Diocese of Des Moines Campus Ministry

Events, Communications, and News

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There has been a Roman Catholic ministry presence on the Drake University Campus since the 1940s. In 1969, Bishop Maurice Dingman canonically established the Drake Newman Community as a parish with a specific ministry focus to Drake University students, faculty and staff.

In 2009, Bishop Richard Pates expanded the role of Drake Newman Center and created the diocesan office of campus ministry. Fr. Joel McNeil was appointed Pastor of St. Catherine's and diocesan director of campus ministry. Fr. Mark Owusu took over as Director in 2012. Rev. Protas Okwalo, S.J. joined as administrator in fall of 2019.

Rev. Protas Okwalo has oversight and is in the process of developing supportive ministry teams. These teams will minister and guide Catholic Campus Ministry at Grand View University, Graceland University, Simpson College, Mercy College of Health Sciences and Des Moines University, Southwest Iowa Community College, DMACC and Iowa Western Community College. It is the diocese’s goal to continue the expansion of campus ministry to all Catholic students in the diocese, community colleges and technical schools.

Diocesan Campus Ministry Leaders

Stacie Venner
Campus Ministry
Grand View Student Ministries

Fr. Glen Wilwerding
Iowa Western Catholic Student Group
Iowa Western Community College

Bo Bonner
Director of Campus Ministry
Mercy College of Health Sciences

Father Adam Westphal 
Director of Campus Ministry
Simpson College

Timothy Ledna
Catholic Campus Ministries Contact
Graceland University

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