Looking back on 2022 in the Diocese of Davenport

Anne Marie Amacher
Catholics gather for Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport in this 2022 photo.

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

Building on the Synod
As part of the worldwide Synod on Synodality, 6,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Davenport shared what fills and breaks their hearts about their experience of the Catholic Church. The diocese issued its final report at the end of June. Among the findings: a majority of participants had a favorable opinion on quality of liturgy and outreach/evangelization, but felt the Church could do better at fostering a sense of welcoming/belonging/ inclusiveness.

After the report’s release, Bishop Thomas Zinkula asked diocesan parish councils and school boards for input on prioritizing three themes from among 11 that emerged from the listening sessions. The diocese will focus on those three themes over the next three years, beginning with the year one priority: welcoming and belonging.

Bishop Zinkula ordain­ed Deacons Dale Mallory and Ben Snyder to the priesthood and seminarians Dominic Nguyen and Isaac Doucette to the diaconate June 4 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. God willing, Deacons Nguyen and Doucette will be ordained to the priesthood in 2023.
Bishop Zinkula ordained seven permanent deacons July 9 at Sacred Heart Cathedral: Deacons Ryan Burchett, Kent Ferris, Andrew Hardigan, Angel Hernandez, Gary Johnson, Michael Linnenbrink and Andrew Reif.


Five years as a bishop
On June 22, Bishop Zinkula celebrated five years as the diocese’s bishop. Among the highlights he identified: relationships he has built; diocesan events, such as the Chrism Mass, ordinations and major parish events; hands-on ministry; major initiatives, such as the Vision 20/20 Convocation, Capital Campaign and diocesan Synod; and his travels to other countries. Challenges have included weathering the COVID-19 pandemic and being viewed as a celebrity. “I’m just an Iowa Catholic farm kid; at my core, that’s who I am. I don’t need or want to be put on a pedestal,” he said.

‘Upon This Rock’ campaign
The public phase of the $28 million diocesan capital campaign “Upon This Rock,” kicked off in April. The campaign is raising money for the retirement and health care costs of priests, the educational costs for seminarians, and projects to be determined by each parish. Sixteen parishes, called the pilot wave, wound down their campaign in late September. The 26 parishes in the second wave began raising money in October. The third and final wave will begin in the spring.

Pilgrimage to Ireland
The Catholic Messenger hosted a “Faith of the Irish” pilgrimage to Ireland Aug. 31-Sept. 9. Bishop Zinkula served as spiritual leader for the 33 people on pilgrimage. Sites along the pilgrimage included St. Patrick Cathedral in Dublin, the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, the Holy Mountain of Croagh Patrick, the Cliffs of Moher and the Blarney Castle.

Eucharistic Revival
On June 19, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, dioceses across the nation inaugurated a three-year Eucharistic Revival. This initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic

Lindsay Steele
Students from Notre Dame Catholic School in Burlington take part in a eucharistic procession Sept. 29.

Bishops (USCCB) seeks to enkindle “a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” Bishop Zinkula kicked off the Eucharistic Revival in the Davenport Diocese by celebrating Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Afterward, Catholics of diverse backgrounds joined him in a eucharistic procession from Sacred Heart Cathedral to St. Anthony Church in downtown Davenport.

Students from Notre Dame Catholic School in Burlington held a eucharistic procession through downtown Burlington in September, and Catholics from the Davenport and Peoria (Illinois) dioceses participated in a bi-state eucharistic procession from Davenport to Rock Island, Illinois in October. The bishops of both dioceses led the procession.

Diocese launches Laudato Si’ Action Plan
The 124-year-old St. Vincent Center in Davenport got an energy audit as the first step in the diocesan Laudato Si’ Action Plan launched Oct. 4 on the memorial of St. Francis of Assisi. It is a multifaceted, seven-year plan intended to inspire the people of the diocese to build on their relationship with God, each other and all of God’s creation. A new webpage, www.davenportdiocese. org/laudato-si-plan, provides ideas, examples and opportunities to share experiences and suggestions. Bishop Zinkula hopes the Chancery’s efforts will encourage parishes, schools and other entities to embrace the endeavor and develop a serious plan. Even doing small things with great love is meaningful and important, he said.

Prison Mass ISP
For the first time in three years, Bishop Zinkula had the opportunity to celebrate Mass at the Iowa State Penitentiary. The pandemic prevented visits until recently. On Dec. 21, the bishop presided at the early Christmas Mass, which he and the participating inmates appreciated deeply.

Changes at the Chancery
Sarah Adams, a St. Ambrose University-Dav­enport graduate, began work as the diocese’s first Social Media coordinator in July. The diocese created the position in response to the ever-increasing use of social media in parishes, schools and the world.

The diocese also welcomed Deacon Jeff Schuetzle as director of the diaconate; Trevor Pullinger as coordinator of Catechesis and Adult Lay Formation; and Jennifer Praet as director of stewardship. Faith Formation Director Don Boucher retired in December after nearly 50 years in ministry.

Priest recognized for empowering essential and excluded workers

Fr. Trevino

In November, the USCCB’s Catholic Cam­paign for Human Develop­ment (CCHD) presented the Card­inal Bern­ardin New Leader­ship Award to Father Guill­er­mo Tre­vino, a dio­­cesan priest. The aw­ard “rec­og­ni­zes the leadership, energy and diverse skills that young people bring to the anti-poverty work of low-income projects and Catholic parishes.”

David Goodner of the Iowa City Catholic Worker nominated Father Trevino, 36, pastor of St. Joseph Parish-Columbus Junction and St. Joseph Parish-West Liberty. Father Trevino is a founding member of Escucha Mi Voz Iowa (Listen to Me). He “played a key role in Escucha Mi Voz members’ successful efforts to gain pandemic relief for essential and excluded immigrant workers in eastern Iowa,” Goodner said. He also helped with “all aspects of organizational development, fundraising, leadership recruitment, chairing meetings, contacting decision-makers, speaking publicly and providing a spiritual basis and prayer grounding for community organizing.”

Multicultural Ministry
The diocesan Office of Multicultural Ministry organized a conference for Spanish-speaking Cath­o­lics for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The July 11 conference drew nearly 500 people to Bridge View Center in Ottumwa. Guest speakers included a cardinal from El Salvador and two widely known Spanish-speaking Catholic preachers.

In memory
These clergy and women religious with ties to the Davenport Diocese died in 2022: Deacon William “Bill” Donnelly; Deacon Robert McCoy; Sister Jean Margaret Black, BVM; Sister Harriett Ping, CHM; Sister Rita Cain, OSB; Sister Anita Beskar, FSPA; Sister Mary Hilary Veith, CHM; Sister Mary Paschal Hocum, OSF; and Sister Jean Marie Brady, BVM; Sister Darlene Hoch, SSSF.

Messenger awards
The Catholic Messen­ger received seven awards in the 2022 Catholic Media Association Awards competition. Results were announced July 7 during the Catholic Media Conference in Portland, Oregon. The Catholic Media Association, of which the Messenger is a member, includes nearly 250 publications and 500 individuals.

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