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About Us

We are a Catholic Worker community, a 501c3 Non-Profit organization, and community home for those seeking assistance. We offer daytime assistance where guests in need can come share food, fellowship, and other amenities. Our founding principles are solidarity with those experiencing poverty, hospitality to them, and community with them. 

Our faith is what informs our actions at the Romero House. Without the nourishment and strength provided through prayer and relationship with God, we have nothing to give. "You cannot give what you do not have."  If we desire to love, then we must be filled first by the One who gives it freely. "God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God " and "Rivers of living water will flow from within them" (1 John 1:16 and John 7:38).

Our Faith

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We are funded by personal and private donations from families, clergy, and lay people in the community. We do not receive funding from the government (local/state/federal) so we can keep our mission centered on witnessing Christ and being Christ to others. Although we are part of the community of the Catholic Church, we are not funded or subsidized by it. We believe that the same people who fund the Romero House should be the ones who give their lives in service there.

Our Funding

Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of San Salvador in the late 1970's. Romero witnessed severe political unrest and human injustice throughout his time as a priest and Archbishop. After hearing of the murder of his dear friend, Fr. Rutillo Grande, who was killed for political reasons, Archbishop Romero responded hastily in opposition to the injustice that was spreading through El Salvador. His compassion for the poor and vulnerable, who were also being targeted, was what made him a martyr while saying mass in March 1980. He is most known for living in solidarity with those in need and for opposing those (even in the church) that rationalize dehumanization.   

Our Patron

Meet Our Board

Board:

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Matt Mitchell

I am a founding member of the Romero House and a live-in Catholic Worker since we began in 2020. Living in community at the Romero House has been an extreme joy for me. Spending time together in prayer, formation, and service to our brothers and sisters, you really unveil the intimate ways God works in our everyday lives. From seeing Him in the faces of those who come to the door, to those same guests pointing out the Jesus in you, Jesus makes himself known in this mission quite often. It is just amazing to see how deep community and service to one another can transform our hearts into the Heart of Jesus, the One who pours out love upon us endlessly. I pray everyone might have the chance to encounter Christ here in the raw but joyful enviornment we call home.

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Glenn Sibbel

Pam and I have lived in Ames for 49 years both in the teaching profession. We now enjoy time to serve God's people, especially those who come to the Romero House

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Bill and Mary Kay Vogel

Through a friend of ours who did not have a home we became aware of the need in Ames for food, shelter, services and just plain friendship. Romero House works to meet those needs. It's a spot where the volunteers and those whose needs bring them to us share our gifts back and forth. All of our lives are enriched! When Matt recruited us to his vision of “Romero House,” we saw it as an opportunity to attempt to lighten the burden of poverty in our community. The Romero community has made a difference in a many lives. We're thankful for that and the lessons we‘ve learned on how to better connect those of us who are so blessed with our sisters and brothers who have barely enough to get though today, much less anything left for tomorrow or next week.

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Jim Kurtenbach

Annmarie and Jim Kurtenbach live south of Nevada (Iowa!) and are the proud parents of two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. Annmarie assists the Romero family with accounting and reporting services, and Jim serves as a Trustee.

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Mary Jo Phiefer Wulf

"I became involved with Romero House after an invitation from Matt Mitchell. I love the mission and as a mental health counselor with Catholic Charities for many years, I was so very aware of the great needs in the Ames area. This community not only needs to offer support to homeless individuals but it needed more opportunities to serve as well. Now in retirement, I feel even more drawn to contribute my time and experience to support the Romero House."

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Mark Hanson

My name is Mark Hanson, I have lived in Ames all but 7 years of my life. My family and I have lived in Ames for 30 years and we are members at St Cecilia Parish. My wife (Margy) and I have six children and six grandchildren. I sincerely enjoy the opportunity to make Ames a better and more inclusive home for everyone who lives here or will move here in the future. An extensive number of people in our community truly need the services that are provided by the Romero House and I am blessed to be able to help make them available.

Catholic Workers:

(live-ins)

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Matt Mitchell

I am a founding member of the Romero House and a live-in Catholic Worker since we began in 2020. Living in community at the Romero House has been an extreme joy for me. Spending time together in prayer, formation, and service to our brothers and sisters, you really unveil the intimate ways God works in our everyday lives. From seeing Him in the faces of those who come to the door, to those same guests pointing out the Jesus in you, Jesus makes himself known in this mission quite often. It is just amazing to see how deep community and service to one another can transform our hearts into the Heart of Jesus, the One who pours out love upon us endlessly. I pray everyone might have the chance to encounter Christ here in the raw but joyful enviornment we call home.

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Dwayne Schrunk

My name is Dwayne Schrunk, is was born and raised in Iowa. I have five brothers and one sister. I have a daughter Sally (24) and a son Irvin (22), Sally is in her first year teaching 3rd grade in Ankeny, Irvin works at the east HyVee here in Ames. I came to Ames in 1987 to attend ISU, and have lived here ever since. I meet Matt in early 2023 and starting becoming involved at the Romero House shortly after that. Before moving into the Romero House, I volunteered for the Saturday and Sunday hospitality hours. I also facilitate a Bible/Catechism study on Wednesday nights at the house. Daytime hospitality can be difficult at times; there can be chaos and a good dose of drama. It can be challenging to stay grounded and rooted in charity and faith. I am most excited about three things: 1) I am very much looking forward to the community of the house, praying, discussing faith, and living with the live-in member of the house. 2) I am excited about the future of the Romero House and how we will continue to expand the mission. 3) And maybe this should be number 1, but continuing to drive the bus (literally). Not only do we give those in need a warm meal, a hot shower, and clean clothes, but we also give them a look at the Catholic Faith we love. The best day for me is when then the van is full of our guests willing and wanting to attend Mass (and we go back to the House and fire up the grill).

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Liam Ehrecke

My name is Liam Ehrecke and I am a Senior at Iowa State University studying History and Philosophy. I am originally from Davenport, IA where his parents Tim and Cassie still live. I have two brothers: Nate who works at John Deere and Logan who attends the University of Iowa. I was first introduced to the Romero House in the spring of 2022, where I helped put up a fence. From that moment on I have been involved at the house. This last fall I volunteered every Wednesday from 1-4. I loved volunteering and now he will be a live-in at the house as of February 9th. I have always wanted to spend his life serving others, and the Romero House is the perfect outlet for that desire. I can’t wait to be able to give myself to the mission. Some of my favorite things I’ve gotten to do at the Romero House is help someone apply for disability insurance and become a sponsor for someone to enter into the church. Outside of the Romero House, I like to practice my violin and guitar, read, and do outdoor sports (hiking, rock climbing, and skiing).

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