The Diocese of Des Moines
February 2018

February 21, 2018
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

 A priest of the Diocese of Des Moines has been suspended indefinitely following an allegation of a serious violation of boundary issues related to unwelcome advances toward an adult.

            Immediately after hearing of the allegation early Tuesday morning, Bishop Richard Pates had law enforcement notified in Council Bluffs. He also suspended Father Carlos Pineda Gomez, who serves as parochial vicar of Corpus Christi Parish in Council Bluffs. While suspended, Father Pineda may not engage in public ministry including celebrating Mass or sacraments, nor may he go to the parish office, St. Albert Catholic Schools or the parish religious education program.

            Before further action is taken with Father Pineda, an investigation into allegations will be taken by appropriate authorities.

            The diocese encourages anyone with allegations of abuse by clergy to contact their local police department or diocesan Victim Assistance Advocate Sherry Knox at, or 515-286-2028. She can assist the person with making a complaint, receiving support and counseling services.

            "On behalf of the Diocese of Des Moines, I wish to extend my prayers and sincere apology to any person who has been victimized," said Bishop Richard Pates. "During this Lenten season, I ask you to keep in your prayer all victims of abuse, the Corpus Christi Parish community, and Father Pineda."

            Father Pineda was ordained by Bishop Pates in December 2016. Before ordination, he served a pastoral year at St. Patrick Church in Council Bluffs and as a transitional deacon was assigned to Christ the King Parish in Des Moines. After ordination, he was assigned to serve Corpus Christi Parish in Council Bluffs.

February 19, 2018
Written By: Bishop Richard Pates

At age 75, Bishops are required to submit their resignations form office according to Canon law. On Feb. 12, I reached that magic number.  I have submitted my resignation to Pope Francis in order that it might be on his desk close to that date.

Typically, thereafter, a search is conducted to identify the Bishop’s successor after which the transition in bishops occurs.  Oftentimes, this requires four months or considerably more time.  Nonetheless, I believe it is appropriate to begin prayer for the yet unidentified individual who will become the tenth bishop of Des Moines.  Prayer is essential in carrying forward the mission of the church.

As I prepare to take leave, my heart is full of joy and gratitude.  The past 10 years in the Des Moines diocese have flown by.  I am particularly grateful to Bishop Emeritus Joseph Charron, the priests, deacons, religious and seminarians who have shared with positive spirit this span of our faith journey.  Great appreciation is also owed to the members of the diocesan staff who in their very talented way have rendered exceptional service to our diocesan family.  Such is also applicable to our school personnel and all others who have been so very generous in exercising the personal gifts God has blessed them with.

As the Diocese of Des Moines, we are “one body.”  We witness the presence of Jesus in our lives.  This community is fortunate to have so many integrally involved in the life of the Church at every level.  We are the people of God seeking to fulfill the mission entrusted to us:  “To make Jesus Christ known and loved in our times by choosing to live out the gospel at every moment.” 

A question which people confront me with is:  “What are you going to do after you retire?”  Fair question indeed.

After much soul searching, I have decided to return to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in retirement.  Archbishop Bernard Hebda has assured me of his welcome along with opportunities to assist him in the pastoral service of some 825,000 Catholics in the archdiocese.

St. Thomas Academy, a diocesan boys’ high school is providing me the opportunity to reside in its John R. Roach Faculty Residence on campus.  Frequently, I stayed in this facility during my visits to the Twin Cities.  Right next door to St. Thomas, is Visitation Academy, the girls’ counterpart to St. Thomas.  It is anticipated that I would be able to provide ministry to these schools as well as other large institutions in the archdiocese.

Another opportunity that is in the offing is to serve as a liaison between Bishops in Africa and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The American bishops have established a development fund for African dioceses which needs administering.

I do intend to visit my Iowa home frequently.  In communication with our priests, I have assured them I would be happy to replace them in the parishes enabling them to take much needed time off.  I also look forward to participation in Des Moines diocesan events.  After all, the path from the Twin Cities to southwest Iowa is all downhill.

God has been particularly benevolent to me in my nearly 50 years of service as his priest.  For this, my heart beats with gratitude.  As I prepare to enter into the next phase of ministry, I know God’s mercies are far from spent.  Thus I do so with excitement and confidence in God’s providence.  I welcome your prayers at this time.

February 15, 2018
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

It's Lent and that means parishes are cooking up fish fry dinners across the diocese. Here is a list of those outside of the Des Moines metro area and those within the Des Moines metro area.


The following parish Lenten fish fry dinners will be every Friday Feb. 16-March 23 unless otherwise noted. Alternatives to fish are listed.

Altoona, Ss. John and Paul

Fried and baked fish dinners in the parish hall, 4:30-7 p.m. Cost is $10/adults, $5/children; no charge/children age 5 and under.

Council Bluffs, Corpus Christi

            At Queen of Apostles Great Hall from 4:30-7 p.m. Cheese pizza & ice cream available. Cost is $10/adults and $5/kids (10 & under).

Elkhart, St. Mary / Holy Cross

At church, Feb. 16, March 2 & 16, 5-7 p.m.  Cost is free will offering.

Granger, Assumption Church

Fried and baked fish dinners at the church, 5:30-7 p.m.  Cheese & vegetable pizza available. Church lady desserts. Price is a freewill offering.

Indianola, St. Thomas Aquinas

In the parish hall, 5:30-7 p.m. Cost is $9/adults and carryouts, $3/children ages 6-12, and free/children ages 5 and under.

Missouri Valley, St. Patrick

Baked or fried fish at Houdek Hall, Feb. 16, March 2 & 16, 5-7 p.m. Mac & cheese available. Feb. 23 will feature potato bar (no fish) plus soup. March 9 will feature sandwich bar (no fish) & soup; March 23 will feature salad bar (no fish) & soup. Cost is $8, or $7 with food or cash donation to the food pantry. Carryout is available.

Neola, St. Patrick

At the parish hall, from 5-7 p.m. Baked potato, grilled cheese sandwich available. Carryout available by calling 712-485-2433. Cost is $9/adults, $4/children ages 5-10, no cost/children under 5.

Norwalk, St. John the Apostle

Baked and fried fish dinners at the parish hall from 5:30-7 p.m. Cheese pizza, baked potato alternatives available. $8/adults, $5/seniors, $3 children 12 and under.

Perry, St. Patrick

At St. Patrick School, 5:30-7 p.m. Shrimp for $2 more & fish tacos available. Cost is $8/ adults, $4.50/10 and younger, maximum $25/family with children.

Red Oak, St. Mary

            Baked or friend fish at the parish hall, 5-7 p.m. $8/adults, $4/children 5-11, free/children under 5. Fish tacos, mac & cheese, baked potatoes available. Youth will sell desserts with the proceeds going to the Faith Formation program. Take-out meals available. Silent auction on March 9.

Des Moines Metro Area:

Des Moines, Basilica of St. John

            Baked or fried fish, in the parish hall, 4:45-6:45 p.m. Vegetable eggrolls available. Cost is $9/adults, $3/children, age 4-10, free/3yrs & young. Family rates available (immediate family only).

Des Moines, Christ the King 

In the parish hall, 5-7 p.m.  Cost is $8/adults and $4/children.

Des Moines, Holy Trinity

Baked fish in the social room/gym, 5-7 p.m. Not serving March 9. Mac & cheese, fish tacos available. Cost is $9/adults, $5/kids 5-11, free/5 & under, $35/family.

Des Moines, St. Ambrose Cathedral 

Fish & chips lunches in the parish hall, noon – 1 p.m. Cost is $5.

Des Moines, St. Joseph 

Baked or fried fish, in the parish hall, 5-7 p.m. Tuna casserole, mac & cheese available. Cost is $8/adults, $6/children ages 6-12; children under 6 are free; $35/family (immediate family only).

Des Moines, St. Mary of Nazareth

Baked or fried fish, in the parish hall, 4:30–7 p.m. Baked potato, mac & cheese, beer & wine available. Cost is $9/adults, $8/seniors 60 and older and $5/children 12 and under.

Des Moines, St. Theresa

Baked or beer-battered fried fish, in the parish hall, 5:30-7 p.m. Fish tacos, mac & cheese, cheese or vegetable pizza available. Cost is a freewill offering with the money going to support vocations.

West Des Moines, Sacred Heart

Baked or fried fish, in the parish hall, 5:30-7 p.m. All you can eat. Cheese pizza available. Cost is $9/adults, $5/kids ages 3 to 10 (under 3 free). $35 family maximum.  Proceeds benefit youth ministry programs.

West Des Moines, St. Francis of Assisi

Baked or fried fish, 5:30-7:15 p.m.. Cheese pizza, baked potato, penne pasta, mac & cheese available. Cost is $10/age 13-adult; $5/children ages 6-12 (under 6 is free).

February 8, 2018
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

A Dowling Catholic High School concert slated for Thursday evening at St. Ambrose Cathedral has been cancelled because of the weather. If you're planning to attend an event at your parish or school tonight, please double check to make sure it hasn't been postponed or cancelled.

February 7, 2018
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Due to forecasted inclement weather for this coming weekend, the retreat for 9th/10th graders called Fanning the Flame that was slated for this weekend has been postponed to April 7. On the bright side, this means registration is open again. You can register by clicking here.

February 5, 2018
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

An information meeting scheduled for this evening in Osceola for those interested in the vocation of deacon has been cancelled due to the weather. The meeting was to begin at 7 p.m. at St. Bernard Parish in Osceola. The next information meeting is this Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. at All Saints Parish in Stuart. Any Catholic man thinking he's called to be a deacon in the Catholic Church is welcome to come and learn more about the application process. If he is married, his wife is strongly encouraged to attend.