Be a Catholic Worker

The Ames Romero House is looking for young men who feel a deep and active call to live and work alongside our brothers on the streets of Ames and central Iowa. The Romero House Catholic Worker is a grassroots community that offers authentic, loving brotherhood to men transitioning out of incarceration, homelessness, or other unstable living situations. Our founding principles include solidarity with our brothers, hospitality to them and outside visitors, and intentional community with other missionaries responding to the call to serve. Our mission stems from an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist and in the heart of each human being. In a society that has largely left it’s care of the poor to organizations and governments, we feel called to respond and take personal responsibility for our brothers and sisters that have only been bruised and battered by a system that dehumanizes and strips dignity.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.”

Jesus is calling us to be poor among the poor, to use our own wounds to heal those of our brothers. How can we respond but with empathy, love, and ACTION! 

Responsibilities as a live-in Catholic Worker at the Romero House


  1. Help with fundraising for the growth of the house mission
  2. Help with publicity and advertising to potential donors, live-ins, or guests
  3. Attend and assist in facilitating monthly team, trustee and quarterly board meetings
  4. Represent the community at conferences, on-campus events, or other events at St. Thomas
  5. Be a responsible card-holder for the house, getting food and other resources for the community when needed
  6. Recruit potential live-ins
  7. Assist in legal development (at a distance) of the Romero House


  1. Assist in practical maintenance of the grounds and vehicles
  2. Lead any volunteers in house projects
  3. As a community and at your own level of desire, help to grow food and maintain our house garden
  4. Help lead house cleaning on Wednesday nights


  1. Befriend, walk alongside our brothers coming out of jail, homelessness or recovery.
  2. Meet weekly or bi-monthly with your assigned guests (1 or 2 guests)
  3. Assist or facilitate interviews for guests
  4. Be committed to the missionary fraternity and work to cultivate strong relationships with the other live-ins
  5. Assist in crisis situations, provide resources when needed
  6. Live creatively with others- find ways to engage your hobbies while also engaging the guys at the house (i.e. music, woodworking, running, shoveling snow, ect.)
  7. Help with transportation of the guests when needed
  8. Facilitate house meetings and correcting/praising house members when necessary
  9. Be a representative of the house at events or other gatherings like Saturday meals


  1. Commit to communal prayer each weekday (time determined by the live-ins)
  2. Growing your own relationship with Jesus through daily prayer, daily mass (when available) and confession.
  3. Meet monthly with a spiritual director
  4. Live as a spiritual leader leading your life with dignity and following Jesus’s call to holiness

Mental Health

  1. Regular retreats off-site of the Romero House. Can use our retreat house or several suggested retreat centers/cabins that provide great isolation
  2. Serve as a mental health resource for our guests and other ‘Friends of Romero’
  3. Meet weekly with mental health leadership team to give insight to the vibe of the house or individual members.

A testimony from Alberto, one of our past Catholic Workers:

I was a graduate student in his last semester at Iowa State University when God called me to give more of my heart to Himself through serving at the Ames Romero House. It is somewhat paradoxical that when we feel that we are giving it all, specially to God, He challenges us to even more greatness. As if we would be a full cup of water that needs to enlarge to hold more water poured out by God´s grace. The water on this cup is love, and the cup is your soul. It´s only when we give all of ourselves, that we allow our souls to be transformed. 

    On December of 2020 I had the desire to help a brother, Matt Mitchell, to continue the mission of his heart: To start a Catholic Worker House in Ames. I planned to be there during Winter Break. Yet, once I entered the house, I knew I could not stay just few weeks, but until my graduation. Entering to the Ames Romero House was an invitation to consider other´s care my care. It was a daily immersion to self-evaluation/reflection of my walk-in life. Not only I found great moments of joy and peace at this house, but also felt the privilege to impact people´s life by my openness to God´s will. There were challenges, indeed, but those were opportunities to grow in confidence and love. After 6 months living with our brothers from the streets, I realized how similar and fragile we are. I found such a wisdom and strength in some of them that I did not have. They lifted me up in moments of despair. They humbled me out in ways I never thought I needed. As I look back to the great experience of living at the Ames Romero House, I went thinking that those people from the street needed me. What I did not know, it is how much I needed them. I miss my life and dear community at the Ames Romero House, and I would repeat over and over this experience. God worked real miracles around this house. Miracles of love. 

    If you want to enter into God´s life and truly experience what we are called to, my dear brother, I invite you to participate of this house and let God do the rest. 


Alberto Palmero Canton.

Contact us at to chat or learn more!

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