The Diocese of Des Moines
February 3, 2017
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

                Deacon Joe Coan is heading home today.

                After experiencing an attack by a woman with a knife Thursday morning at St. Augustin Church’s adoration chapel, he is expected to be released from the hospital today (Friday).

                “Tell everybody I’m doing fine and I appreciate all their support and prayers and concern,” he said.

                He’s grateful he didn’t experience more serious injuries than the cut on his neck, his hands and arms. As he continues his recovery at home, he will pray for the woman who attacked him. She is in police custody.

                “I do pray for her,” he said. “I’m thankful to be here and I’m going to pray for her.”

                He was in the parish’s adoration chapel getting the Eucharist to bring to the sick of the parish when the incident occurred.

                Bishop Richard Pates visited the deacon, praying with him and for him at the hospital shortly after the incident. They also prayed together for the woman.

                At age 89, Deacon Coan said he plans to go back to bringing communion to the sick after he has recovered. 

                “That’s the secret of life. You’ve got to keep busy,” he said.

                He enjoys preaching once a month, serving at wake services and baptisms and taking communion to area hospitals, nursing homes and hospice facilities.

                “I’ll never retire. I’ve got to keep going.”




January 30, 2017
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates named Adam Storey as the new diocesan vice chancellor effective Jan. 15. He will serve part time as vice chancellor while continuing in his full-time role as diocesan director of the Marriage and Family Life Office.

“I am grateful to Adam for accepting this additional responsibility and am confident he will fulfill well all of our expectations,” said Bishop Richard Pates.

In his new role, Storey will be a member of the diocese’s Executive Committee, an advisory group to the bishop, and will undertake administrative projects as assigned by the bishop.

Storey has served as the diocesan director of the Marriage and Family Life Office since January 2012. Prior to serving the diocese, he was a theology teacher at Dowling Catholic High School, in West Des Moines, from 2009-2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and a master’s degree in theology from the Augustine Institute. He served the U.S. Marine Corps and is a former diocesan seminarian. He and his family belong to the Basilica of St. John Parish in Des Moines.




January 26, 2017
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Iowans for LIFE is taking about 150 people on three buses to Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life.

                On Jan. 22, 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal throughout the United States through its decision in Roe v Wade. Each year since then, a peaceful demonstration calling for the protection of life is held on the anniversary date.

                This year, the march will be Jan. 27, five days after the anniversary date, due to the presidential inauguration.

                Lauren Cornelius, of St. Albert School in Council Bluffs, will be going for the first time to see what her friends experienced when they went.

                “I wanted to go because I am pro-life and I want to march for what I believe in,” she said.

                “I hope my presence at the march will change at least one person's mind about abortion when they see how many people are at the march and standing up for the lives of people who aren't even born yet,” she said.

      Fellow student Caitlin Shugart said she wanted to go not only because it’s her senior year, but because she’s experiencing a growth in her faith life.

      “I’ve really started to discover what it means to be Catholic, and to have that faith,” she said.

      “I hope that being at the march will show that abortion isn’t just a political issue, that people of all ages from all places are fighting to give a voice to those who do not have one,” she added. “here are plenty of youth in America that share my belief and that will go on this march, and I think it’s extremely important for people to see how unifying and important this issue is to youth as well.”

      Cornelius and Shugart will join mostly youth mixed with some adult chaperones, families and individuals on the buses, a trip organized by Iowans for LIFE for the past 35 years.

                The March for Life, and all events and activities at IFL, are aimed toward three goals:

  • Prayer. The pilgrims will pray to Washington, D.C. and back.
  • Education. In between prayer, there is literature to read, pro-life movies to watch and opportunities for discussion.
  • Action. Those who attend are encouraged to take what they learned and witnessed back to their schools, churches and communities and so something.

“Everyone has a piece in the puzzle and everyone must do their part to help create a culture of life,” said Maggie DeWitte, executive director of IFL. “We hope the march is a springboard for more things to come within that person’s life, family and community.”




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