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.

On July 18, 2019, Pope Francis accepted his resignation and appointed Father William Joensen as the 10th bishop of the diocese. 

On Dec. 27, 2019, Pope Francis named Bishop Pates the Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, where he served until September, 2020.

On April 13, 2021, Pope Francis named Bishop Pates Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, where he served until December of that year.

On April 4, 2023, Pope Francis named Bishop Pates the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, where he currently serves.


You are welcome to email Bishop Pates with this link


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:

  • For columns from 2008-2018, please contact Anne Marie Cox in the diocesan Communications Office.
Radio Show

Podcasts of "In the Heartland With Bishop Pates" can be heard at the Iowa Catholic Radio website

  • 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