Schweizer family to give keynote at Bishop's Celebration

by Diocese of Des Moines | June 19, 2024

Schweizer family

On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Diocese of Des Moines will host its annual Bishop's Celebration of Catholic Schools at St. Francis of Assisi in West Des Moines. The event unites the community in celebration of the life-changing impact faith-centered education at its schools has provided for over 150 years. The Diocese will honor exceptional individuals dedicated to Catholic education during the event. This year's honorees include:

This year's event will also feature a keynote address from the Schweizer family, a name synonymous with excellence in athletics and a proud product of the Diocese of Des Moines Catholic Schools. The family, represented by three generations, including Olympian Karissa Schweizer, will share their unique experiences and insights, highlighting how Catholic education has been instrumental in their success both academically and beyond.

Karissa Schweizer's roots in Urbandale and her journey through Dowling Catholic are steeped in a rich legacy of athleticism and determination. Daughter to Mike and Kathy Schweizer, both of whom boasted successful collegiate track careers at Mankato State, Karissa inherited a passion for running from a lineage of champions. Her grandfather, Frank Schweizer, an NCAA Division II All-American runner at Mankato State, left an indelible mark on Dowling Catholic, coaching track for over four decades. Although he retired before Karissa's high school tenure, his legacy thrived through her family's continued dedication to the sport.

The family's connection to Dowling's track program runs deep, with Karissa's father and uncles, Steve and Doug, leaving their own tracks on the school's history. Even her siblings, Kelsey and Ryan, followed suit, lacing up their shoes to represent Dowling on the track. Ryan's athletic prowess shone brightly as he clinched eight impressive state championships, including a swimming title. His achievements extended beyond high school, as evidenced by his stellar performance at the 2017 USA Track and Field Junior Championships, where he secured third place with a remarkable 3:49.04 PR in the 1500m event. Currently, he's a valued member of the University of Notre Dame's track team.

To reserve tickets or to get involved you can purchase your tickets online or by contacting Laura Holms at (515) 237-5079 or email

The Diocese of Des Moines Catholic schools includes 16 schools in 23 counties in central and southwest Iowa. Catholic schools in the Des Moines Diocese build Christ-centered, collaborative, inclusive partnerships with parents, students, and parishes to provide students with innovative academic excellence and inspirational faith formation.

Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area in the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties.