DES MOINES — Pope Francis has appointed a Waterloo native and former Waterloo priest as the bishop for Diocese of Des Moines.
Bishop-elect the Rev. William Joensen will succeed Bishop Richard Pates, whose resignation from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Des Moines was accepted by the pope.
Joensen currently is a priest in the Archdiocese of Dubuque, and has been serving as associate professor of philosophy and dean of campus spiritual life at Loras College, a Catholic liberal arts college in Dubuque.
According to a news release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Joensen was born in Waterloo on July 8, 1960. He studied at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio (1984-1989), and later obtained a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (1995-2001).
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He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Dubuque on June 24, 1989.
Following his ordination, Joensen served as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Waterloo and taught at Columbus High School (1989-1992).
In 1992 he became associate pastor at Resurrection Parish in Dubuque, where he served until 1995. From 2003-2010, he was a chaplain at Clarke College in Dubuque.
Since 2001, Joensen has been a spiritual director at the Saint Pius X Seminary in Dubuque, as well as associate professor of philosophy and dean of campus spiritual life at Loras College.