All freshmen attend a day-long retreat in the fall led by Youth Frontiers and a group of DCHS seniors.  The retreat focuses on helping students respect themselves, respect others, and stand up for respect.  This retreat is part of our Freshman Month of Welcome.


Metanoia (a Greek word meaning "change of heart") is a retreat for Dowling Catholic freshmen led by a team of seniors and held at St. Thomas More Center in Panora, IA.  The retreat runs from Sunday noon until Monday afternoon.  The retreat follows the thematic development of "Change Your Mind--Change Your Heart--Change Your Actions.”  Students will listen to talks, participate in small group discussions and activities, engage in prayer/reflection activities, and celebrate Mass together.  The experience is intended to give students a chance to get away from the hectic pace of life, reflect on their faith, get to know many new classmates, and grow in faith and friendship.  Please contact Mrs. Sheaff with questions.

Metanoia Retreat Application 

January 28-29, 2018  |  March 25-26, 2018


Kairos is a four-day retreat available to juniors. Kairos, which means “the Lord’s time,” not only gives students an opportunity to explore their own hearts but also draws them closer to God and each other in an intensely powerful way. This retreat significantly impacts students and strengthens their ideals and values as Christian leaders.  Kairos retreats are held at the Creighton Retreat Center located near Griswold, IA, and are led by a team of Dowling Catholic students and faculty. Please contact Mrs. Sheaff with questions.

Kairos Retreat Application

October 12-15, 2017  |  November 30-December 3, 2017  |  January 18-21, 2018  |  February 22-25, 2018  |  March 22-25, 2018  |  April 5-8, 2018 |  May 3-6, 2018


Quest is a 24-hour retreat opportunity for sophomores. The retreat takes place at the St. Thomas More Center in Panora, IA, and runs from Sunday at noon through Monday afternoon. The QUEST team consists of seniors and adults who facilitate discussions under the direction of staff from the St. Thomas More Center. The retreat also offers personal reflection time and small group sharing.  Please contact Mr. Smith with questions.

Quest Retreat Application 

February 11-12, 2018  |  April 8-9, 2018


"Radix: Grow a radical faith" (this will replace the Crossroads retreat)

RADIX, a retreat available to seniors, is the Latin word for "rooted” and is also the base of the word "radical.” We will explore the changing lives of second-semester seniors and their relationships with parents, siblings, friends, enemies and God. We will also explore our faith roots, including what nourishes the roots and how they help us withstand the storms. We will also discuss Jesus as a radical man - meaning rooted in scripture, prayer, family and tradition. His roots allowed him to withstand temptation while challenging the culture AND drawing people to himself. This is who we aspire to become. Radix does NOT require any previous retreat experience.

This retreat is sponsored by the Diocese of Des Moines and combines Dowling Catholic students with students from across southwest Iowa. Radix begins on Friday evening and ends on Sunday evening. Cost is $175 and registration is available online. Financial assistance is available from the Diocese. 

February 2-4, 2018  |  March 2-4, 2018


Every spring the seniors experience a day of reflection during which they look back on their time at Dowling Catholic.  They focus on the highs and lows, what they are to take with them and leave behind, those they need to thank and those with whom they need to make amends.  The day includes brunch and the senior video. 

Dowling Catholic High School  |  1400 Buffalo RD.  |  West Des Moines, IA  |  50265  |  (515) 225-3000