Welcome from Bishop Zinkula!

Welcome to the Diocese of Davenport vocations website!  I have been privileged to be recently made bishop here in southeast Iowa.  It is a place of faith-filled lay people, religious and clergy.  We have large churches and small ones nestled in cities and farm lands.

I have been a priest for over 25 years and know the joy of serving Christ and God’s people as a priest.  I have been invited into the lives of countless people in good times and difficult times, in extraordinary and very ordinary situations.

Some people feel called to join a religious community, and some feel called to diocesan priesthood.  Most of our diocesan priests serve the people in parishes.

Perhaps that is getting a little ahead of your story and why you came to this website.  If you have an interest in priesthood, especially diocesan priesthood, I invite you to look at this site.  Somehow God is stirring your heart.  I hope you will listen and explore.  Discernment is part of what is done in determining a vocation.  Ask yourself the question, “What is God asking of me?”  If you don’t look and listen you will never know.

I pray for all those who come here looking.  Jesus said to the first disciples, “Come and see.”

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Rev. Thomas Zinkula
Bishop of Davenport


One of the things that we discover is that we really need to unburden ourselves. Our lives are in desperate need of simplifying. Our lives are in desperate need of simplicity. And we're just so good at collecting baggage.

The first time I walked the Camino, I remember that the guidelines were to pack twenty pounds—to have a pack that did not weigh more than twenty pounds. And I did a lot of study about what to take, what not to take, and the one thing that came up over and over and over in everything I read was that “you will take stuff that you will not use.” And the follow-on point from that was that “you will find yourself throwing stuff away, day by day, as you make this five-hundred-mile walk. You'll find yourself throwing stuff away because you realize you don't need it, you're not going to need it, and you've got to carry it, on your back, every day, for twenty-five miles in the beginning, through the Pyrenees.”

I'm out there, and I'm walking. I've got twenty pounds, and I think, “We really do complicate life, don't we? When it really comes down to it, what we actually need is very, very little. Very, very little.”

And so, as you make your way through the day today, just think about: How do you complicate your life unnecessarily? What are some ways you can simplify your life? Not next year, but today and tomorrow, and next week, and next month. What are some ways you can start simplifying your life right now?

-Excerpt from Best Lent Ever, Dynamic Catholic
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When's the last time you intentionally denied yourself of something? At the core of an integrated life is this discipline. And in order to live out this discipline in the moments of the day, we have to learn to deny ourselves. Of course, we live in a culture that is absolutely allergic to self-denial of any form. We live in a culture that says, “Do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want, as often as you want.” And so, the concept of self-denial, or denying ourselves of something, has been lost in the general fabric of our culture—and so needs to be reintroduced.

Fifty years ago, or a hundred years ago, this practice of fasting or self-denial was practiced much more. It needs to come back into our lives. I think that creates a great opportunity for us to really think about, “How am I going to deny myself on a regular basis so that I don't become a slave to my appetites?” Because, God wants you free. You're created for freedom.

Are you free? Maybe more important than that, what aren't you free from? Because we're all not free from something. And you know what? It might just be your morning cup of coffee, that might be your thing. But God wants you free, he wants you completely free, he wants you totally free so that you can live life to the fullest.
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One of the biggest issues in our culture over the next fifty years will be addiction. Because, as we have abandoned the authentic life. We have embraced the idea that “I can be happy by doing whatever I want.”

The natural consequence of that is that we do become slave to our appetites, our impulses, our whims, our fancies. And, as we become slaves to our impulses and appetites, it takes more and more of whatever your thing is to satisfy you with every passing day, week, month, year, and decade. And so, we see this explosion of addiction in our culture.

There's almost no family in our society today that has not been touched by serious addiction of some type. Addiction destroys people. It destroys children of God. It destroys marriages. We are going to have to learn as individuals, as families, as church communities, as civil communities, and as a nation how to best love people who are in the grips of addiction. How do we help reintegrate people into society who have recovered from addiction, or are in the process of recovering from an addiction? And perhaps most importantly, how do we raise our children in such a way that prepares them to live a life free of radical, destructive addiction? God didn't create us for that, and it is one of the major obstacles of our time between us and the-best-version-of-ourselves—between us and that authentic life.

-Excerpt from Best Lent Ever, Dynamic Catholic
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