The Diocese of Des Moines
Determination Regarding Catholic Worker House
August 26, 2016
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Determination Regarding Catholic Worker House Remains in Force

In view of the upcoming anniversary events planned by the Catholic Worker House of Des Moines, Bishop Richard Pates, has reissued a statement on behalf of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Des Moines.  At this time, it is restated that the anticipated event involving a Reverend Janice Sevre-Duszynska is not a Catholic Mass and is knowingly in serious conflict with current Church teaching and practice.

Bishop Pates obviously applauds the authentic spirit of Dorothy Day, whose cause is being presented for canonization.  On this occasion, apart from the Catholic Worker House deviation from Catholic Church teaching and practice, the diocese is grateful for its advocacy and outreach to the poor over the years.

The statement follows:

Statement of clarification regarding celebration of Roman Catholic Mass at

Catholic Worker House in the Des Moines Diocese

In response to publicity generated by the Catholic Worker House in Des Moines, Bishop Pates, upon the unanimous recommendation of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Des Moines, has revoked the privilege of celebrating the Roman Catholic Mass at the Catholic Worker House for the time being.  The concerns are related to variances in Catholic liturgical rubrics, doctrine, and practice.

This determination was communicated to the leadership of the Catholic Worker House on May 5, 2015 and remains in effect.  At the time of printing of “The Catholic Mirror” no corrective or substantive response has been made to the Bishop and Presbyteral Council.

The Bishop of Des Moines and the Presbyteral Council have enormous appreciation for the legacy of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, and the philosophy she espoused.  They are also aware that while her radically faithful witness to the Gospel was highly challenging to her fellow Catholics, especially in the Social Justice arena, she was equally faithful to the liturgical traditions of the Church and followed them with great dedication benefitting her courage to serve Christ in the poorest of the poor and to actively witness for upholding their human dignity.

Members of the Presbyteral Council are:

Rev. Dan Kirby

Rev. Daniel Siepker

Rev. David Fleming

Rev. Frank Palmer

Rev. Guthrie Dolan

Rev. Michael Amadeo

Rev. Michael Peters

Rev. Robert Harris

Rev. Thomas Dooley, chair

Rev. Thomas Kunnel Save to


Thank you for this clarification and update and for proclaiming it publicly in such a timely manner.

I appreciate being protected from being led into error for myself and for others particularly my own family. We need this as there are so many things that are good in our culture while at the same time promoting real evil in other aspects which should not be so readily dismissed or overlooked.

God bless this effort and we must pray that the leadership will work to correct errors and ensure that the name Catholic accurately reflects all aspects of the efforts Dorothy Day intended.
Posted By: Pat - 8/26/2016 10:11 AM