On the move: Longtime Finance Director Retires

June 14, 2022

Paul Carlson

Dan Kinsella and Paul Carlson have spoken countless times late in the evenings and over the weekend on urgent diocesan finance matters.

It’s that dedication, integrity and poise during tough times that exemplified what a gift Carlson has been to the Diocese as he prepares to retire after 20-plus years. 

Carlson, of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Ankeny, has addressed overall accounting and financial reporting and analysis functions to ensure that diocesan assets and liabilities are properly safeguarded. His service extended to 80 parishes and 16 schools within the Diocese.
He addressed challenging situations and supported parishes in their moments of glory said Kinsella, who serves as the chair of the diocesan Finance Council. 

As an example, Carlson assisted Kinsella’s parish of St. Patrick in Imogene through a grant process and helped the parish with other grant successes.

“Not only is Paul a strategic thinker, he took the time to understand the details and was not beyond simply taking notes and managing relationships,” he said.  

Carlson guided the Diocese through the pandemic, one of the most trying of times.
Bishop William Joensen praised Carlson’s steadfast leadership.

“Paul has been a trustworthy, knowledgeable and vigilant steward of our resources,” he said. “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.”

Kinsella added:  “His demeanor is always the same. He is an absolute rock and pillar to lean on regardless of what is happening around him.”

Diocesan Stewardship Director Maureen Kenney said Carlson has been collaborative.
“Paul has an unassuming nature about him that fosters the leadership and participation within the large diocesan network he’s served so faithfully. You could count on his decision making to be consultative, responsive and transparent – a precedent that will serve the Diocese for generation to come.”

Carlson has helped other Catholic organizations such as Catholic Charities with their finances.
“Throughout the years, Paul has provided wise counsel and guidance in achieving financial sustainability in support of Catholic Charities. We will miss Paul’s expertise and, in particular his friendship and collegiality to all he has mentored and helped,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Barbara Decker.

Carlson is grateful for his years at the Diocese.

“The years flew by and I  feel honored to have worked with so many talented, dedicated, wonderful people throughout the Church of southwest Iowa. I look forward to the next opportunity God provides me,” he said.

Robert Larson, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines, has been named the new Finance director.