The Importance of Grieving Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Mourning the Loss of a Child

Holy Mother Church has a duty to be there with comfort, mercy, healing, and hope every time a member of her flock suffers the loss of one of our Holy Innocents. Does your diocese or parish offer a healing Mass for those who have suffered perinatal loss (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infant death)? We walk through why it’s important to grieve the loss of a pregnancy. . . . → Read More: The Importance of Grieving Pregnancy and Infant Loss

In Respect for Sacred Family Time


Do you set aside sacred family time each week … even if that means your children will miss out on activities? If so, how have you been able to win that battle?

It’s the question I ask over at today. Here’s a snippet of my post Investing in the Domestic Church:

Bishop Richard Pates, the shepherd for the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, recently instituted a policy that declares Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings off limits for everything but sacramental, ministerial, or catechetical activities. All Catholic schools, institutions, and organizations of the diocese must adhere to this policy. So this means no more extracurricular activities like sports, drama, and band on . . . → Read More: In Respect for Sacred Family Time

Fortnight for Freedom in Des Moines

Independence Celebration - Des Moines Diocese

On Sunday we beat the nearly 100-degree heat with 2,500 other faithful Catholics in our diocese to make a statement about religious freedom, our first and most cherished liberty. Sponsored by the Diocese of Des Moines, the event was coined the Independence Celebration Walk & Picnic and was planned in conjunction with nationwide Fortnight for Freedom efforts. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called for a “Fortnight for Freedom” from June 21 – July 4 as a period of prayer, education, and action in support of religious freedom.

One of the high points of the event was the prayer service. Following a Scripture reading from James 2:14-17 (the relationship between faith and . . . → Read More: Fortnight for Freedom in Des Moines

In case you missed it, the Pope’s in Cuba. So’s my Bishop.

Last Saturday I had the privilege of witnessing nine men who are journeying through the permanent diaconate program in the Diocese of Des Moines be formally installed as lectors by Bishop Pates. The Rite of Lector is an important step for these men as they progress toward ordination in two years. (My husband, Joel, is one of the nine, and I will post more on the Rite later in the week.)

During the Mass, Bishop Pates looked forward to visiting Cuba with Pope Benedict XVI. As Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pates has traveled to countries where the Church . . . → Read More: In case you missed it, the Pope’s in Cuba. So’s my Bishop.

After Miscarriage

People don’t often talk about miscarriage. When experiencing one, women and men often don’t know who to connect with, where to turn for help; the resources that are available remain unknown.

Our regular readers know Joel and I have experienced two miscarriages. After both, our experience in receiving medical care and spiritual counsel was less than ideal, leaving us with many questions and unfortunately some regrets about how we journeyed through the process. Joel is now in deacon formation with the Diocese of Des Moines and has created a miscarriage ministry as part of his studies. When we stumble upon great resources to add to our ministry library, we . . . → Read More: After Miscarriage

Lisa to be Guest on Bishop Pates’ Radio Show

Lisa will be a guest on In The Heartland with Bishop Richard Pates (Diocese of Des Moines, IA) on Friday, February 24. The show is a local program of KWKY Catholic Radio. Lisa joins Fr. Aquinas Nichols and Rosemary Sloss from the Basilica of St. John, Susan Kehoe, and seminarian Matthew Krastel to discuss evangelization through technology. 

How to Listen:

In the Des Moines area, the show airs from 10:00 – 11:00 AM (CST) on 1150 AM or streamed online at The Bishop’s show is also simulcast live on KVSS Spirit Catholic Radio in Omaha/Council Bluffs and most of Nebraska. If you can’t listen live, MP3 files will be available after the show, and we’ll share them . . . → Read More: Lisa to be Guest on Bishop Pates’ Radio Show

A Homily Worthy of Applause

Remember that post I wrote about how annoyed I get when clapping occurs during Mass? Well, I might have abonded ship and started a thundering ovation had I been present at the Mass recorded in the video below.

Check out Father Aquinas M. Nichols’ (pastor of the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines, Iowa) homily titled “Be Courageous” from this past Sunday. 3:00 minutes in, he begins addressing the recent Health & Human Services’ mandate that orders almost every employer and insurer in the United States to provide sterilization and contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs. Father gives this issue the passion it rightly deserves. He doesn’t just read the statement written by Bishop Pates . . . → Read More: A Homily Worthy of Applause

Out of the Mouths of Babes: In Celebration of Catholic Schools Week

January 29 –  February 3 is Catholic Schools Week

Copyright © 2011 NCEA/USCCB

This is one week each year that students, staff, and parents celebrate the gift of a Catholic education. Make no mistake; it is a gift.

I spend my days as a first grade teacher at a Catholic school in Des Moines, Iowa. My first graders are like first graders anywhere. They are learning to read and write; add and subtract. They tattle on each other, talk without raising their hands, laugh at silly stories, and cry when someone hurts their feelings. Their smiles are missing a few teeth, and some still ask for a hug when . . . → Read More: Out of the Mouths of Babes: In Celebration of Catholic Schools Week

2011 In Pictures — 7 Quick Takes Style

2011 has been exciting here at Das Schmidt Haus. Here’s my year in review, 7 Quick Takes style.

— 1 —

I started 2011 as a new full-time at-home parent after resigning from what many called the “dream job.” Many people didn’t understand my decision to walk away from a job with a very promising career track. Heck, I don’t necessarily understand my decision and am still unpacking it all. I spent months praying about it, and God was clearly calling me to this. The decision was, has been, and is the right one for our family. Yes, there has been financial stress in moving to one . . . → Read More: 2011 In Pictures — 7 Quick Takes Style

Hundreds of Nativities on Display at Annual No Room at the Inn

Inspiring others to join in efforts to reduce poverty  

A sample nativity scene on display at "No Room at the Inn"

More than 300 nativity scenes from around the world will be on display Sunday, December 4 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. in downtown Des Moines. The exhibition of nativities is the centerpiece of events hosted by Catholic Charities of Des Moines intended to inspire others to join in efforts to help lift people out of poverty with dignity.

In addition to an array of traditional and unique nativity displays from around the world, local choirs and a live nativity scene will be featured. Bishop Pates and Bishop Emeritus Charron . . . → Read More: Hundreds of Nativities on Display at Annual No Room at the Inn