The latest  

Bishop William Joensen said in a letter to the faithful on May 17 that he is allowing certain parishes to begin Phase 1 of re-opening the celebration of Mass publicly on weekdays only.


On March 15, Bishop Joensen suspended all publicly celebrated weekend Masses and weekday Masses, and relieved the faithful of their Sunday obligation. This was done to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Bishop's Response


The list of parishes that are streaming Masses online is growing! Check out our list. Missing some? Let us know what parish(es), days & times of Masses and where they're posted. Sunday Mass is carried at 8 a.m. in the Des Moines area on KCWI, channel 23.

Sacraments and COVID-19

The National Association of Catholic Chaplains and the Catholic Health Association of the United States have put together a wonderful Q&A regarding sacramental practice when you have a loved one in the hospital. We hope you find it helpful and comforting during these difficult days. Here is how to do a  sacramental confession when a priest is not available.

Does your family know what your wishes are?

COVID-19 is a reminder that there are unexpected illnesses that can affect our loved ones. More common ailments impact Americans every day, some so serious that family members find themselves having to make difficult decisions about the measures to sustain their lives. Do your loved ones know what your wishes are? Check out these resources for advance directives in sync with Catholic teaching.

Prayer Resources

Use this time to grow closer to the Lord. There are many resources to feed our spirituality. Take a look at the prayers and multitude of websites that offer prayer, tips and guidance.

Radio Resources

Resources for ministry leaders

Parish ministry leaders are encouraged to follow this link to a list of resources they may find useful.

Resources for families

We have compiled podcasts, articles, and prayer resources to foster our faith during this time.

Social Services

Here is a list of social services available in our communities. Catholic Charities can be contacted if you need help with food, counseling or other social services.

Hospitals/Care Facilities

MercyOne Des Moines has taken several precautions.

  • The medical center joined all of the Des Moines-area hospitals in visitor restrictions to protect patients, families and health care workers. The temporary restrictions limit visitors to only primary caregivers (parents/stepparents, spouse/significant other, other primary caregivers).
  • Weekend Mass at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center are cancelled until further notice. All public Masses at Mercy One Des Moines and West Des Moines Medical Centers are cancelled until further notice.
  • Pastors are welcome to visit patients; however, Eucharistic minister volunteers are asked to remain at home until further notice. MercyOne Pastoral Care chaplains will provide the Eucharist for patients at the hospital.

Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston is allowing only visitors for residents receiving end-of-life care. All visitors must be screened upon entry. 


All Catholic schools in the Diocese of Des Moines were closed on Monday, March 16 due to the coronavirus outbreak. With lightning speed and the dedication of our educators, all diocesan Catholic schools moved to distance learning within about a week. Get the latest information here about how it's going.

Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines has closed its campus. Check here for updates.

HR for parishes and schools

Here is a link to a memo and resource information sent to parishes and schools on March 13.


If your parish or school is part of the unemployment program with the Iowa Catholic Conference, and you have staff whose hours are reduced, or staff are temporarily furloughed, they should file a claim here with Iowa Workforce Development. If your parish or school is not part of the ICC’s unemployment program, your staff may still be eligible for some financial aid if their hours are reduced or they are furloughed. The new CARES Act covers employees of nonprofit organizations. They should contact Iowa Workforce Development for information on how to apply.

Accessing funds

Parishes can access their funds at the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa here.