Diocese Names New Finance Director

May 20, 2022

Robert Larson

The Diocese of Des Moines thanks Director of Finance Paul Carlson for his 20-plus years of dedicated service as he prepares for retirement, and welcomes Robert “Bob” Larson as the new director effective July 1.

Carlson, of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Ankeny, has overseen all accounting and financial reportingnull and analysis functions to ensure that diocesan assets and liabilities are properly safeguarded and accounted for in accord with generally accepted accounting principles. His service extends to 80 parishes and 16 schools within the Diocese.

“I’m grateful for the many years Paul has given to the Diocese of Des Moines,” said Bishop William Joensen. “Paul has been a trustworthy, knowledgeable and vigilant steward of our resources. During the start of the pandemic and when I was a relatively new bishop, Paul steadily guided us through a variety of creative options to help the Diocese navigate one of the most trying times in recent memory.”

A search committee led by top finance experts in the Diocese looked for a new Director of Finance who is committed to the Catholic Church, has strong executive leadership skills, a strong accounting/finance background and is forward thinking.

The Bishop named Larson with the unanimous recommendation of the committee, along with support from the diocesan College of Consultors and Finance Council.

Larson brings a strong background in leadership, global experience; he has a proactive style and is strongly committed to his Catholic faith and the Church.  He retired from Deere & Co. in 2020 as assistant treasurer, a position for which he was responsible for global treasury activities for the manufacturing division and financial services division.

In retirement, the parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines wanted to contribute his talent for finance to the Church in some capacity and contacted the Diocese to see if it had a need. Since 2021, he has served as an internal control specialist on a part-time basis. In this role, he has conducted internal reviews of parishes throughout the Diocese.

“Bob has 30-plus years of accounting and finance experience, strong analytical skills and hands-on strategic planning in his background,” said Bishop Joensen. “He has the business acumen and the creativity that will help the Diocese succeed in its initiatives. Equally important, Bob has the heart of a servant leader. As we listen to the faithful and the Holy Spirit in strategizing a vision for the future, Bob will help us remember that we serve the faithful and their parish communities in our diocesan family.”