Thursday, February 2, at approximately 11:00 am, Deacon Joe Coan, who serves as deacon minister at St. Augustin Parish in Des Moines, was in the Church’s special Eucharistic Chapel. The deacon was preparing for ministry to the sick. A woman was praying in the Chapel at the same time.
The deacon was approached by a woman making incoherent statements who then stabbed the deacon in the facial and hands area with a kitchen knife. The alleged perpetrator has been apprehended by police. St. Augustin School, located some two blocks away, followed proper school protocols for emergency situations while the suspect was at large.
Bishop Pates, Bishop of Des Moines, stated: “We are naturally saddened by the violent action in a place of prayer and peace. The present moment calls for prayer for Deacon Joe’s full recovery and for the St. Augustin community shaken by this incident. We also pray earnestly for the alleged perpetrator. The entire incident places on notice our public community of the need to address the situation of individuals with problematic issues.