The Diocese of Des Moines
Diocese supports partnership with Habitat for Humanity on Pope Francis House project
March 19, 2015
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Habitat for Humanity seeks volunteers, donors for Pope Francis House

Diocese supports partnership between parishes, schools & Habitat for Humanity

Bishop Richard Pates encourages parishes and schools in the Diocese of Des Moines to partner with Habitat for Humanity in its bid to build a home on Francis Avenue in Des Moines for a low-income family in honor of Pope Francis.

An anonymous donor has approached Habitat for Humanity in several cities across the country including Des Moines offering half the cost of a house, $60,000, for the building a home in honor of Pope Francis. In each case, the donor asked that the home-building effort includes Catholics with particular outreach to young people in high school or college.

“Habitat for Humanity has a substantial record of outstanding work helping the vulnerable across the world own a home. Last year, the organization worked with 28 families to move into their own house,” said Bishop Richard Pates. “We have a number of parishes and youth groups that contributed funds and volunteer hours to help build those homes. I encourage all Des Moines metro area parishes to consider being a part of this special project to honor Pope Francis. The Holy Father calls all of us to make serving the poor a prime priority.”

            Habitat for Humanity needs contributions totaling $60,000 and 250 volunteers willing to measure, cut, paint, and hammer to build the three-bedroom, one bathroom ranch-style house for a family that has been selected.

The family that has been selected -- a mother, father and two young children – is expected to purchase the home this fall.

Bishop Pates will visit and bless the construction site on Wednesday, May 27 at 11:30 a.m.

The Catholic Circle of Faith, a collection of four parishes that have worked together on homes for Habitat for Humanity, have already agreed to be a part of this effort. They are: Sacred Heart Parish in West Des Moines, Ss. John and Paul Parish in Altoona, St. Francis Parish in West Des Moines and St. Pius X Parish in Urbandale.

“Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Diocese of Des Moines and the local Catholic community to build a home in honor of Pope Francis,” said Lance Henning, Executive Director and President of Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity.  “As a Christian organization, Habitat’s mission of putting God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope aligns well with the pope’s commitment to social justice and tangible service. We look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones during this special build.”

Habitat for Humanity has established a webpage for the project that offers the opportunity for online donations and for registering to volunteer, as well as links to photos and updates about the Pope Francis House ( Save to


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