The Diocese of Des Moines

Leadership transition at St. Thomas More Center — 

Leadership Transition Announced for St. Thomas More Center


PANORA -- Bishop Richard Pates announced today plans for a leadership transition at the St. Thomas More Center, home of Catholic Youth Camp.  Bishop Pates has accepted the resignation of Chris Wadle, executive director of the center, effective at the conclusion of the upcoming summer camp season. The bishop also announced the appointment of Joe Connolly, who accepted his invitation to serve as executive director starting in July.  These decisions were made in consultation with members of the St. Thomas More Center Advisory Board.

            Wadle provided notice of his intent to depart for family reasons following three years of tremendous leadership at the center. 

            “Chris Wadle’s leadership came at a particularly critical juncture in the center’s history and he has rendered exceptional service in bringing both stability and development to the operation. He has merited great thanks from the Catholic community,” Bishop Pates said.

            Connolly is retiring at the end of the current school year from his role as president of the Saint Albert Catholic Schools in Council Bluffs.

            Part of the role Connolly will provide while serving as executive director will be to assist the Advisory Board in developing a strategic plan which will include how the center can better engage with both Hispanic families and expand the use of the facility by young adults for their spiritual growth. 

The Diocese of Des Moines has owned the facility since 1983 and operated Catholic Youth Camp at the site for more than 30 years.