The Diocese of Des Moines

About Diocese of Des Moines


The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area, the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties. The diocese is comprised of:

  • About 97,000 Catholics of a total population of about 742,000

  • 80 parishes

  • 18 schools

  • 60 active diocesan priests, and

  • 3 Catholic hospitals

Bishop Richard Pates is the shepherd of the diocese, having been appointed in 2008. His priorities are:

  • Meeting the needs of newcomers, particularly Hispanic Catholics,

  • Growing vocations, particularly to the priesthood,

  • Encouraging people to understand and support evangelization, and

  • Serving youth and young adults.



The Diocese of Des Moines has a number of ministries. They include:
Office of the Bishop
         Vicar General
         Judicial Vicar
         Vicar for Retired Priests
         Vicar for Newly Ordained Priests (first five years)
         Vicar for Finance
         Vice chancellors
         Diaconate Formation
         Judicial Ministry (Tribunal)
         Marriage Ministry
         Victim Assistance Advocate
         Building Administration
         Human Resources
Catholic Charities

Adoption Search Services

Counseling Program
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Program
Emergency Family Shelter
Food Pantry
Outreach Center
Refugee Resettlement

Communications and Public Relations
         The Catholic Mirror
         “In the Heartland with Bishop Pates” radio show
         Press Center
Catholic Schools
         Cristo Rey School Feasibility Study
Evangelization and Catechesis (formerly Faith Formation)
         Adult Faith Formation

Centennial Evangelization Initiative

Diocesan Centennial Steering Committee
Catechetical Services
Deaf Ministry

Lay Ministry

Youth Ministry

         Accounting Services
         Computer Services
         Vicar for Finance