DES MOINES, Iowa — Bishop Richard Pates is announcing his retirement as the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines after 10 years leading the faith in the metro.
Pates made the announcement in a post on the Diocese’s website on Monday. Pates says Canon law requires bishops to retire at the age of 75. Pates turned 75 on February 12th. In his announcement Pates thanked Iowans for making him welcome here for the last decade. “As I prepare to take leave, my heart is full of joy and gratitude. The past 10 years in the Des Moines diocese have flown by,” Pates writes, “I am particularly grateful to Bishop Emeritus Joseph Charron, the priests, deacons, religious and seminarians who have shared with positive spirit this span of our faith journey.
Pates says he plans to return to the Twin Cities where he previously served. In retirement he’ll continue working with the Archdiocese there as a counselor at two local high schools.
Pates says the search for his replacement in Des Moines will begin immediately and he expects it could take four months or more before a new Bishop is named.