The Diocese of Des Moines

Deacon Coan Grateful for Prayers — 

Deacon Coan grateful for prayers, support

Deacon Joe Coan is resting at home a day after experiencing an attack by a woman with a knife at St. Augustin Church’s adoration chapel.

            “Tell everybody I’m doing fine and I appreciate all their support and prayers and concern,” he said.

            He’s grateful he didn’t experience more serious injuries than the cut on his neck, his hands and arms. As he continues his recovery, he will pray for the woman who attacked him. She is in police custody.

            “I do pray for her,” said Deacon Coan. “I’m thankful to be here and I’m going to pray for her.”

             He was in the parish’s adoration chapel Thursday, Feb. 2 getting the Eucharist to bring to the sick of the parish when the incident occurred.

             Bishop Richard Pates visited the deacon at the hospital shortly thereafter.

            “I had the opportunity to visit Joe, pray with him and for him and to impart a special healing blessing on him,” said Bishop Pates. “We also prayed fervently for his alleged assailant.”

            On Friday morning, Bishop Pates celebrated the 8 a.m. Mass at the St. Augustin Eucharistic Chapel restoring the site to its sacred purpose.

            Bishop Pates asks the public to continue to pray for Deacon Coan, the perpetrator and the parish community.

           Deacon Coan, who has been ordained for nearly 31 years, said he plans to go back to bringing communion to the sick after he has recovered. 

            “That’s the secret of life. You’ve got to keep busy,” he said. “I’ll never retire. I’ve got to keep going.”