The Diocese of Des Moines
October 2012

October 31, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

As Election Day approaches, you may be wondering what Bishop Richard Pates has said about the election, the political parties or the candidates. Here is an article he penned that was printed in "America" magazine last August. Called "In This Together: How Catholics can overcome partisan divisions," the article says, "Today, the Church can evangelize by working among people with various perspectives to counter the excesses of ideology. It might often make people angry, but it also would make the Catholic voice more difficult to ignore, elevating it above mere partisan agendas. It would give the Church renewed credibiltiy as a moral voice and force in the culture. In the words of 'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,' 'We are called to bring together our principles and our political choices, our values and our votes, to help build a better world.' "


Bishop Pates also addressed the election in his September and October columns in The Catholic Mirror, which you can find here.

October 26, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This weekend is the big Youth Rally at the St. Thomas More Center in Panora. Middle school students will gather on Saturday and high school students on Sunday. Popular youth speaker Chris Stefanick has a special gift for touching young people's hearts and speaking about the love of God in a way that connects with real life experience. For more information, go to and click on Youth Ministry.

October 22, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

The Diocese of Des Moines officially launches the Year of Faith on Tuesday with a focus on the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Christian lives. Benedictine Abbot Marcel Rooney, retired abbot primate for the worldwide Benedictine order and former abbot of Conception Abbey, will present an evening of conversation, prayer and fellowship at St. Francis of Assisi parish in West Des Moines. The evening begins with a dessert and coffee social at 6:30 p.m. followed by the abbot's presentation at 7 p.m. All are invited. Childcare will be available.

October 16, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Diocese of Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates said Tuesday, Oct. 16 that the problem with the HHS mandate and religious liberty has not been resolved. Bishop Pates shared a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding inaccurate information made during last week's vice presidential debate.


Bishop Pates said: "The problem with the HHS mandates and religious liberty has not been resolved.  In fact, the USCCB and other Catholic, ecumenical and secular entities vigorously continue to seek redress of these First Amendment concerns through legislative and judicial initiatives and in ongoing contact with the executive branch of government.” 


The USCCB statement reads:




WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement October 12. Full text follows:


Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees: “With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”


This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other

religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.


HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.


USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.


For more details, please see USCCB’s regulatory comments filed on May 15 regarding the proposed “accommodation”:


October 10, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Welcome our new multimedia journalist Kelly Mescher Collins, of St. Francis Parish in West Des Moines. Kelly earned her undergraduate degree at Iowa State University and her master's degree at the University of Iowa. She has worked in journalism, marketing and public relations, mostly with agriculture. Kelly will produce stories for The Catholic Mirror and produce bishop's weekly radio show. She grew up in a large Catholic family on a farm near Carroll in the Diocese of Sioux City. She graduated from Kuemper Catholic High School and was active in St. Augustine Parish in Halbur. Contact Kelly with story ideas or your advetising needs.

October 9, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This past Saturday, Bishop Richard Pates delivered the keynote address to the Iowa Institute for Social Action entitled "Threats to World Peace and the Church's Response." In his talk, Bishop covered specifically the areas of Israel-Palestine, Afghanistan-Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the congo and latin America. He also offered the Church's perspective on what peace really means. "The Church teaches that peace doe snot consist simply in the absence of war or violence," he said. "true peace can only be built on the firm foundation of justice. The Church speaks of creating 'an authentic culture of peace' in which 'the defense and promotion fo humanr ights is essential for the building up of a peaceful society,'" he said, citing the Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church.

October 4, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates has become more aware of the importance of doing all we can to support our global brothers and sisters as they strive to be self-sustaining. Bishop has traveled around the world -- Ivory Coast, Venezuela, Cuba, Congo and Nigeria -- in his role as chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee for International Justice and Peace. The diocesan offices at the Catholic Pastoral Center are transitioning to use fair trade coffee and tea for staff use and for all our diocesan meetings. Bishop Pates encourages parishes and schools to use fair trade products and make them available for parishioners who want to be part of this economic justice initiative supported by Catholic Relief Services. Fair trade products are made or farmed by people around the world and sold here. The income is used to pay those who farmed or made the products a just and livable wage.

October 3, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

For the third time in less than a year internationally known musical artist Steve Angrisano will be in the Diocese of Des Moines. He led the Youth Rally during last year's diocesan Centennial Celebration and just last month was at the Christ Our Life Regional Conference. Angrisano will be appearing with Sarah Hart and Jesse Manibusen this Thursday during a "Ministering to those who Minister" workshop at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines. Angrisano, Hart and Manibusen will be giving a concert Thursday at 7 p.m. at the parish. A free will donation will be collected; there will be no ticket sales. All three artists will have their CDs and merchandise for sale. For more information, or to RSVP for the workshop, contact Jade at

October 2, 2012
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

This Saturday is the 19th annual Iowa institute for Social Action featuring keynote speaker Bishop Richard Pates on "Threats to World Peace and the Church's Response." Don't forget to register. A variety of breakout sessions will focus on social concenrs of the Church. The event is sponsored by the Catholic dioceses of iowa and the Iowa Catholic Conference.  Click here to register.