Des Moines Catholic Worker


CWers needed in DM Oct 15-16 for 3rd annual OWFP campaign for the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize Award Ceremony and OWFP Rally & Direct Action at the State Capitol building before the World Food Prize awards ceremony

"The World Food Prize is for us in Iowa what Wall Street is for the Occupy movement in NYC. The very same corporate/financial elites that run Wall Street are the same corporate/financial elites that own the World Food Prize and control the world food supply. " - Frank Cordaro, June 2012 

Where else can you combine the “back to the land” Peter Maurin side of the CW movement to the “militant pacifist” Ammon Hennacy side of our beloved movement!!! 

Dear CWers and other peace and justice folks: 

We want to invite you to come to Des Moines and join us and many others in a two-day Occupation of the World Food Prize. 
( - spend a few minutes on this web page 
and you will understand why this prize needs to be occupied!) 

Using our experience from the 2012 Occupy the IA Caucus campaign:!searchin/national-cw-e-mail-list/caucus/national-cw-e-mail-list/WGLrXZ6AcG4/xLg6dhmVNa4J 
For the third year in a row we hope to direct the public discourse about our Global World Food System through the use of direct action & nonviolent civil disobedience. 

Wed. Oct 15: 
OWFP is hosting the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize Award Ceremony. This alternative peoples’ food prize is a perfect antidote to the Corporate Ag “World Food Prize”! 

Thurs. Oct 16: 
Lift the veil on Corporate ownership of the so-called “World Food Prize” and its goal to own the world food system with our OWFP Rally & Direct Action at the State Capitol building before the World Food Prize awards ceremony. 

To this end, the DMCW community plans to close down our usual hospitality work to host fellow CWers and peace folks who come to DM for the Oct 15-16 events and need hospitality. A full list of events and happenings schedule for Oct 15 - 20 have yet to be nailed down. As details become more clear we will  keep you posted. Right now we want as many as can to clear these days and make plans to join us in DM. 

Frank Cordaro 
515 282 4781 
c 515 490 2490 
Phil Berrigan CW House 
Occupy the World Food Prize campaign  

About the World Food Prize in their own words 

About the World Food Prize by Food and Water Watch 

3 min video of Frank Cordaro’s on Occupy World Food Prize 2013 Oct. Program 

2013 Occupy the World Food Prize Summary Report 

2012 Occupy the World Food Prize Summary Report 

On April 2nd, the Des Moines Register featured DMCW’s own Julie Brown. PDF (1.3 MB)

On April 2nd, the Des Moines Register featured DMCW’s own Julie Brown. PDF (1.3 MB)


2014 Midwest Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace Faith and Resistance Retreat Report



News Release





News Release







Nonviolence Guidelines

30 min interview with Kathy Kelly by  Irene Rodriguez,  KGNU Radio

Ed Flaherty (audio)

Ellen Grady (audio)

Elliott Adams (audio)

Frank Cordaro (audio)

Julie Brown (audio)

Kathy Kelly (audio)

Michele Naar-Obed (audio)

Norman Searah (audio)

Pat Farrell (audio)

Susan Crane (audio)



March 15 Rally Photos:

160 Photos from the rally by Al Viola

2014 March 15 Anti Drone Rally in DM 25 Photos mostly taken by Frank Cordaro and Ellen Grady

March 15 Rally Videos:

Kathy Kelly by Al Viola

Daniel Hale by Al Viola

Jim Haber by Al Viola

Frank Cordaro by Al Voila

Steve Jacobs singing”Cross the line” by Jamie Kearney

March 17 Witness Photos:

2014 March 17 - St. Pat’s Drone Protest - DM IA 35 Photos mostly by Ellen Grady

March 17 Witness Videos:

Midwest CW & VFP March 17, 2014 St Pats Day Anti Drone Witness DM IA by Rodger Routh



Protesters rally against drone warfare at Iowa National Guard base” by Katherine Klingseis, DM Register March 15, 2014

About 100 protesters rallied against drone warfare and U.S. overseas military occupation in Des Moines on Saturday morning.

Protesters from across the country gathered at the Iowa Air National Guard Base in Des Moines, 3100 McKinley Ave., to participate in the rally. Des Moines Catholic Worker and the Des Moines Veterans for Peace chapter organized the rally.

The protest took place at the Iowa Air National Guard Base in Des Moines because the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing will be involved in a mission piloting and controlling armed Reaper Drones.

"It brings war directly, physically to Des Moines," said Gilbert E. Landolt, president of the Des Moines Veterans for Peace chapter. "I don’t think the people of Iowa know what’s going on."

Organizers of the event said the rally was meant to raise awareness of drone warfare.

"I hope people will be inspired to do research and form their own opinions (on drone warfare)," said Julie Brown, the emcee for the rally and Des Moines Catholic Worker.

The rally featured several speakers from across the country. One speaker was Daniel Hale, an Afghanistan war veteran who worked on a mission involving drones.

Hale, who now lives in Virginia, said he began the mission believing drones were “a necessary evil” to help people in Afghanistan.

"The idea being sold was drones are cleaner, more sophisticated,there’s less room for error," Hale said.

Now, Hale is against the use of drones, saying there’s “no clean way of doing things in war.” He also said drone warfare shows “the overwhelming trust in intelligence.”

Kathy Kelly, a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, said at the protest that drones do not give the United States information on the poor and malnourished people in Afghanistan.

Kelly advocated for money to be used to help nourish children instead of to deploy troops to Afghanistan. She said it costs $2.1 million per year for each soldier in Afghanistan and “5 cents to get iodine into the diet of a malnourished child.”

"You have to weigh the options," Kelly said.

The rally ended after protesters laid flowers on the ground at the entrance of the Iowa National Guard base. Brown said the rally was a
success, but it was “one small step in the long range.”

Some Midwest Catholic Workers also plan to commit nonviolent civil disobedience beginning at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Iowa National Guard base.


"Seven arrested protesting drones in Des Moines" by Regina Zilbermints, DM Register, March 17, 2014

Seven activists were arrested outside the Iowa Air National Guard base in Des Moines protesting the U.S. military’s use of drones.

The 30-person protest was smaller than a Saturday rally at the base that attracted 100 people but was the only event that escalated to arrests in an annual week of anti-war rallies and meetings organized by the Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace.

The Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing is in the process of transitioning from maintaining and flying a fleet of F-16s to missions involving remotely piloted aircraft.

"Iowa is known for being the Field of Dreams. This is making Iowa into killing fields," said Catholic Worker Frank Cordaro, who helped organize the event. "This is making my neighborhood a legitimate war target."

Monday morning, about 30 people carrying signs, including one bearing the theme of the protest - “Cast the snakes and drones out of Iowa” - gathered in front of the air base at 3100 McKinley Avenue.

Chet Guinn, 85, a retired Methodist minister from Des Moines, was one of seven planning to risk arrest.

"As a pastor I’m opposed to war. Look at what it’s doing," he said, holding photos of children injured in drone strikes. "It’s killing children. How can we be silent?"

After the group had marched to the end of the driveway into the base, Jim Haber read a prepared statement.

"We recognize the slaughter of war always requires war makers to dehumanize the victims," he said. "Reliance on drones exacerbates the dehumanization."

Then Guinn and six others from Des Moines, Minnesota and New York who had volunteered to be arrested approached the gate and read what they called an indictment against the use of drones.

The sound of their chant mingled with an announcement from inside the base demanding the protesters move.

After they refused they were arrested, charged with trespass and released. As the arrests were happening, Haber read the names of people killed by drones.

The base in Iowa is one of several across the country being targeted by anti-war groups because of their shift to drone warfare.

In Iowa, the next event will be a speech by journalist and author Jeremy Scahill.



"Protestors Rally Against Drone Warfare" ABC Channel 5 News Des Moines March 15, 2014

"Seven arrested in protest outside Iowa Air National Guard base" by
Dar Danielson, March 17, 2014 Radio Iowa

Seven arrested in anti-drone protest” by Alison Sullivan, The Globe
Gazette Mason City Globe Gazette March 17, 2014

"The new center of Obama’s drone war shifts locations" by Joshua
Keating, Slate, March 19, 2014

"Groups: 7 arrested in Iowa after drones protest" at

"New Drone Training at Iowa Base Met with Resistance" The Nation Report, Mar 17, 2014



2013 - Sand Frac Mining - Winona, MN

2012 - NATO - Chicago, IL

2011 - Nuke Weapons Plant - Kansas City, MO

2010 - Works of Mercy - Chicago, IL

2009 - Blackwater N IL - Stockton, IL

retreat photos

action photos

arrest photos

2008 - Immigration - Kansas City, MO

retreat photos

action photos

2007 - ROTC - Notre Dame, South Bend, IN


2006 - Military Recruitment - Columbia, MO

2005 - Alliant Tec - Minneapolis, MN

2004 - STRATCOM - Omaha, NE

2003 - Monsanto - St Louis, MO

For a complete schedule of the retreat, see here.

For a complete schedule of the retreat, see here.


SAVE THE DATE: March 14 -17, 2014 Midwest Catholic Worker Faith and Resistance Retreat

What: Midwest CW and Vets for Peace Faith and Resistance Retreat 

Date: Fri. March 14 - Mon. March 17, 2014 
Site: Trinity United Methodist Church, 1548 8th St., Des Moines IA (3 
blocks from the DMCW) 

The DMCW’s offer to host the 2014 Midwest CW Faith and Resistance 
Retreat was accepted at the Sugar Creek gathering and we have now 
secured a venue for the gather at Trinity United Methodist Church and set March 14-17 as dates for the 

We are also happy to announce that this year’s gathering in DM is 
being co-sponsored by the Vets for Peace Des Moines chapter. 

The focus is drone warfare and the announced new DM Drone Command Center. 

Much more to follow… this is just a notice of date and site…. 

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact anyone at the DMCW 
or me directly 

Frank Cordaro 
515 282 4781 

Phil Berrigan CW House 
Occupy the World Food Prize campaign

(Photo: Leah Bolger, National President of Veterans for Peace, speaking in Des Moines on January 22, 2013 at a vigil and news conference kicking off the Iowa Network to End Drone Warfare campaign at the Iowa Air National Guard)


2013 Sugar Creek Report



more photos

            The big news from this year’s Midwest Catholic Worker Sugar Creek gathering is that we were back at Sugar Creek and it looks like we will continue to have access to Sugar Creek for future gatherings—at least in the near-term.
            Over 200 Catholic Workers from nine states and 26 cities and farms attended. IA: Ames, Des Moines, Dubuque, Waterloo, Maloy and La Motte. IL: Rock Island, Chicago, Bloomington and Peoria. IN: South Bend, Bloomington and Anderson. MI: Luck, Lake City, Milwaukee and Waukesha. MN: Duluth, Minneapolis, Lake City, Owatanna, Winona. MO: Kansas City, Columbia, St Louis and, in transition, White Rose Farm moving to northeast Missouri next to the Possibility Alliance. OH: Cleveland. SD: Yankton. TX: Austin.
            Newest statistic: 70 tents were counted during the weekend. There were more people sleeping outside than inside. The weather was breathtaking the first two days. Sunday morning was a washout with rain but no one complained (much), given that Iowa is in the mist of a drought. Lots of workshops were offered.
            The winner of this year’s Football Mary was Theodore Kayser, a Los Angeles Catholic Worker for the last five years. Theo and his partner Nicole are currently visiting Midwest CWers looking to relocate. Which raised a lot of questions regarding the validity of Theo’s winning the coveted Football Mary, since so many of us Midwest Catholic Worker communities are trying to recruit them. More later …
            The big news for us here at the Des Moines Catholic Worker came from Julie Brown. She made our offer to host the 2014 Midwest Faith and Resistance Retreat in Des Moines with our incoming weaponized drone command center as our focus and it was accepted. Now we need to nail down a weekend in March/April and find space for over 100 CWers to come to Des Moines and do direct action at our drones command site. Lots more later. [more photos and videos after the jump]

Read More


August, 2013: Veterans for Peace UK at the Des Moines Catholic Worker


Ben and Mike with members of Des Moines Veterans for Peace

(Top: Al Burney, DMCW, DM VFP; Mike Lyons, VFP UK; Ben Griffin, VFP UK; Bill Basinger, DM VFP, Korean War Vet. Bottom: Gil Landolt, DMCW, DM VFP; Eddie Bloomer, DMCW, DM VFP; Gene Krauss, DM VFP, WWII Vet)

This August, the Des Moines Catholic Worker was fortunate to host two distinguished guests from the United Kingdom—Ben Griffin and Mike Lyons, war resistors, conscientious objectors, and founding members of Veterans for Peace UK.

Ben and Mike joined us in Des Moines following their attendance at the National Veterans for Peace Convention in Madison, Wisconsin, which they attended with DMCW community members Gil Landolt, Al Burney and Eddie Bloomer.

Following the convention, Ben and Mike embarked on a Midwest speaking tour on the theme “I Will Not Fight for Queen and Country.”

Look for more on Ben and Mike in the upcoming issue of via pacis, the newsletter of the Des Moines Catholic Worker.

Read Ben’s report on their midwest tour.

More photos from Ben and Mike’s visit.

Ben and Mike with members of Veterans for Peace marching in the annual Veterans’ Parade at the state fairgrounds.


April 24, 2013: Author Rosalie Riegle Visits the Des Moines Catholic Worker

Rosalie Riegle

Rosalie with Des Moines Catholic Workers and friends

Yesterday, the Des Moines Catholic Worker was blessed by a visit from author Rosalie Riegle, the “Studs Terkel of the Catholic Worker movement.” Ms. Riegle read from two recent books: Crossing the Line: Nonviolent Resisters Speak Out for Peace and Doing Time for Peace: Resistance, Family, and Community.

Consisting of more than 150 interviews—including many Catholic Workers, several of whom were in the audience—these books explore through oral history the work of activists from the Vietnam War years up to the 2000s.

Rosalie herself has a long history of personal involvement with the Catholic Worker Movement, having started two houses of hospitality in Saginaw, Michigan, and living in these communities for 10 years.

As she related stories of nonviolent resistance, Rosalie spoke movingly of the ever-present need to “Say No” to war and empire. Mike Miles, in his book review published in the April 2013 Via Pacis, described her own sense “mission,” with regards to her books:

"Her desire to collect and share these stories … is not meant to be merely an academic exercise. She admits to being on a ‘mission’ to present her findings to a broader public to test what she perceives to be the truth contained in the lives and actions of her friends and cohorts."

This truth was felt powerfully last night as we listened to excerpts from Rosalie’s books and personal stories from some of those present.

Rosalie’s previous books include Dorothy Day: Portraits by Those Who Knew Her and Voices from the Catholic Worker. To learn more about Rosalie and to purchase her books, please visit her author page on

Portrait of Norman Searah by Frank Cordaro

Portrait of Norman Searah by Frank Cordaro


Moulton Extended Learning Center Food Drive

On November 20, the Des Moines Catholic Worker was honored to be the recipient of Moulton Extended Learning Center’s Annual food drive. Students and staff collected more than 1100 items, which entirely filled the back of our cargo van. Each year, Moulton is the single largest contributor to our food pantry, and our thanks can’t be overstated. We are grateful to Moulton for their generosity and proud to call them neighbors.


Download Our Brochure (PDF, 613K)

Download Our Newsletter (PDF, 6.3MB)

Hospitality and Services

We open the Bishop Dingman House - 1310 7th St. - five days a week and welcome others as guests in our home.

Dingman House Schedule:

Monday: closed
Tuesday: snack at 3pm to dinner at 6pm
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: snack at 3pm to dinner at 6pm
Friday: snack at 3pm to dinner at 6pm
Saturday: snack from 12pm to 3pm
Sunday: snack at 3pm to dinner at 6pm

Besides the meals served:

  • Showers are available the first two hours the house is open
  • Free clothing
  • A phone is available for use by guests
  • Guests can receive their mail at our house
  • Canned goods and toiletries are available upon request
  • Free groceries are distributed at Dingman House on Tuesdays and Fridays at 3pm

Free Food Store: For more than 20 years the Des Moines Catholic Worker has been doing a produce giveaway. We give away donated produce on Saturday at 10am at Trinity United Methodist church at 8th and College.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Friday at 4pm at the Phil Berrigan House, located at 713 Indiana.

Contact Info

For more information about the Catholic Worker or to be added to our mailing list, please contact us.

Mailing Address:
Des Moines Catholic Worker
PO Box 4551
Des Moines, IA 50305
Phone: 515 243-0765

The four community houses:

Bishop Dingman house - Drop-in Center
1310 7th St.
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 243-0765

Phil Berrigan House - autonomous sister house with the DMCW. Houses a Peace & Justice Library and meeting place.
713 Indiana Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 282-4781

Viola Liuzzo House
1310 8th St.
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 330-2172

Rachel Corrie House
1317 8th St.
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 777-2180


The Des Moines Catholic Worker community, founded in 1976, is a response to the Gospel call to compassionate action as summarized by the Sermon on the Mount. In the spirit of the Catholic Worker tradition, we are committed to a simple, nonviolent lifestyle as we live and work among the poor. We directly serve others by opening our home for those in need of food, clothing, bedding, a shower, or a cup of coffee and conversation. We also engage in activities that foster social justice.

The Catholic Worker movement was founded in 1933 by Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day in New York City to implement the teachings of the Gospels and to promote the biblical promise of mercy, compassion, justice and love. Grounded in the firm belief in the God-given dignity of every person, the movement is committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, and the Works of Mercy as a way of life. The movement has spread far and wide; over 150 Catholic Worker communities, from Idaho to Australia, serve those in need in their neighborhoods.