Next Bishop Named for Diocese of Des Moines

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Catholics in Des Moines and southwest Iowa have a new leader. Pope Francis named the next bishop of the Des Moines Diocese Thursday.

Bishop Richard Pates introduced Father William Joensen at a morning news conference.

Pates announced his retirement in February on his 75th birthday, according to church law.

Joensen, 59, will be the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines.

He grew up in Ames and earned a degree in Zoology at Iowa State. Joensen was in medical school when he heard his calling to become a priest.

The bishop-elect has also served as a professor of philosophy at Loras College in Dubuque.

He said his spiritual gifts will help in this new appointment.

“A capacity to bring different voices together. I think a respect for people. A very deep awareness as any well-formed priest or bishop has of the spiritual traditions of the Church,” said Joensen.

An ordination ceremony is scheduled for September 27th.

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