Bishop Richard Pates becomes third Twin Cities bishop sent to Des Moines

Bishop Richard E. Pates
Bishop Richard E. Pates


The third consecutive auxiliary bishop from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been appointed to be bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines.  Bishop Richard E. Pates has been named the ninth bishop of Des Moines, Iowa.

In a statement from the Diocese of Des Moines, Bishop Pates, 65, states, “I am ever so grateful to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, for appointing me as the ninth bishop of Des Moines. It is a welcome privilege to be called to serve such a vibrant, spirited community in America’s heartland. It is a particular honor to succeed Bishop Charron, a good friend and a conscientious shepherd and effective leader.”

Bishop Joseph L. Charron, who announced his retirement last year expressed his delight in the appointment of Bishop Pates.  “I am very pleased with the announcement of Pope Benedict’s appointment of Bishop Richard Pates as the next bishop of Des Moines.  Personally, I have known Bishop Pates for many years, since we worked closely together in Washington, D.C, in the late ’70s. I consider him a friend and look forward to working with him in serving the good people of southwest Iowa.”

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Bishop Pates attended Nazareth Hall Seminary and later St. Paul Seminary there.  He was ordained a priest in 1968 and a bishop in 2001.

Bishop Pates has served in several roles since ordination: vocation director, secretary to the archbishop, vice chancellor of the archdiocese, rector of St. Johan Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, moderator for the Minneapolis Deaneries Council of Catholic Women, and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, said: “I am delighted that Bishop Pates has been named by the Holy Father to become ordinary of the Diocese of Des Moines. He is a person of outstanding quality and exemplary administrative ability with a pastoral touch that is sorely needed in the church today. I will miss him, but I send him to the priests, women religious and people of Des Moines with my best wishes and congratulate them for receiving such an outstanding leader.”

Bishop Pates will be installed as bishop of Des Moines on May 29 and will serve 97,000 people in 82 parishes.