Parish Staff

John P. Ludwig – Pastor

Born July 13, 1948

Attended St. Augustin grade school, Dowling High School, Loras College, and the Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Catholic University of Louvain) Belgium from 1970-74, Ordained July 27, 1974, Taught for two years at Dowling High School,

Served for three years as the diocesan director of religious education, Served in several Des Moines area parishes: Holy Trinity, St. Mary of Nazareth, St. Joseph’s, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center / Drake Newman Community at Drake University, Spent a three month sabbatical at the Vatican II Institute at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California. Named pastor of St. John the Apostle, Cumming, Iowa, in January 2002. In December 2005, we moved to our new location in Norwalk.

Contact Father John at or 515-981-4855.

David L. Miller – Deacon

Born January 5, 1946

Attended Immaculate Conception grade school, Wapsie Valley High School.  Served four years in the U.S. Navy, Communication Technician.  Married June 18, 1966, two sons and five grandchildren.  B.S. degree Business Management 1989. John Deere supervisor 13+ years, self-employed flooring contractor 20 yrs. Attended Conception Seminary College from 2002-2006.

Ordained August 19, 2006 and assigned to St. John the Apostle.  Currently oversee obtaining and preparing meals for the less fortunate at Connection Café, here at St. John the Apostle.  Hospice volunteer 2006-current, facilitator of Men’s group for men who have lost a spouse.  Currently serving on the Diaconate Council and Core Team Member, helping to guide candidates thru the education stage of the Diaconate training.

Contact David at


Kathy Ballard—Accountant
Kathy came to St. Johns in November 2000.

Kathy’s duties include payroll, accounts payable (payments for services used by the church), budgets, finance council information dissemination, assists the Altar/Rosary Treasurer, performs Church of Assumption accounting duties and other finance related activities.

Kathy graduated from Simpson College with a degree in Accounting.  She is a CPA.  Kathy operates an independent business helping small businesses with their accounting needs.

Kathy is married to Doug and has 2 kids (Doug, Jr. and Kaila).


Sharon Ewell – Director of Religious Education

 Sharon became Administrative Assistant, January, 2006 – Director of Religious Education – August, 2000.  She served as a Religious Education Volunteer beginning in September, 1981.As Administrative Assistant Sharon works with the Parish members to share our faith.  She encourages and assists members to share their talents by participating in Parish activities such as Mass, music, Fall Festival, Religious Education, Youth and Adult Faith Formation and miscellaneous faith activities.    As Religious Education Director Sharon assists the Parish families to grow in faith and share their faith with others through the Parish Religious Education Program (PREP).   Members of the Parish serve as Catechists and leaders of PREP.  Sharon participates in CLADD (Catechetical Leadership Association for the Diocese of Des Moines) and works with the Diocese on faith growth programs for St. John the Apostle Catholic Church.

Sharon is married to Bud Ewell.  They have 2 sons, Brent and Michael, daughter-in-law Pam, 3 grandchildren and 1 great grandson.  She graduated from Toledo High School, attended Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) and taught in the Waterloo Public School and St. John’s Catholic School, St. Nicholas in Evansdale and Sacred Heart in Monticello.

Contact Sharon at or 515-981-4855.


Alayne Pieper – Secretary Receptionist

Alayne is an Ottumwa native who completed the RCIA program in 1986 before marrying Melvin, also from Ottumwa. She has had the privilege of living all over the country and working in a variety of positions. In 2014, after 28 years, she and her family returned to Iowa and live on an acreage south of Norwalk.  Alayne has two grown children, Victoria and Ethan, a schnauzer named Leo (her third child) and three rescue cats. Alayne enjoys cooking, decorating, landscaping, playing cards and board games, reviewing restaurants, and traveling. She is excited to be part of the St. John community and the opportunity to meet more of her church family, and grow in her Catholic faith.

Contact Alayne at or 981-4855.


Patty Rooney – RCIA Coordinator

Patty and her husband Ted have three daughters and five grandchildren. They became members of the SJA community in 2002.  Patty received her BSE from what is now known as Truman State University in 1977 and taught high school English.  Following the birth of their children, she began free lance writing and was published in a weekly column as well as co-authoring a book with her husband about arthritis.  Her writings began to become spiritual in nature and she became interested in religious studies.  In her previous parish, St. Mary’s in Pella, IA, she was a catechist and involved in religious education curriculum development, coordinated the Confirmation program, facilitated Baptismal Preparation classes and lead daily Scripture and Communion services.  She received her Masters of Pastoral Studies from St. Ambrose University in 2004 and became involved in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) at St. John’s the fall of that year.  The following fall, she became coordinator of the program and has continued that position to the present time.  In the fall of 2013, Patty became a staff member, overseeing and presenting opportunities for adults of the parish seeking to continue and enhance their personal faith journeys.  She is a resource person, facilitates many courses, Scripture Study, arranges for guest speakers and offers a range of small group discussions on various subjects and topics, through DIFF (Drop In Faith Formation).
















Tim Mineart – Office Manager

Tim came to SJA in November of 2000.  He is in charge of Tithing, Money Count Team, Year End Tithing Statements, Vital Record Keeping, Parish Database, Hall & Room Rentals and Facility Usage, General Building Duties, Cleaning Personnel Supervisor, Cemetery Records, Coffee & Donuts Organizer, Annual Diocesan Appeal Contact, FOCCUS Administrator, Employee Benefits Contact, Maintains Parish Website, as well as general office functions.  Tim is a 1983 graduate of Norwalk High School and has a Bachelors degree in Business Management from Upper Iowa.  Tim is currently enrolled at Villanova University studying for his Masters Degree in Church Management. Tim is married to (Deb) and has three kids (Nick, Maggie, Tommy) and three step kids (Mandy, Katie, Sara).

Contact Tim at or at 515-981-4855.


Glen Soyer – Facilities Coordinator

Glenn and his wife Jane have three sons, (Adam, Travis, Nathan) and five grandchildren. Glenn has a BA in Biology from Mankato State University, a MS in Environmental Health from the University of Cincinnati and a teaching certificate through Simpson College.

Glenn worked for thirteen years as a manufacturing planner and a health/safety engineer for the General Electric Company. In 1985 he and his wife started Iowa Environmental Services, a consulting company, concerned mainly with asbestos, lead, mold and noise. In 2004 Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance hired Glenn as a Certified Industrial Hygienist to develop health and safety programs for their clients. He retired from there in December 2014.

Glenn’s duties include building maintenance, building sanitation, cleaning, overseeing vendor contracts, and general coordination of day to day operations.

Contact Glen at or 515-981-4855.



Melissa Hill – Faith Formation Director

Melissa lives in Des Moines with her husband, Jimmy Garcia, and her children Bradley and Maggie, along with their dog, Annabelle. Before coming to work at St. John, she was the Director of Religious Education at St. Anthony in Des Moines. She earned a BA in Human Services at Grandview College and has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. Melissa loves to spend time with her family, playing cards, games, or being outside. She also enjoys walking, reading, and knitting. She is excited to be on the staff here at St. John the Apostle, and looks forward to serving the families of this parish.

She would love to hear your ideas or input for Faith Formation at all ages. Contact her at or 515-981-4855.




We welcome your call or email to any member of our parish staff. Or if you prefer, you may contact us using our online Contact Form.


St. John The Apostle Catholic Church

720 Orchard Hills Dr

Norwalk, Iowa 50211-9669


Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-4:00PM


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