Des Moines Catholic Worker


2014 Midwest Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace Faith and Resistance Retreat Report



News Release





News Release





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2013 Sugar Creek Report



more photos

            The big news from this year’s Midwest Catholic Worker Sugar Creek gathering is that we were back at Sugar Creek and it looks like we will continue to have access to Sugar Creek for future gatherings—at least in the near-term.
            Over 200 Catholic Workers from nine states and 26 cities and farms attended. IA: Ames, Des Moines, Dubuque, Waterloo, Maloy and La Motte. IL: Rock Island, Chicago, Bloomington and Peoria. IN: South Bend, Bloomington and Anderson. MI: Luck, Lake City, Milwaukee and Waukesha. MN: Duluth, Minneapolis, Lake City, Owatanna, Winona. MO: Kansas City, Columbia, St Louis and, in transition, White Rose Farm moving to northeast Missouri next to the Possibility Alliance. OH: Cleveland. SD: Yankton. TX: Austin.
            Newest statistic: 70 tents were counted during the weekend. There were more people sleeping outside than inside. The weather was breathtaking the first two days. Sunday morning was a washout with rain but no one complained (much), given that Iowa is in the mist of a drought. Lots of workshops were offered.
            The winner of this year’s Football Mary was Theodore Kayser, a Los Angeles Catholic Worker for the last five years. Theo and his partner Nicole are currently visiting Midwest CWers looking to relocate. Which raised a lot of questions regarding the validity of Theo’s winning the coveted Football Mary, since so many of us Midwest Catholic Worker communities are trying to recruit them. More later …
            The big news for us here at the Des Moines Catholic Worker came from Julie Brown. She made our offer to host the 2014 Midwest Faith and Resistance Retreat in Des Moines with our incoming weaponized drone command center as our focus and it was accepted. Now we need to nail down a weekend in March/April and find space for over 100 CWers to come to Des Moines and do direct action at our drones command site. Lots more later. [more photos and videos after the jump]

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August, 2013: Veterans for Peace UK at the Des Moines Catholic Worker


Ben and Mike with members of Des Moines Veterans for Peace

(Top: Al Burney, DMCW, DM VFP; Mike Lyons, VFP UK; Ben Griffin, VFP UK; Bill Basinger, DM VFP, Korean War Vet. Bottom: Gil Landolt, DMCW, DM VFP; Eddie Bloomer, DMCW, DM VFP; Gene Krauss, DM VFP, WWII Vet)

This August, the Des Moines Catholic Worker was fortunate to host two distinguished guests from the United Kingdom—Ben Griffin and Mike Lyons, war resistors, conscientious objectors, and founding members of Veterans for Peace UK.

Ben and Mike joined us in Des Moines following their attendance at the National Veterans for Peace Convention in Madison, Wisconsin, which they attended with DMCW community members Gil Landolt, Al Burney and Eddie Bloomer.

Following the convention, Ben and Mike embarked on a Midwest speaking tour on the theme “I Will Not Fight for Queen and Country.”

Look for more on Ben and Mike in the upcoming issue of via pacis, the newsletter of the Des Moines Catholic Worker.

Read Ben’s report on their midwest tour.

More photos from Ben and Mike’s visit.


Ben and Mike with members of Veterans for Peace marching in the annual Veterans’ Parade at the state fairgrounds.


April 24, 2013: Author Rosalie Riegle Visits the Des Moines Catholic Worker


Rosalie Riegle


Rosalie with Des Moines Catholic Workers and friends

Yesterday, the Des Moines Catholic Worker was blessed by a visit from author Rosalie Riegle, the “Studs Terkel of the Catholic Worker movement.” Ms. Riegle read from two recent books: Crossing the Line: Nonviolent Resisters Speak Out for Peace and Doing Time for Peace: Resistance, Family, and Community.

Consisting of more than 150 interviews–including many Catholic Workers, several of whom were in the audience–these books explore through oral history the work of activists from the Vietnam War years up to the 2000s.

Rosalie herself has a long history of personal involvement with the Catholic Worker Movement, having started two houses of hospitality in Saginaw, Michigan, and living in these communities for 10 years.

As she related stories of nonviolent resistance, Rosalie spoke movingly of the ever-present need to “Say No” to war and empire. Mike Miles, in his book review published in the April 2013 Via Pacis, described her own sense “mission,” with regards to her books:

“Her desire to collect and share these stories … is not meant to be merely an academic exercise. She admits to being on a ‘mission’ to present her findings to a broader public to test what she perceives to be the truth contained in the lives and actions of her friends and cohorts.”

This truth was felt powerfully last night as we listened to excerpts from Rosalie’s books and personal stories from some of those present.

Rosalie’s previous books include Dorothy Day: Portraits by Those Who Knew Her and Voices from the Catholic Worker. To learn more about Rosalie and to purchase her books, please visit her author page on

Portrait of Norman Searah by Frank Cordaro

Portrait of Norman Searah by Frank Cordaro


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Hospitality and Services

We open the Bishop Dingman House - 1310 7th St. - five days a week and welcome others as guests in our home.

Dingman House Schedule:

Monday: closed
Tuesday: snack at 3 p.m. to dinner at 6 p.m.
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: snack at 3 p.m. to dinner at 6 p.m.
Friday: snack at 3 p.m. to dinner at 6 p.m.
Saturday: snack from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday: snack at 3 p.m. to dinner at 6 p.m.

Besides the meals served:

  • Showers are available the first two hours the house is open
  • Free clothing
  • A phone is available for use by guests
  • Guests can receive their mail at our house
  • Canned goods and toiletries are available upon request
  • Free groceries are distributed at Dingman House on Tuesdays and Fridays at 3 p.m.

Free Food Store: For more than 20 years the Des Moines Catholic Worker has been doing a produce giveaway. We give away donated produce on Saturday at 10am at Trinity United Methodist church at 8th and College.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Friday at 4pm at the Phil Berrigan House, located at 713 Indiana.

Contact Info

For more information about the Catholic Worker or to be added to our mailing list, please contact us.

Mailing Address:
Des Moines Catholic Worker
PO Box 4551
Des Moines, IA 50305
Phone: 515 214-1030

The four community houses:

Bishop Dingman house - Drop-in Center
1310 7th St.
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 214-1030

Phil Berrigan House - autonomous sister house with the DMCW. Houses a Peace & Justice Library and meeting place.
713 Indiana Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 282-4781

Rachel Corrie House
1301 8th St.
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 330-2172

Chelsea Manning House
1317 8th St.
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 777-2180


The Des Moines Catholic Worker community, founded in 1976, is a response to the Gospel call to compassionate action as summarized by the Sermon on the Mount. In the spirit of the Catholic Worker tradition, we are committed to a simple, nonviolent lifestyle as we live and work among the poor. We directly serve others by opening our home for those in need of food, clothing, bedding, a shower, or a cup of coffee and conversation. We also engage in activities that foster social justice.

The Catholic Worker movement was founded in 1933 by Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day in New York City to implement the teachings of the Gospels and to promote the biblical promise of mercy, compassion, justice and love. Grounded in the firm belief in the God-given dignity of every person, the movement is committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, and the Works of Mercy as a way of life. The movement has spread far and wide; over 150 Catholic Worker communities, from Idaho to Australia, serve those in need in their neighborhoods.