Student Life


Believe. Seek. Serve.

Dowling Catholic High School is a community of faith where learning, leadership, and sportsmanship are Christ-centered. The mission at Dowling Catholic is to inspire a love of learning and a respect for fellow human beings in an environment that fosters excellence in academics and spiritual development. The culture at Dowling Catholic is one of caring and support which embraces diversity and students of all faiths.

Service Hours

The goal of Dowling Catholic High School’s Christian Service Hour program is to ensure that students are seeking to serve the community, the world at large, and to see Christ in all people. To find out more about service hours and the graduation requirement, click here.

If you are completing your service hours during the summer, please print off a Service Hour Verification Form and get it signed by the supervisor of your hours. When you start school in the fall you can enter the hours in our online service hour system.

Students can earn a white Service Cord by going above and beyond the 80 hour service requirement for graduation. Students must have earned at least 210 Christian service hours during their time at Dowling Catholic and must apply for the award.
Below is a list of the faith-based service clubs and activities Dowling Catholic has to offer. To learn more about each club, the requirements and moderator download the DCHS Activities Handbook.


List of 7 items.

  • Freshman Retreat

    All freshmen attend a day-long retreat in the fall led by nationally renowned Catholic speakers, DCHS faculty and a group of DCHS seniors. The retreat focuses on helping students integrate their relationship with Jesus into every aspect of their high school lives.  The retreat is called “Get Your Heart in the Game” and is part of our Freshman Month of Welcome.
  • Metanoia

    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 2023-2024 Registration Form

    Metanoia Dates: 
    February 11-12, 2024
    April 14-15, 2024

  • Quest

    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 noon through Monday afternoon. The focus of this encounter with Jesus is on the question Jesus poses, “Who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16).  Witness talks and discussions surround the questions, “Who am I” and “Do I let Jesus form who I am?”. The Quest team consists of Dowling Catholic seniors and faculty and includes personal reflection time and small group sharing. Please contact Mrs. Sheaff with questions.

    Quest 2023-2024 Registration Form

    Quest Dates:
    January 28-29, 2024
    March 24-25, 2024

  • Kairos

    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 2023-2024 Registration Form

    Kairos Dates:
    October 26-29, 2023 - Kairos 154 
    November 30-Dec 3, 2023 - Kairos 155 
    January 18-21. 2024 - Kairos 156 
    February 22-25, 2024 - Kairos 157 
    March 21-24, 2024 - Kairos 158 
    April 4-7, 2024 - Kairos 159 
    May 2-5, 2024 - Kairos 160

  • Radix

    "Radix: Grow a radical faith"

    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 $170. Financial assistance is available from the Diocese.

    March 1-3, 2024
  • Seek

    What if God wants to meet you in this moment — right where you are? What if you’re being invited into something extraordinary? What if you dared to seek it? Register your child for SEEK 2022, a livestreamed conference that will be housed at DCHS in a COVID-safe environment. The weekend will include Sacraments, all meals, and time to meet Christ freshly anew. Register online. Limited space available, first come first serve. $80 all-inclusive before December 1st; $120 after December 1st. 
  • Senior Day of Reflection

    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.

Spiritual Activities

List of 7 items.

  • Adoration

    Monday 8am-2:45 pm, Tuesday-Friday 11-1pm
  • Daily Mass in St. Joseph Chapel

    Monday - Friday 7:15 am, Primetime
  • Morning Prayer

    Monday - Friday 7:55 pm
  • Reconciliation

    Reconciliation is available during Seminar with Fr. Acrea in his office in the narthex.
  • Revive

    A night of witness, praise, and Eucharistic adoration. Held periodically on Sunday evenings from 7-8:30 pm. See the Maroon Minute for this semester’s speaker schedule and specific dates.
  • Students For Life

    An organization promoting the Catholic Church’s teaching on the consistent ethic of respecting all human life from conception to natural death.
  • Ut Fidem

    Ut Fidem, from a Latin phrase meaning “Keep the Faith,” strives to develop high school students into intentional disciples who will keep the faith for the rest of their lives, and especially through college. Ut Fidem does this by supporting students in forming deep, personal relationships with Christ through small group ministry and faith mentoring.

    More about Ut Fidem

List of 8 members.

  • Photo of Terry Clark

    Terry Clark 

    Theology Department Chair
  • Photo of Fr. Reed Flood

    Fr. Reed Flood 

  • Photo of Fr. John Acrea

    Fr. John Acrea 

    Spiritual Director
  • Photo of Fr. James Downey

    Fr. James Downey 

  • Photo of Christy Sheaff

    Christy Sheaff 

    Retreats & Liturgy
  • Photo of Addie Croegaert

    Addie Croegaert 

    Graduate Ministries Program Coordinator
  • Photo of Ryland Jones

    Ryland Jones 

    Ut Fidem Coordinator
  • Photo of Kirby Power

    Kirby Power 

    Ut Fidem Coordinator

Dowling Catholic High School

Dowling Catholic High School is committed to serving the Greater Des Moines Catholic community and embracing learners of all faiths. In an environment that is faithful, caring and dedicated, Dowling Catholic forms each student to become a Christ-centered leader.