Des Moines Catholic Worker


June 23-25 Trial of DM St. Pat’s 7 set - Air National Guard turns down offer of “Peacemaking Circle”… need support!

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX IN DM “‘Peacemaking Circle’ could replace protester trials” DM Register Letter signed by 40 DM  religious and community leaders, May 20, 2014:!topic/national-cw-e-mail-list/QrOhf-JDBLI

What: Trial of DM St. Pat’s 7
Date: June 23 - 25
Site: Polk County Court House, Des Moines IA

The IA Air Guard turned down an offer to do a “Peacemaking Circle” to replace the 7 protesters’ jury trial. Thank yous to Larry James <>, Fred Van Liew <> and Glen Downey <>, our legal team, for making the effort to introduce the “Peacemaking Circle” as an alternative to going to trial.

The Saint Pat’s 7 were arrested on St Patrick’s Day, March 17, at the main gate of the Air National Guard and charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass. They went to the Air Guard in hopes to be heard. They read this statement:

"We come to the Des Moines Air National Guard base as members of faith-based and Catholic Worker communities who annually join for a week of nonviolent resistance to war and injustice. This week, we aim to raise a call against the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) commonly known as drones.  We recognize that the slaughter of war always requires war makers to dehumanize the victims.  Reliance on drones exacerbates the dehumanization because the technology allows war makers to kill a target without identifying clearly who the person is or what the person has done or is doing. Therefore we bring to this base the faces of several who have been killed as well as the desire of a young Afghan friend who says, ‘We want to live without war.’ “

From News Release:

The 7 also read and delivered this indictment:

The seven are:

Reverend Chet Guinn <>, 85 years old, a Methodist minister from Des Moines.

Julie Brown <>, 36 years old, Des Moines Catholic Worker, who had just returned from a two-month delegation as a protective accompaniment and international solidarity activist in occupied Palestine, where she witnessed drone activity.

Ed Bloomer, 67 years old, a Des Moines Catholic Worker and Veteran for
Peace member from Des Moines.

Ruth Cole <>, 26 years old, Catholic Worker from the Rye House, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Steve Clemens <>, 63 years old, Community of St. Martin & Veterans for Peace in  Minneapolis, Minnesota.
"Reaping the whirlwind" by Steve Clemens, Daily Planet Twin Cities MN,
March 17, 2014

Michele Naar-Obed <>, 57 years old, Hildegard Catholic Worker House in Duluth, Minnesota.

Elliott Adams <>, 67 years old and the former
National Veterans for Peace President, Sharon Spring, New York.

Please make efforts to show your support of Rev. Chet, Steve, Ruth,
Julie, Elliott, Ed and Michele, especially if you know them personally.
Drop them an e-mail, help pay help pay their travel to and from Des
Moines, offer to help pay any fines and fees resulting in this

And if you can come to the trial, be part of the support community for
the 7 during the trial.

Any out of towners needing housing contact the folks at the DMCW…

For more info contact:
Frank Cordaro
515 282 4781
Phil Berrigan CW House

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


March 14-17 Midwest Catholic Worker Faith & Resistance Retreat

(All activities will take place at Trinity United Methodist Church, except where noted)

Friday, March 14th
4:00 p.m. Arrival and check-in - Dingman Catholic Worker House
6:00 p.m. Supper - Dingman Catholic Worker House
7:30 p.m. Movie/Banner-Making/Social - Trinity United Methodist Church

Saturday, March 15th
7:30-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
10:00-11:15 a.m. Rally at Des Moines drone site
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Welcome, overview, introductions
2:00 p.m. History of past Midwest F&R Retreats & report on west and east coast drone campaigns
3:00 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. Overview of Iowa campaign and nonviolent direct action planning
5:00 p.m. Catholic Worker liturgy with Carl Kabat
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Program: Elliott Adams and Daniel Hale

Sunday, March 16th
7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9:00-11:45 a.m. Round Tables
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Nonviolence training facilitated by New Hope CW Farm, Dubuque, IA
3:00 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. Program: Susan Crane “Doing Resistance for the Long Haul”
4:30 p.m. Direct action planning
7:00 p.m. Dinner
8:00 p.m. Program: Kathy Kelly

Monday, March 17th
7:30 a.m. Breakfast / Clean-up
8:30 a.m. Meet at church to leave for demo

Retreat Sites

Des Moines Catholic Worker Houses
1310 7th St.
713 Indiana Ave.
1301 8th St.
1317 8th St.

Trinity United Methodist Church
1548 8th St.

Iowa Air National Guard
3100 McKinley Ave.


NONVIOLENCE STATEMENT for the March 14-17 Midwest CW and VFP Faith and Resistance Retreat and St Patrick’s Day Witness

CW’ers and VFP are committed to nonviolence and nonviolent action.

All participants in events and protest hosted by the DMCW and the DM
VFP March 14-17, 2014 are expected to share this commitment to
nonviolence and nonviolent action. While nonviolence is defined in
different ways by different people in different contexts, and while
there exists the need to continue discussion and debate on how
nonviolence and nonviolent action is conceived. The Midwest CW and VFP
Faith and Resistance Retreat and St Patrick’s Day Witness is adopting
the following principles for March 14-17, 2014

We will act with love, openness, compassion, and respect toward all
who we encounter and their surroundings. We will not be violent in our
actions, words, or otherwise -toward any person or property.

We will act fairly and honestly with people regardless of the
situation or the role they play.

We will remain calm and aware at all times.

We will prepare ourselves before we act, and will recognize our
opposition is to the US Military wars of empire and its weapons
systems, not to individual members of the military, counter
protesters, police and security people we may encounter.

We will keep a clear state of mind, refraining from the use of drugs
or alcohol, other than for medical purposes and we will not bring any
illegal drugs or alcohol to the March 14-17 events.

We will carry no weapons.

We will seek dialogue with those who may disagree with us and maintain
a spirit of openness, friendliness and respect towards all with whom
we engage.

We will gather and act in a manner that reflects the world we choose to create.

Adopted from Occupy WFP


Three Speeches by Bishop Dingman on the 1980s Farm Crisis (from the December 2013 via pacis)


Download this story as a PDF (1.4 MB)

Three Speeches by Bishop Dingman on the 1980s Farm Crisis

by Frank Cordaro

   This year’s Occupy the World Food Prize week was awesome! Second year into the campaign and we were real players in the public discourse about the World Food Prize and who it serves. And on a personal level I was able to help resurrect the good spirit, life and prophetic witness of Bishop Maurice Dingman, a man who had more faith in God and the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church than anyone I ever knew.

   It began when we secured Jim Hightower to be our keynote speaker in February. Soon after that we got the Des Moines Methodist Federation for Social Action to co-sponsor the Hightower event and they secured the First United Methodist Church. And Citizens for Community Improvement signed on to co-sponsor the event and help us fill the church.

    Next came the announcement in June that this year’s (corporate) World Food Prize committee was picking three of their own to be the recipients of their prize. Naming three GMO inventors as their 2013 World Food Prize winners lifted the veil that usually stands between the recipients and the owners of the prize. This made the odds of us filling First United Methodist Church even better.

   Then Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Pope’s peace and justice man, came into the picture. The Cardinal accepted an invitation to be one of three world leaders to speak at the official (corporate) World Food Prize. And to the surprise of all, the Cardinal also accepted an invitation to speak at our Occupy the World Food Prize Jim Hightower event! In her letter of invitation to Cardinal Turkson, Sharon Donavan from the OWFP working committee wrote that “Iowans fondly recall the prophetic words of Des Moines’s late Catholic Bishop, Maurice Dingman,” and she cited three great quotes from speeches Bishop Dignman gave during the 1980s Farm Crisis.

   We referenced Bishop Dingman for the Cardinal because much of what we had been reading about the Cardinal and his position on corporate agriculture in Africa and in the rest of the developing world struck a common chord with the way Bishop Dingman framed the problem for Iowans and the small US farmer during the 1980s Farm Crisis.

   We ended up filling the First United Methodist Church October 16 program with a combined billing of Cardinal Turkson and Jim Hightower. We also got an hour with the Cardinal and eight OWFP leaders in an informal conversation about corporate agriculture. A big thank you to Bishop Pates, who moved heaven and earth to find time for OWFP people and the Cardinal to spend together.

   In the end, we had a hand in bringing our anti corporate agriculture message into the public discourse surrounding the Word Food Prize and we had input with our message with the largest corporation in the world, the Roman Catholic Church, through the Pope’s main peace and justice man, a Cardinal from Africa, Cardinal Peter Turkson, a guy who sounds a lot like Bishop Dingman! Amazing …

   As for me, this year’s effort was a labor of love for Bishop Dingman, my second father and friend whom I loved dearly.

   What follows are excerpts from the three speeches that Bishop Dingman made during the 1980s Farm Crisis. Ron Rossman said that these speeches “are the most important documents on farming and social justice in America since the Great Depression” at our October 15, 2013 OWFP Bishop Dingman Panel.

Read More


Occupy the World Food Prize: a Catholic Worker Perspective


Mike Miles singing at October 16 Occupy the World Food Prize program

Download this story as a PDF (1.4 MB)

Occupy the World Food Prize: a Catholic Worker Perspective
by Mike Miles

Mike Miles and his wife Barb have been CW farmers for over 25 years, raising their children at the Anathoth Catholic Worker in Luck, WI:

Last year, when Frank Cordaro invited us Catholic Workers to come to Des Moines to protest the World Food Prize, I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Why would we want to protest a prize? The language he was using didn’t make any sense to me. Being Frank, he was pretty insistent about the importance of this event that was being organized but it wasn’t until this year that I finally got it.

What took me so long to understand was the nature of the demonic forces at work in our world. When one comes to grips with the notion that, almost without fail, Satan disguises himself (or masquerades) as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14) one can begin to grasp that things that appear obvious most often are not.

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Feast of the Holy Innocents Retreat and Witness

Report and photos from Dec 28, 2012 Feast of Holy Innocents ‘line 
crossing’ at STRATCOM, Omaha NE!topic/offitt-list-one/s62D6YW8was 

What: 35th Annual Feast of the Holy Innocents
Retreat & Witness at STRATCOM Headquarters & US
Military Space Command
Date: Thursday, December 26 to Saturday, December 28, 2013
Site: Basement of St. John’s Church, Creighton University, Omaha, NE

Using the Gospel of St. Matthew’s Infant Narrative, we will examine the links between King Herod, his killing of the innocent children in Bethlehem and the murderous deeds of US-backed modern-day Herods. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get your head and heart cleared of the USA Christmas spirit of glut and over-consumption by taking a two day retreat to examine the deeper meaning and spirit of the birth of Jesus and how the political powers of his day received his birth. It will be evident that little has changed in the last 2000 years.

Starting time: Thursday, Dec. 26 - 7 p.m. Gather at St John’s Church basement on Creighton University campus, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE

For more info contact:

Frank Cordaro and the Phil Berrigan CW House / (515) 282-4781 


2014 Bishop Dingman Peace Award Ceremony

Jeremy Scahill – Keynote Speaker

Rita Hohenshell (posthumously) & IA Chapters of Veterans for Peace – award recipients 

Date: Saturday, April 5, 2014

Time: 6:30 p.m. Social – Hors d’oeuvres and wine / 7:30 p.m. Program

Site: Holy Trinity Church, 2926 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, IA

Cost: $40 - (Don’t let $$$ be a reason not to attend. Low-income folks pay what you can. We need to know ahead of time for food prep.) 

Holy Trinity Catholic Church on 2926 Beaver Avenue will be the location for the 19th annual Bishop Maurice J. Dingman Peace Award event.

The event will feature a keynote address from award-winning investigative journalist and scholar Jeremy Scahill, whose books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list and who recently received an award at the Sundance Film Festival.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with wine, cheese and hors d’oeuvres. At 7:30, Scahill will speak and the peace award will be given to the Iowa Veterans for Peace, its three Iowa chapters, and to Rita Hohenshell (posthumously).

Jeremy Scahill is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, an award-winning investigative journalist, and the author of the bestselling Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army (Nation Books, 2008). His latest book is Dirty Wars: the World is a Battlefield (Nation Books, 2013), which debuted at #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Scahill is also a producer, writer, and lead character of the film version of Dirty Wars, which won the Cinematography Award for a US Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. As National Security Correspondent for The Nation, he has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe.

The Catholic Peace Ministry each year delivers a Dingman Peace Award to those deserving of following in the footsteps of the late Bishop Maurice J. Dingman. Recipients in the past few years include the late Joshua Casteel and the keynote address last year was delivered by Sister Simone Campbell. 

Jeff Weiss,
Catholic Peace Ministry
4211 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312


2013 Occupy the World Food Prize Summary Report


Links to photos, videos and media coverage from the 2013 Occupy the World Food Prize campaign in Des Moines, IA, February to October 2013.

September 25, 2013 - OWFP News Release: Prominent Catholic Cardinal to Challenge Big Ag’s World Food Program at October World Food Prize in Des Moines, IA

September 27, 2013 - Frank Cordaro discusses Occupy the World Food Prize on the Fallon Forum

October 5, 2013 "Cardinal not on same page as GMO scientists" by Des Moines Catholic Worker Frank Cordaro and Sharon Donovan, Des Moines Register


World Food Prize Columns by Jim Hightower:

October 14, 2013 - "Monsanto buys a food prize" by Jim Hightower

October 28, 2013 - "The Ignoble Prize For Agriculture" by Jim Hightower

October 31, 2013 - "Monsanto’s World Food Farce" by Jim Hightower

Photos and Videos of 2013 OWFP Events

October 15, 2013 - Bishop Dingman Panel

October 16, 2013 - OWFP News Conference

October 16, 2013 - An hour with Cardinal Peter Turkson and OWFP leadership

October 16, 2013 - OWFP Program with Cardinal Turkson and Jim Hightower at the 1st UMC

October 17, 2013 - OWFP Direct Action



Des Moines Register

National Catholic Press

Other Media Coverage

Pre OWFP Campaign Listserv Postings

Special Thanks:

- Jim Hightower, who came to Des Moines for no more than his travel expenses.
- Simpson College, for paying Jim’s expenses in exchange for his talking on campus while in Des Moines.
- The Methodist Federation for Social Action and the First United Methodist Church for free use of their church.
- Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement for printing flyers, taking photos and a video recording of the Dingman Panel.
- Rodger Routh, our Des Moines area Peace and Justice videographer for his great videos and editing work.


Profile of the Berrigans in the New Yorker, March 14, 1970


Tommy Schmitz of the DMCW found this issue of the New Yorker dedicated to the Berrigans and the Catonsville action. It’s a fun read for 1970s Catholic Left aficionados and Berrigan groupies … Thank you Tommy … Enjoy, Frank Cordaro

New Yorker Berrigan Profile (PDF, 6.3MB)


"Stung by spirit, pastor will walk across country" feature article on Rev Bob Cook - long time DM area peace and justice minister, living at the Berrigan CW House


"Stung by spirit, pastor will walk across country" by Mike Kilen, DM Register June 29, 2013 

The Rev. Bob Cook will walk 2,980 miles across America with a thousand 
people next March. He is 70. This is his idea of retirement. 

The Des Moines pastor’s life work has been for the poor, but he 
doesn’t view the Great March for Climate Action as a departure. 

The poor are affected most by climate change, as they are from most 
troubling world events, Cook said. 

Frank Cordaro, his longtime activist friend, figures if Cook makes it, 
he will add 10 years to his life and at the same time help the global 
community, “following a God of creation, not empire.” 

Cordaro put Cook up in a room at the Catholic Worker  community recently because he needed a place to stay, and that’s where Cook will hold a hog roast today to 
help raise the $7,000 he needs for the march. 

Read More



2013 STRATCOM Hiroshima/Nagasaki Vigil

Sixteen is the total number of people who made it out to the STRATCOM gate to be part of the annual 3 1/2 day “shake and bake” vigil of remembrance of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
            Nine is the highest number reached during the 3 1/2 day effort. It came Tuesday morning, Aug 6th when a contingent from Nebraskans for Peace joined us. Mark Welsh, Tim Rinne and Paul Olson brought with them Nobuko Tsukui. Nobuko is a Japanese scholar of the literature of the atomic bombings, who was a guest speaker at the Lincoln NFP chapter’s annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Lantern Float three years ago. Since then, she has made it a point to be with us on the line at Offutt during these days of remembrance.
            Seven is the number of people who closed our vigil on Friday, August 9. We gathered at STRATCOM’s main entrance. We read St Mark’s account of the Transfiguration and Tomas Merton’s “Original Child Bomb.” We then took a position on the drive, facing Offutt security people. Offutt security read a short statement, we prayed the Our Father, and then went home.

            A couple of notes:

            On the weather: it was excellent for vigiling, the coolest 3 1/2 day vigil on record. We managed to avoid getting wet on Tuesday, August 7 when a thunderstorm just missed us to the north. The rest of the vigil we barely broke a sweat.
            On being pathetic: I was more aware of our pathetic efforts than most years. It’s not just the numbers game. We could show up with hundreds of people and it would be no less pathetic in “REAL” terms. The U.S. War Machine keeps grinding on … Then a retired Air Force guys stopped by to talk to us for close to an hour. He said he has seen us doing this witness since the late 1970s and decided this year to pull over and find out why we keep showing up. He wanted to know our reasoning. It was a wonderful discussion. Not sure if any minds were changed. Yet, from the way he received us and listened to us, it was clear to me that his heart was touched, as were ours. And then I reminded myself that we Catholic Workers are personalists. Like the Gospel of Luke, we believe the world will be saved one heart at a time. And then I reminded myself what “REAL” change is all about, and that from the perspective of our thriving/grinding USA Empire, our efforts seem pathetic. They always will from an Empire’s perspective.


"Kingdom Work is Women’s Work" by Frank Cordaro

This is an 18 min. recording of DMCW Frank Cordaro reading the Gospel then giving a sermon as a ‘fill-in preacher’ at the Union Park Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, IA. The text: 2 Sam 12:7-10, 13 / Lk 7:36—8:3, from the Lectionary readings for the 11th Sun Ord. Time Cycle C. Given June 16, 2013.


NCR story on July 13 - KC Nuke Plant demo / 2 Flickr Photo Links KC gathering / followup note from FC

28 Photo from Fri July 12 Fr Carl Kabat’s Celebration - night before witness by Frank Cordaro DMCW 

19 Photos July 13  Kabat & friends action at KC’s Nuke Weapons Parts Plant by Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs DMCW 


Note from Frank Cordaro: I am out and got home last night.  On Tuesday  July 16 I was back in court in KC. I was suppose to appear before 
Judge Franko  of fond memory. (Link to July 2011 report  ”Judge Franco 
reveals her liberal heart….”!search/Judge$20franko/iowa-peace-list/bkCYJtsDOV8/9RipMk3x3q8J
Judge Franko was not in court. I appeared before another judge to 
address the warrant and contempt of court charges. With the help of 
Henry Stoever, we  requested that these matters be rescheduled and 
heard before Judge Franko, who’s court the charges were make on Sept 
4th. The same day Ed Bloomer and I have as our court date from 
Saturday’s action in Judge Franko’s court!. Our request was accepted. 
So stay tune … more to come…3rd act of the  FC and Judge Franko 
'throw down'! 


"Protesters arrested at Kansas City nuclear plant" by Kate Simmons, NCR, July 15, 2013 

Kansas City, Mo.— 
Twenty-three people, including the new U.S. provincial supervisor of 
the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, were arrested Saturday 
after crossing the property line of a new nuclear weapons complex. 

The group was participating in a PeaceWorks protest at the National 
Security Campus, also known as the Kansas City Plant, a five-building 
facility where 85 percent of the non-nuclear parts for U.S. nuclear 
weapons will be made or procured. 

Read More



DES MOINES — (CPM News Services, 6-25-13) About 15 people, including Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs of Des Moines, walked along 200 miles of road for the past two weeks to ask the U.S. military not to place a Drone 
Command center at the Air National Guard in Des Moines. 

The 200-mile walk drew serious media attention across the state of 
Iowa and was picked up by the Associated Press making newspapers like 
the San Francisco Chronicle. It was also covered by several Catholic 

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The Phil Berrigan House

713 Indiana Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
515 282-4781

An autonomous sister house with the Des Moines Catholic Worker, the Phil Berrigan House hosts a Peace and Justice Library and provides meeting space.

We currently host a weekly Lectionary Bible Study each Monday from 7-8pm, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on Fridays at 4pm, and we host the monthly meeting of the Des Moines chapter of Veterans for Peace. We will continue to be open to hosting other related peace and justice events and organizational meetings.

Occupy the World Food Prize

Also at Berrigan House we maintain three peace and justice email listservs. Check them out. If any appeal to you let us know and we will gladly add you to the list:

A National Catholic Worker List:

Iowa Peace List:

STRATCOM / Offutt AFB List:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Matt. 5:9) Only through nonviolent action can a personalist revolution come about, one in which one evil will not be replaced simply by another. Thus, we oppose the deliberate taking of human life for any reason, and see every oppression as blasphemy. Jesus taught us to take suffering upon ourselves rather than inflict it upon others, and He calls us to fight against violence with the spiritual weapons of prayer, fasting and noncooperation with evil. Refusal to pay taxes for war, to register for conscription, to comply with any unjust legislation; participation in nonviolent strikes and boycotts, protests or vigils; withdrawal of support for dominant systems, corporate funding or usurious practices are all excellent means to establish peace."
- from the Aims and Means of the Catholic Worker