Des Moines Catholic Worker


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]

Below photos and video clips by:

Mauro Heck
319 594 4871

2013 Sept Sugar Creek Photos by Mauro Heck

Links to 13 video interviews I did this year. Please let me know if I miss-spelled any names.

Beth Preheim - Yankton, South Dakota CW

Megan Felt, David Goodner and Henry Wallace - Des Moines CW

Molly Costelo - Chicago

Jack Ryan - Peoria, Illinois

Sara Linn and Son Allister - Mennonite Catholic Worker

Brian Terrel - Malloy (Iowa) Catholic Worker Farm

Mike Miles - Anathoth Community Farm, Luck, Wi

Shivon, Ester and Diana

Michele Naar-Obed - Duluth, Mn

David and Alice Laserver- Bloomington, Indiana

Mike Miles talks about Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture

Mike Miles talks about Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture 2

Nick Pickrell- Kansas City- Mo


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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: 515 243-0765

The four community houses:

Bishop Dingman house - Drop-in Center
1310 7th St.
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 243-0765

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.