About Us

Why St. Catherine’s?


Our faith community consists of 170 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 faith formation; liturgy, music, and prayer; community formation; service; and stewardship.


St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and Student Center at Drake University is an inclusive and supportive community of resident parishioners and students striving through liturgy, community, service, and faith formation to grow as servant leaders for the Catholic Church and broader community.


St. Catherine’s is an inclusive spiritual ”home away from home.”

Core values

• We value inclusiveness. All are welcome in our culture of encounter
• We welcome with hospitality for a sense of belonging
• We emphasize uplifting liturgies with inspiring music and relevant homilies
• We enable transformative spiritual development
• We care for one another
• We live service and social justice

“Everyone is welcomed and included. It’s so refreshing to hear and feel the love!” ~Sarah

Our Story


We are one of 80 Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Des Moines and are located in the heart of the Des Moines metro area, one block south of the Drake University campus. We've been serving students and faculty there since the mid-1940s.

In 1969, Bishop Dingman designated us an official “non-territorial parish,” but 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 Catholic Church and Student Center, and remains a Newman community.

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