Welcome to St. Catherine’s Catholic Church and Student Center!

We are one of 80 Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, and are located in the heart of the Des Moines Metro area one block south of the Drake University campus. We have been serving students and faculty since the mid-1940’s. In 1969 Bishop Dingman designated us an official “non-territorial parish,” albeit without a permanent address, to be called The Drake Newman Community. In 1996, construction began on today’s church building, which was consecrated in 1997 as St. Catherine of Siena Church and Student Center, and we remain a Newman community.

Presently, our faith community consists of 171 registered resident parishioner households, along with our student members. We consider our parish an intimate, vibrant faith community of servant leaders. We have a healthy parish life with residents and students engaged in many ministries including: Servant Leadership (Parish Council); Stewardship (Finance Council and Foundation); Faith Formation (which includes Family & Children’s Ministry, Campus Ministry, Life-Long Learning, and Encounter, our intergenerational program); Liturgy, Music and Prayer; Community Formation; and Service; as well as a Communications Team.

This past year, over half of our parish community came together for multiple listening sessions and participated in a seven-month synod-type parish life planning initiative. The process resulted in refining our mission, core values, and ministries. We also identified characteristics that make St. Catherine’s unique among area parishes.

Whether you are already involved in our parish life or are a new member, we hope you will find the information on our website valuable as you seek to learn more about our parish life.

If you haven’t already, we invite you to register. And, whether you are a new or longtime member, we encourage you to become involved in some capacity to feel connected and engaged in this dynamic faith community. We hope you’ll consider St. Catherine’s your spiritual home away from home.


Yours In Christ,


Fr. Protas Okwalo, SJ



Weekend Masses:
  • Saturday: 5:00 PM
  • Sunday:
    • 10:30 AM
    • 2:00 PM — African Mass in Kiswahili (3rd Sunday in English)
    • 5:00 PM — Student Mass
    • 8:00 PM — "Last Chance" Mass
Communion Service:
  • Monday: 5:15 PM
Daily Masses:
  • Tuesday: 5:15 PM
  • Wednesday: 5:15 PM
  • Thursday: 5:15 PM, 9:15 PM Student Mass
  • Friday: 12:00 Noon
  • Saturdays: 4:00 PM
  • By appointment

David Robinson Scholarship

Annually, the David Robinson scholarship will be up to $5,000 and for the purposes of paying the student’s educational expenses.

Foundation Grant

The St. Catherine of Siena Foundation is an endowment fund created by the Drake Newman Community parish. The parish provides ministry to the Drake University campus through the St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center.


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