Discover the Diocese of Davenport

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport (LatinDioecesis Davenportensis) is a diocese of the Catholic Church for the southeastern quarter of the U.S. state of Iowa. There are 11,438 square miles (29,620 km2) within the diocese. The diocese's eastern border is at the Mississippi River; the northern border comprises the counties of JasperPoweshiekIowaJohnsonCedar, and Clinton; the western border is made up of the counties of JasperMarionMonroe, and Appanoose; and the southern border is the Iowa-Missouri border.
The current bishop of the diocese is Bishop Martin Amos. It is a suffragan see of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The See city for the diocese is Davenport. The cathedral parish is Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Before 1881, the Diocese of Dubuque's territory comprised the entire state of Iowa. Previous divisions had taken territory outside the state of Iowa from the Diocese to give to other newly created Dioceses. Eventually, Bishop John Hennessy became convinced that the DubuqueDiocese should be further divided, with the Dubuque Diocese covering the northern half of the state, and the southern half covered by a new diocese. Hennessy felt that the See of this new Diocese should have been located at Des Moines, Iowa. However the Vatican choseDavenport as the See city of this Diocese.
On June 14, 1881 the southern territory of the Dubuque Diocese was taken to form the Diocese of Davenport.  Fr. John McMullen, a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago was chosen to be the first Bishop. Bishop McMullen was consecrated by Archbishop Patrick Feehan of Chicago, Bishop John Hennessy of Dubuque, and Bishop John Lancaster Spalding of Peoria.
The Diocese of Davenport was split in two on August 12, 1911, which reduced it to its current size. The Diocese of Des Moines became the See city of this new diocese, which covered the southwestern quarter of the state of Iowa.
In recent years, the diocese of Davenport has been affected by the abuse scandal involving members of the clergy and focused onBishop Lawrence Soens.

Higher education

From its very beginning the diocese has a history of supporting higher education. At one time there were four Catholic colleges within the boundaries of the Diocese of Davenport. Today there is only one, Saint Ambrose University.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport (LatinDioecesis Davenportensis) is a diocese of the Catholic Church for the southeastern quarter of the U.S. state of Iowa. There are 11,438 square miles (29,620 km2) within the diocese. The diocese's eastern border is at the Mississippi River; the northern border comprises the counties of JasperPoweshiekIowaJohnsonCedar, and Clinton; the western border is made up of the counties of JasperMarionMonroe, and Appanoose; and the southern border is the Iowa-Missouri border.
The current bishop of the diocese is Bishop Martin Amos. It is a suffragan see of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The See city for the diocese is Davenport. The cathedral parish is Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Before 1881, the Diocese of Dubuque's territory comprised the entire state of Iowa. Previous divisions had taken territory outside the state of Iowa from the Diocese to give to other newly created Dioceses. Eventually, Bishop John Hennessy became convinced that the DubuqueDiocese should be further divided, with the Dubuque Diocese covering the northern half of the state, and the southern half covered by a new diocese. Hennessy felt that the See of this new Diocese should have been located at Des Moines, Iowa. However the Vatican choseDavenport as the See city of this Diocese.
On June 14, 1881 the southern territory of the Dubuque Diocese was taken to form the Diocese of Davenport.  Fr. John McMullen, a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago was chosen to be the first Bishop. Bishop McMullen was consecrated by Archbishop Patrick Feehan of Chicago, Bishop John Hennessy of Dubuque, and Bishop John Lancaster Spalding of Peoria.
The Diocese of Davenport was split in two on August 12, 1911, which reduced it to its current size. The Diocese of Des Moines became the See city of this new diocese, which covered the southwestern quarter of the state of Iowa.
In recent years, the diocese of Davenport has been affected by the abuse scandal involving members of the clergy and focused onBishop Lawrence Soens.

Higher education

From its very beginning the diocese has a history of supporting higher education. At one time there were four Catholic colleges within the boundaries of the Diocese of Davenport. Today there is only one, Saint Ambrose University.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi established Mt. St. Claire College for women in 1918 in Clinton. The college began offering graduate courses over the internet in 2002 and changed its name to The Franciscan University. In 2004, the school modified its name to The Franciscan University of the Prairies, so as to avoid confusion with similarly named institutions. In 2005, the school was purchased by Bridgepoint Education, Inc. and the sisters ended their sponsorship. The school is now known as Ashford University.
Since 1947 the diocese has supported a dedicated campus ministry program at the Newman Catholic Student Center at the University of Iowa inIowa City.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms for the Diocese of Davenport was designed after the arms used by members of the Davenport family in England. The family's arms are described as, "Argent (white or silver), a chevron sable (black) between three cross crosslets fitchée of the second." The diocesan shield maintains the use of the silver color and the black cross crosslets fitchée. The black chevron is replaced with a black crenellated tower.

High schools

See also

Vision Report

Diocese of Davenport

Our vision statement. The Catholic Diocese of Davenport will reflect the Reign of God by growing in  faith, hope and charity.

Our mission statement. As a Eucharistic community, we live out Jesus’ call to go and make disciples of all  nations and to love God and neighbor.

Our strategic challenges. The following questions (not in priority order) reflect strategic issues or  challenges facing the Diocese of Davenport as we move forward:

1. How can we maintain the viability of parish life and make the Eucharistic Liturgy available to all areas of the Diocese as we strive to increase vocations to the priesthood?

2. How can we nurture and maintain a sense of prayer, proclaim and practice the Gospel, promote justice and live out our Catholic faith when the Gospel often conflicts with the norms, values and culture of the society in which we live?

3. How can we become increasingly accountable to each other as we re-establish trust in the Church?

4. How can we restore our financial viability?

5. How can we learn, teach and model the best practices of diocesan ministry and parish life?

6. How can we develop leadership and delegate more responsibility to lay people and deacons in a collaborative manner while honoring the nature of the Church and specific policies regarding appropriate roles and responsibilities?

7. How can we better utilize technology to support all areas of ministry?

8. How can we help people re-discover the value and meaning of being Catholic?

9. How can we better recognize and appreciate the social, cultural and religious diversity of our world as we become an increasingly multi-cultural church and society?

10. How can we become more accountable to administrative requirements without adding undue burdens to people who are already over-extended?

11. How can we pay just wages and benefits to staff while also balancing church budgets in a declining economy, especially in those parishes supporting Catholic schools?

Our strategic priorities. These five priorities emerged out of extensive discussions about new directions and initiatives for the diocese:

1. Celebrating Liturgy Well. Because liturgy, especially the Sunday Eucharist, forms us as the Body of Christ and is the source and summit of everything we do, we commit ourselves to authentic worship by observing the norms of the Church and by nurturing the full, conscious and active participation of all the faithful.

2. Restoring Trust. We will act with the utmost integrity in all that we do throughout the Diocese of Davenport.

3. Modeling Best Practices. We will model the best that experience and research have to offer in all areas of ministry as we promote parish and diocesan life, develop leadership and meet the specific pastoral needs of all of the faithful in the Diocese.

4. Strengthening Parish Life. We will encourage collaboration among all entities of the Diocese as we re-visit and update the current configuration of parishes and deaneries in the Diocese of Davenport.

5. Enhancing Communication. We will promote effective communication within and between diocesan entities through education and the efficient use of technology. Updated 3/2009 2

Six areas of ministry permeate all that we do. They are Liturgy, Faith Formation, Family Life, Finance and Administration, Social Action and Church Life. We recognize that evangelization, stewardship and vocations are integral elements of church life. As we live out our mission, address our strategic challenges and act upon these strategic priorities, we will emphasize all six areas of ministry in parish and diocesan life.

Specific actions. As we move forward as the Diocese of Davenport, these are some of the specific initiatives that we will undertake:

1. Create a long-range, pro-active strategic plan for revitalizing and re-structuring the parishes and deaneries of the Diocese.

2. Based upon that plan, encourage each parish to plan for the next ten years.

3. Align new parish and deanery structure to meet the needs and interests of parishes by promoting collaboration between parishes across the Diocese.

4. Actively promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life and lay ecclesial ministry to provide for the spiritual needs of our diocese.

5. Encourage parish planning by providing ongoing training for parish councils, lay directors, finance councils, boards of education, etc.

6. Continue leadership training for clergy and lay leaders across the diocese.

7. Promote deeper understanding, appreciation and collaboration between various cultures and faith traditions.

8. Establish a diocesan pool of subject matter experts, utilizing clergy and lay expertise, and develop a resource directory of subject matter experts (SMEs) in various areas of parish and diocesan ministry.

9. Communicate more clearly what support and direction diocesan offices are able to provide for parishes.

10. Break down parochialism as we search for collaborative ways to gain efficiencies between parishes and other entities of the diocese, including those of personnel, policies, programs and liturgies.

11. Practice appropriate levels of accountability and openness in the conduct and reporting of meetings and of finance in all entities throughout the Diocese.

MOST REV. MARTIN J. AMOS, D. D.

Born on December 8, 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio.  Educated at Borromeo Seminary, Wickliffe, Ohio and St. Mary Seminary, Cleveland, Ohio.  Received an S.T.B. from St. Mary Seminary, Cleveland, in 1968. and in 1975 was awarded a Masters in Education Degree at St. John College in Cleveland.  He was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1968 by Bishop Clarence G. Issenmann at St. John Bosco, Parma Heights, Ohio.

His first assignment was as Associate Pastor St. James, Lakewood from 1968 to 1970 He was transferred to St. Thomas, Sheffield Lake, and served from 1970 to 1973.  During this time he was also on the faculty of Elyria Catholic and Lorain Catholic High Schools teaching in the religion department.  He was sent to be on the faculty of Borromeo Seminary High School in 1973 and remained there until 1976.  During this time he attended John Carroll University and was certified to teach Latin, History and Humanities and received certification in Administration and Supervision.  When the High School closed in 1976 he was transferred to Borromeo College.  There he served as Academic Dean and taught Latin and Scripture from 1976 to 1983.  He was assigned to St. Dominic Church, Shaker Heights, where he served as associate pastor from 1983 to 1985. He was appointed Pastor of St. Dominic in 1985 and served there until 2001.

On April 3, 2001 appointed Titular Bishop of Meta and Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland. He received his Episcopal Ordination on June 7, 2001.  On November 20, 2006, Bishop Amos was installed as the 8th Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport . 

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