Meet Bishop Emeritus Richard Pates

On April 10, 2008, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Richard Pates the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines. He faithfully served the diocese for 11 years until 2019, when Pope Francis accepted his resignation. 

Since retiring as the Bishop, he has been appointed the Apostolic Administrator in the Diocese of Joliet (2019), the Diocese of Crookston (2021), and the Archdiocese of Dubuque (2023). 


Bishop Pates can be contacted via email at


Bishop Pates has served on the Board of Directors of the North American College in Rome and is past chair of the International Justice and Peace Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has also served on numerous other boards and advisory committees.

To learn more about Bishop Pates, check out his:

  • Bishop Richard Pates, at the invitation of the Pastoral Care Committee, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, delivered three talks on Oct. 25, 2018 entitled: "A Hunger for Communion and Reconciliation in a Time of Stress.
    • Theme One: Identifying Grievances, Points of Division, Discussion Questions
    • Theme Two:  Reconciling, Discussion Questions
    • Theme Three: Satisfying a Hunger for Communion, Discussion Questions