Crafting (Knit/Crochet/Embroider)

Homemade items give a personal touch!

Baptism Bibs

A group of volunteers embroider white garment bibs placed over infants at Baptism.  The group does not meet together, everyone works on their own.  All of your supplies are provided. Contact: Norma Righi

Knit 1, Purl 2

Do you knit or crochet? If so, please join in making knitted and crocheted items for charity. There are no dues and no formal meetings, just a group of people with a common purpose to use their time and talents to benefit those in need. We welcome new members to the group; all skill levels are welcome. Bring whatever project you are working on for an afternoon/evening of sharing and conversation. Patterns and yarn are available for charity projects.  Meets: Second Thursday of each month at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm at OLIH in Conference Room.
Contact: Vicki Woodward, (515) 210-3797 for evening and Patty Mayer for daytime

Monthly Projects--If you are unable to join us, you can still help out!

Drop off/Donations

Below are easy ways to make a difference without a commitment

Blood Donation

OLIH Hosts LifeServe blood drives five times per year.  Go online to find our next blood drive and even schedule your appointment now

“Food Pantry Weekend”

On the last weekend of the month, baskets are passed at all Masses with slips of paper listing items needed by the Food Pantry. The following weekend, shopping baskets are placed in the gathering space to collect the items. The following week items are loaded into private vehicles and taken to the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s (DMARC) Food Pantry for distribution. Visit for more information. Contact: Sr. Susan Widdel 

“Kathy’s Chair”

In the parish office there is a chair where you can conveniently drop off small household items and toiletries for various Catholic Charities programs – including St Mary’s Family Center, St Joseph’s Emergency Shelter and the Refugee Resettlement Program.

To find out what items are most in need, or to arrange for pick-up of larger household items check out the Catholic Charities website Contact: Kathy Avey or 964-0359

Rummage Sale in July

Our parish hosts a large rummage sale every July with all the proceeds of the sale going to the Center for Social Ministry.  Watch the bulletin in late June/early July (July 25-27, 2019) for information on dropping off items for this sale.   Contact: Jane Alderman 

St Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Truck

SVdP has a truck parked in the north parking lot where parishioners can drop off clean, gently used goods. An attendant is on hand to help you with your drop-off items. Donations are only taken on the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month from 10:00 am-4:00 pm. 

As an alternative, you may drop off items at the St Vincent de Paul Store, 1426 6th Ave, DSM or call 515/28208327 for free pick up.

  If you would like a receipt for your donation, there is a clipboard inside the truck box or stop by the front office.  Learn more


Funeral Lunch

Volunteers set up, prepare, serve and clean-up a lunch provided by the parish for the friends and family of the deceased. The committee calls volunteers on a rotating basis to provide salads and/or desserts to supplement the sandwich trays that are provided.

Volunteers are needed to work in the kitchen or to be willing to prepare a salad or dessert to drop off.  Contacts: Marilyn Chicoine, 401-4662 or Lois Frederick, 964-0171

Green Thumb

Gardening Angels

Gardeners help maintain the grounds and plantings around the outside of the church and rectory. Volunteers are scheduled on a rotating basis for basic watering and general upkeep. Additional help is needed seasonally for planting and clean up.  Contact: Gary Jones 

Interior Plant Watering

Volunteers water the plants throughout the worship space and chapel and keep floral displays looking fresh. Volunteers rotate through on a weekly schedule. Contact: Phyllis Ross  or 238-7059



This group of helpers keep the Library in order and manage the database.  Must be a person who enjoys the little details!  Meets: a few times during the year; some maintenance work on a weekly basis Contact: Patty Mayer 964.3038


Do you like to organize and categorize items? We need folks willing to collect, process and stage items for our historical display.  Contact: Joan Ski 


Altar Linens

This group is responsible for the cleaning and ironing of the linens used at Mass, such as the purificators (cloths used to wipe the cup after each person).  These are done weekly.  Linens are taken home to be washed, no special detergent needed. Often you may need to soak or scrub to get stains, such as lipstick, out. Iron the linens and return to the sacristy.  Contact: Pat White 

Cloth Napkins

We have moved to using cloth napkins in Mary’s Place, the Conference Room and the Staff Office.  We are looking for people who are willing to take these linens home and wash them, fold them and return them.  This is a rotating schedule. Contact: Patty Mayer 964.3038

Special Events

During special events we often use cloth table cloths and napkins.  Assistance in taking the table cloths and napkins home to be laundered and returned. This would be on an as needed basis. Contact: Joan Ski 964.3038 


Our nursery ministry is available to parents of children ages 1-4 during:

  • 8:30am Mass every Sunday

  • 10:30am Mass every Sunday September – May

(excluding holidays such as: New Year’s, Spring Break, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas)

The Nursery is also available during:

  • Faith Formation class times for children of catechists

For Faith Formation times: All fees are waived for those who serve Monday through Wednesday nursery. Fees are discounted by 50% Sunday Nursery volunteers.

  • Other events throughout the year

In order to provide this ministry we are in need of adults and teens willing to share their time and talent.  Also, if you use the nursery, or have used the nursery in the past, and know the benefit of it you are encouraged to share in this ministry by being on the rotation.  Usually there are 4-5 adults and teens (must have at least one adult) during Mass times.

A background check and VIRTUS are required to volunteer.


Rock-a-Bye Baby

Attention all new mothers, new families, and expecting mothers! If the need arises during Mass or another OLIH ministry, please feel free to stop by the nursery to relax and nurse your little one in our dedicated space with rocking chairs.  This is also intended for any upset toddler who needs a little additional comfort. If you have any questions or feedback about this, please feel free to email our nursery coordinator, Mary Sankey.

Nursery Ministry Needs Volunteers

Are you interested in volunteering in the nursery during one Sunday Mass/month? We will soon be putting together the upcoming schedule. If you're interested in helping or would like more information, please contact Mary Sankey. Please note: if you're using the nursery for your children, we would love to have you sign up to help us one Mass/month.  Currently we have a lot more children in the nursery, but could use more volunteers. This is a also a great service opportunity for our Confirmation candidates!


Eucharistic Adoration

At this time we only offer Eucharistic Adoration of Blessed Sacrament on the Friday mornings of Lent.  Adorers are needed each Friday from 9am to noon.  Signup sheet is in the chapel during the Lenten season. 

Prayer Angels

The Pre k-Grade 5 Faith Formation classes are in need of parishioners who are willing to pray for one of the elementary classes by being a Prayer Angel. This may be a good way for YOU to be involved with the children if you cannot be a catechist. It is an important ministry and your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Contact: Joyce Clawson, 964-3038, ext. 110 


Prayer Chain

As a pray-er on the prayer chain, you will receive a prayer call and then you call the next person on the list.  We do leave messages if someone does not answer, but then we continue down the list to personally connect with the next person so that the prayers continue to be actively prayed for.  Once you have personally notified the next caller you will take the request to prayer.  Contact: Ruth Ward 515.963.8185

Seven Sisters Apostolate

Do you have the gift of prayer? The Seven Sisters are a group of seven women who are dedicated to praying for our parish priest – to lift him up throughout his week.  Each sister is given a day of the week during which she will pray for Father for one hour.  We currently have two groups active for our parish priest, and one for a priest who does not have a parish. We are always looking for good subs for days when one of our sisters is unable to make her hour.  Meet: One hour a week, on your own, to pray in the chapel  Learn more   Contact: Dawn Martin


Support for Faith Formation

For Faith Formation Support Volunteers: All fees are waived for those who serve as office volunteers. Fees are discounted by 50% for all hall, gym, and parking lot monitors.

Gym Monitor

Monitor students waiting in the gym either before or after class time. This is a Wednesday at either 5:30 or 7:00 only position

Hall Monitor

Assist/direct anyone who happens to be in the hall during class times

Office Assistant

Work with one other person to perform light office/receptionist duties during class time (No Sunday hours)

Parking Lot Monitor

Work with two other adults to ensure students make it safely to and from their family's car.  Commitment: Weekly September through May

Contact for all faith formation helpers: Tom Primmer

Prayer Angels

The Pre k-Grade 5 Faith Formation classes are in need of parishioners who are willing to pray for one of the elementary classes by being a Prayer Angel. This may be a good way for YOU to be involved with the children if you cannot be a catechist. It is an important ministry and your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Contact: Joyce Clawson, 964-3038, ext. 110 


Support for the Parish Office

Always on the lookout for people interested in helping with variety of tasks such as: stuffing bulletins, stuffing mailers, making phone calls, etc, etc.  Contact: Amy Wall  and let her know what you would be interested in getting calls for!

Money Counters

Counting the weekend collection.  Teams are scheduled on a rotating basis. Typically count Monday mornings 9am to 10:30am. Training is provided!  Contact: Mary Reichter


Looking for pictures from various events either on or off campus.  Have a nice camera and enjoy taking pictures?  Contact: Joan Ski

Support for Youth Ministry

Shopper/Stocker for Wednesday Night Faith Formation/ Youth Ministry Programs  

Primary duties include arranging to pick up OLIH Hy-Vee card & receive shopping list from Randy Henderson, Director of Youth Ministry twice a month any day of your convenience Thursday-Tuesday so that we have sufficient chips, pop and pizza for our Wednesday night programs.  We supply payment method, access to youth room and organized supply list.     Stock the youth room with the pop & chips; stock the kitchen freezer with pizzas.  

Pizza Chef for Wednesday Night Faith Formation/Youth Ministry Programs

Primary duties include cooking pizzas provided in convection oven in our wonderful kitchen at OLIH, and delivering them to the Youth room by 6:30pm.  

Pop can redeemer!

Primary duties include transporting rinsed and bagged pop cans for bulk redemption at K & B Redemption Center (1501 NE Broadway in Des Moines. It's not far from E 14th exit) and return money and new bags to OLIH at your convenience during their posted hours of operation: Tues-Friday 10am-6pm (closed 1-2pm); Saturday 9am-1pm. 


We are always looking for adults to help chaperone Youth Ministry events.  

Contact: Randy Henderson 

There are many benefits to helping with Youth Ministry - including the smiles, laughter, support and thanks that teens, families, staff will share with you often; being a “part of the action” particularly where these opportunities serve our  Wednesday evenings; a greater appreciation of the support our parish family shows one another; inside knowledge and experience of our particular youth ministry program; networking opportunities; satisfaction of serving the Lord in an impactful and powerful way – it takes many hands in a variety of ways to “make room” for ministry to happen.


PK-12th grade Catechist

Teach with a partner, all materials, curriculum and training provide

  • To teach grades PK-K contact Mary S

  • To teach grades 1-5 contact Joyce

  • To teach grades 6-8 contact Abby

  • To teach grades 9-12 contact Tom

Teen Assistant (PK-6th Grade classrooms)

You must be in 8th-12th Grade to be a Teen Assistant. Your registration fee will be waived.

  • To assist with grades PK-K contact Mary S

  • To assist with grades 1-5 contact Joyce

  • To assist with grades 6-8 contact Abby

Adult Faith Formation Facilitator

In adult faith there are many varied styles of groups and studies. Support is provided, training is provided as needed.   Contact:  Patty Mayer

Youth Ministry Leaders

Contact: Randy Henderson

As we look forward to ongoing and expanding opportunities in Youth Ministry at OLIH, we are in need of adults, 21 years of age or older to be spiritual mentors who will companion our youth throughout the year. A mentor is, “an experienced and trusted adviser.” We need adults who are willing to share their time, their story, and most importantly their presence. To “companion” our youth as a mentor means accompanying youth during our events, prayer experiences, and supporting our youth in their activities at Church (usually Wednesday evenings and some weekends) and to some degree, in their lives outside of church.

Visiting the sick/Nursing home

Eucharistic Ministers, extend the celebration of Eucharist along with the care and prayers of our community to the sick and homebound. In addition, Mass and a Communion Service are celebrated monthly at the Sunnyview and Millpond Retirement Centers in Ankeny. Contact: Sr. Susan Widdel

Welcoming Ministry

Two great ministries to assist in welcoming and connecting with new parishioners:

Welcome Committee

Volunteers contact new parishioners within the first few months after they register here and extend an invitation to get together in their homes or at the church.  Committee members will be trained and given pertinent information needed to give tours of the building and make one-on-one visits. This is a ministry one can do on his/her own time. The number of new families to contact varies month to month.

A newcomer wine and cheese gathering is held twice a year in October and April, a volunteer’s attendance at this event is encouraged but not required.  Contact: Eileen Janni

Welcome Center

The Welcome Center is set up in the gathering space after Mass on the third weekend of the month. The volunteers who staff it answer questions about the parish and provide assistance with parish registration.  Volunteers are on a rotating basis, approximately one weekend a month.  Contacts: Bev Whitlatch