those who speak Spanish. For list of English-Spanish words that are spelled the same, click here.
Inglestotal Another resource for learning English for those who speak Spanish. For a list of words that sound the same in English and Spanish but have very different meanings, click here.
Spanish Vocabulary Genius (on YouTube)  
Resources on our Liturgy Links Page  
Resources on our Preaching Links Page  
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Catechism of the Catholic Church From the USCCB Website.
US Catholic Catechism for Adults From the USCCB Website. Page includes links to the Catechism in both English and Spanish.
Catholic Classics Electronic versions of spiritual classics, such as St. Augustine's Confessions, St. Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises, St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, and many more...
Catholic Treasury An on-line library of spiritual classics.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library Hundreds of works listed alphabetically by author.
Contemplative Outreach "Contemplative Outreach is a spiritual network of individuals and small faith communities committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel. The common desire for Divine transformation, primarily expressed through a commitment to a daily Centering Prayer practice, unites our international, interdenominational community." 
Discerning Hearts Podcasts, including on spiritual direction and discernment.
Early Church Fathers  
The Franciscan Archive Includes the writings of St. Francis, St. Clare, and St. Bonaventure...
Ignatian Spirituality Website introducing Ignatian Spirituality, sponsored by Loyola Press.
Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life A reflection on the "New Age" from the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Interreligious Dialogue
St. Therese of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul  
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Catechism of the Catholic Church with Search Utility

CatholicReference An on-line dictionary of Catholic terms.
Catholic Resources - Prof. Felix Just, S.J.

While the emphasis of this site is on the study of Scripture, there are also resources here for the study of the Liturgy and theology in general.

There is a very helpful section on official Church documents related to the study of the Scriptures.

USCCB Resources on Ecumenism Clicking on the link opens a PDF docuemnt that contains multiple links to resources for ecumenical dialogue, engagement, and understanding.
Ecumenical Dialogues in the US PDF from the USCCB providing a brief history of ecumenism in the US.
Ecumenism in Canada

While containing some material specific to the Canadian Churches, this website contains excellent research tools in terms of documents from various denominations and the study of Scripture. Includes links to other ecumenical and inter-religious organizations.

A Church in Dialogue: Catholics & Muslims in Canada "The pamphlet is meant to help Canadian Catholics better understand their Muslim neighbours. Our country is home to an impressive array of cultures and religions, and the Catholic Bishops of Canada wish to foster understanding and dialogue amongst the diverse people of our land." PDF.
World Council of Churches The WCC brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 500 million Christians and including most of the world's Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches. At the end of 2013, there were 345 member churches.
Internet Theology Resources, by School of Theology Major Areas

General information, Scripture, Systematics, Moral Theology, Church History, Liturgy and Liturgical Music, Monastic Studies, Religious Education, Spirituality, Pastoral Ministry, Spanish Language and Culture

Journal of Religion and Film  
Judaism 101  
Pocket Catholic Dictionary  
St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica  
Theology Library A huge "gateway" organized according to subject area: Church, Revelation, Liturgy, Justice, Theology, Morality, Spirituality, Evangelization, and Religion (ecumenism and interreligious relations).
INTERS - The Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science Hosted by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.
Papal Encyclicals Online An on-line collection of papal and conciliar documents.
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