Support for our Seminarians 

The Diocese of Des Moines has been making great strides over the last decade to increase the number of men entering seminary and discerning the priesthood, and these efforts to grow a culture of vocations are bearing fruit. Over the last 10 years, the Diocese has ordained 17 priests, with five men ordained priests in 2021 alone! Currently, the diocese can support 18 seminarians with current funding levels. But the average class size in the past 10 years and the projected class sizes for the foreseeable future are between 20 and 25 seminarians. Raising $5 million for the Diocesan Seminarian Fund will make it possible to adequately form our future priests without having to use funds from other ministries. 

“We are blessed to have numerous ordinations in recent years. We need to continue this progress and show the beauty and glory of God in Southwest Iowa. The hope is to keep financial burden away from seminarians so it is not part of their decision on whether to proceed or not. Their decision is about where God is calling them.”

Rev. Charles Kottas
Pastor, St. Peter Parish, Council Bluffs


Questions about Support for our Seminarians

 How many seminarians do we have?  
Average seminarian class sizes have consisted of 22 men over the last ten-year period. Over the same period, 17 priests have been ordained, with five men ordained in 2021.  
 How do we currently support seminarian education? 
The average educational cost per year per seminarian is $40,000, and through generous donations to the ADA, Annual Seminarian Appeal and the endowed Diocesan Seminarian Fund, the Diocese can provide support for about 18 seminarians each year. Shortfalls have arisen when the number of men discerning the priesthood exceed the funding available, causing the Diocese to use funds from other ministries. With projected class sizes of between 20 and 25 seminarians for the foreseeable future, a more sustainable source of funding is needed.  

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