News: Capital campaign just around the corner

August 18, 2021

Capital Campaign logo

The Diocese of Des Moines is launching a $45 million fundraising campaign to meet the growing needs of schools, parishes and diocesan ministries well into the future.

Bishop William Joensen, in consultation with pastors and other diocesan leaders, approved the campaign last January after a diocesan-wide feasibility study showed 72 percent of 1,200 Catholic participants were willing to support a fundraising effort.

The campaign theme, “Ignite! A Life. A Church. A Community.” aims to enhance the capacity of the diocesan family– priests, women religious, deacons, mothers, fathers, teachers, catechists, and, especially, our children – to bear and communicate the message of Jesus within and beyond the Church to the larger society.

“As one body of Christ, we are seeking to boldly ignite the faith with the apostolic zeal and spirit of the first Christians to settle Southwest Iowa.  We want everyone to claim and reflect our God-given dignity to others who may not yet know that they are unconditionally loved by God.  Our greatest joy is found when we enable our neighbors to discover the freedom and beauty that are too easily clouded by the present challenges families face and the many voices that would distract us from hearing God’s personal invitation to friendship,” Bishop Joensen said.

The campaign goals include the establishment of an endowment to provide more financial aid to Catholic school families. It will also provide additional funding for the Diocese’s growing number of seminarians, support priests in their retirement, and promote parish renewal and vibrancy initiatives. In addition, a percentage of funds raised at each of the 80 parishes will be returned directly to each parish through a “parish share” component. These funds will be used for parish-specific needs.

“We are all called to participate, to stoke the flames of the Spirit and kindle faith and hope for our generation and those who will follow us,” Bishop Joensen commented. “To be a Catholic Christian is God’s great privilege to us, to celebrate sacraments in communion with Jesus and our sisters and brothers.  As the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph and all God’s friends have shown us, we offer our lives as both sacrifice and gift.  The Spirit is urging us right now to promote what our present and past popes have called a ‘human ecology’ by being good stewards of our lives and all the resources that God has entrusted to us.”

The Diocesan Stewardship Office will manage the campaign with assistance from the Steier Group, a Catholic fundraising firm based in Omaha, Nebraska. Bishop Joensen has recruited a strong group of clergy and lay leaders to lead the charge.

A Clergy Committee, comprised of pastors from every region in the Diocese, is led by co-chairs Father Dan Kirby (pastor of St. John the Apostle in Norwalk) and Father Joe Pins (pastor of St. Joseph in Des Moines). A Campaign Cabinet has also been formed, led by general co-chairs Bryan and Betsy Boesen, Dan and Natalie Burkey, Kyle and Sharon Krause, Steve and Cathy Lacy, and Pete and Dana Wenstrand.

Since the campaign’s approval earlier this year, these leadership teams have been engaged in preparing for the rollout of the public phase while also conducting the “silent” phase of the campaign, which will conclude in December.

The public phase will begin in January 2022, with every parish participating in one of three “waves” throughout the year. Preparations for the public phase will begin this fall.