Discerning the Priesthood

The Diocese of Des Moines has a thriving vocations program with an open door to men  who are discerning religious life. We have young men who decided while still in high school that they want to explore the possibility of becoming a priest. We also have men who graduated and held jobs before answering that call to consider the priesthood. Wherever God has taken you in the past, we're to help you discern where He's guiding you for the future.

Discernment Events, Retreats & Seminary Visits

We have a number of events throughout the year that are designed to help men discerning a vocation to the priesthood. Some events, like Andrew dinners, bring young men and diocesan priests together for a dinner of fun and networking. Other events, like Bishop's Discernment Retreat, help men in their quest to determine what God is asking them to do with their lives.


For more information or to attend any of these events, please contact Father Ross Parker at vocations@dmdiocese.org or 515-237-5050.

Andrew Dinners

Each year, Bishop Joensen visits a region of the diocese to visit with young men and their parish priests. Bishop and the priests share their vocation call and answer questions from the young men.

Day of Discernment

Men from around the state of Iowa come together for prayer and discussion. This day is facilitated by a seminary professor. He brings a unique look into seminary and discernment toward priesthood.

Visit a Seminary

There are several opportunities throughout the year to visit a seminary. On the visit they talk with our seminarians about their experience and get a feel for what it's like to attend seminary.

Bishop's Discernment Retreat

Each year Bishop Joensen holds a retreat at the Creighton Retreat Center for those considering a vocation to the priesthood. This weekend retreat is a great time to pray and meet current seminarians.