Bishop William M. Joensen


The Most Rev. William M. Joensen, Ph.D. was ordained and installed in 2019 as bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines. Born in 1960, Bishop Joensen completed studies at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio and was ordained a priest in 1989. He earned a doctorate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 2001. He has served in parishes, as spiritual director at St. Pius X Seminary in Dubuque and in a variety of roles at Loras College in Dubuque.

Committees and Boards

  • Chair, Higher Education Working Group, Committee on Catholic Education, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Member, Board of Directors, Mercy College of Health Sciences
  • Chair, Iowa Catholic Conference
  • Representative, USCCB Region IX Bishops (Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri & Iowa)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Biking for Babies
  • Member, USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development


  • Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree
  • Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Knight Commander with Star 

Papal blessing

Papal blessings can be ordered online.  Under the tab Papal Blessing Parchments is an explanation of the process and at the bottom of the page is a button "Request Your Parchment."