The Diocese of Des Moines

Catholic Schools


"I attended a Catholic elementary school, secondary school, college, and have taught in Catholic Schools for 15 years.  What I appreciate most about Catholic Schools is the values-added education.  The faculty and staff share their faith and their time with students and each other.  Attending Catholic Schools and teaching in Catholic Schools helps me face the challenges of the world and become a better person."

 - Tina O'Donnell, teacher


Message from the Bishop

My Dear Friends in Christ,

No dollar amount can be placed on the values our young people receive from a Catholic school education.  It is a holistic approach that focuses on educating a young person’s body, mind and soul.

Where else can a student learn about the beliefs, practices and traditions of our Catholic faith, live out their faith by serving God and those in need, and receive top academic training in a safe, nurturing environment?  There is no greater investment for forming our youth’s future than in investing in Catholic education.

I am proud of our Catholic schools in the Des Moines diocese.  We are blessed with committed leaders and educators who are dedicated to providing a Christ-centered education as well as promoting high academic standards.  Our students are actively involved in the community, participate in a variety of academic, fine arts and other extra-curricular activities while consistently demonstrating higher test scores than the state and nation.  We are proud of the responsible and productive citizens who constitute the alumni of Catholic Schools.

Your support and involvement in Catholic education will pay rich dividends for our young people, their families, the Church and society.  I am grateful for all that you do on its behalf.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Richard E. Pates
Bishop of Des Moines 


On May 17, 2012 Bishop Richard Pates announced a new diocesan policy for schools and parishes limiting youth-oriented programs on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings except for those related to sacramental, ministerial and/or catechetical endeavors. See the policy here.