Parish: 233-3092 | School: 232-5290 | Faith Formation: 232-3514 | 2900 Hoover Avenue, Ames IA

“But Jesus called for them and said,
‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them;
for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 

Truly I tell you,
whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child,
will never enter it.”
  Luke 18: 16-17


“Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.” Catechism of the Catholic Church #2226

The Faith Formation Staff at St. Cecilia’s is to help you as parents/guardians to nurture and foster growth in the Catholic faith of your children.  We are aided by the tremendous help from Catechists/volunteers of our Parish who give of their time and talents in a variety of ways. We have two different options for Faith Formation – Traditional Classroom Style and a multi-aged, Montessori based program called Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

Our Elementary Classroom Faith Formation program is open to children in Kindergarten through 5th grade.  We utilize the “Be My Disciples” series published by RCL Benziger. “Be My Disciples” is a spiral curriculum that covers the Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Gospel, the Saints, and other Catholic teachings appropriate to each grade level.

Elementary Classroom Faith Formation is offered in two different sessions on Wednesdays the St. Cecilia Education Center; parents can pick which time is best for their family.  Class sessions with less than 5 students may be combined with another grade level.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is offered at a variety of times on Tuesday and Wednesday.  This program is for children age 3-12. Click here to learn more.

Registration for 2020-2021 school year are now open.  You may register by clicking on the Faith Formation tab above and choosing “Registration”.  If you have questions about our programs you can contact Mary Downey, Administrative Assistant at (515) 232-3514.

For other questions contact Melissa Teggatz, Coordinator of Elementary Faith Formation at (515) 232-3514 or


Need ideas for talking about the COVID-19 Pandemic with your children?  It is a difficult time for all – but especially our children who have had their world turned upside down due to the spread of this virus.  As parents, we may feel like we are doing a good job sheltering them from all the scariness – but our kids are smart and very intuitive. They know things are different then they ever have been before.  We need to be open and honest with them.  We need to let them know we are scared/worried/anxious/curious/concerned too.  It is important for them to know we are doing all we can to keep our families safe.  CGSUSA has put out resources to help you with these discussions. Remember that all of us at St. Cecilia’s are here to support you as well.  Reach out to us for any reason.  We are praying for you, your families, and a swift containment of COVID-19.  Click HERE to view the CGSUSA resources.


Mass Minutes with Melissa

Short reflections to better prepare children to hear the Gospel message during weekend Mass. Most weeks you will find a task or a challenge for your family. Head over to Shepherding our Songbirds on Facebook to share your family’s response to the weekly challenge.

Gospel Reflection for Weekend of July 11th & 12th

To view past Gospel reflections visit our YouTube Channel: St. Cecilia’s YouTube Channel


Looking for ideas on how to raise your child up in the faith?  Need suggestions on how to get through Mass with little ones?  What to meet other Christian families? If you answered YES to any of these you will want to check out Shepherding our Songbirds on Facebook.  This is a special group for Christian families where Melissa Teggatz, Coordinator of Elementary Faith Formation,s share ideas and resources for all kinds of families. Every Thursday she posts Mass Minutes with Melissa.  A short video to help your child be prepared for the weekend Gospel reading. Join us at Shepherding our Songbirds.



Online Resources

Family Matters Newsletter from the Archdiocese of Dubuque – a monthly free resource from the Arch to live your faith at home emailed right to your inbox

Daily Mass Reading from the USCCB 

Preparing a Prayer Space in your Home

Creating Prayer Cards

Catholic Icing – At home activities and lessons to live your Catholic faith through your domestic home.

Mass Resources For Children – This is from Catholic Icing with specific ideas for keeping the spirit of Mass alive while we are unable to attend in our church.  Once we head back to celebrating Mass at the church, there are numerous resources to help your child focus and pray through Mass.  

Intentional Catholic Parenting – Learn how to fulfill your sacred mission as parents. This site will help you to build and maintain the connection you have with your children and to grow your family’s faith in a rich Christian identity. Includes podcast episodes and book club resources.

Catholic Parents Online – Great resource for families with all ages of children. This site strives to be a resource for Catholic parents to live out thier role as the primary educator of their children, fully aware of the difficulties this presents in secular society.

Parenting with Love and Logic – Looking for a way to raise responsible, respectable, strong children in today’s culture? Parenting with Love and Logic is dedicated to making parenting fun and rewarding by providing you tools and techniques to have healthy relationships with your children.

Magnificat & Magnificat Kids – NOW FREE ONLINE English and Spanish Versions

Catholic Sprouts – parenting community that offers support, resources and inspiration


Blogs and Podcasts

The Good Shepherd and the Child – podcast by the United States Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Organization exploring the spirituality of the Christian child

Abiding Together – a weekly podcast hosted by Michelle Benzinger, Sr. Miriam James Heidland, and Heather Khym, providing a place of connection, rest and encouragement for people who are on the journey of living out their passion and purpose in Jesus Christ

Catholic All Year – blog by Kendra Tierney who shares ideas how her family lives their Catholic faith at home

 Father Mike Schmitz podcast, video clips and more

Books for Children

Catholic Sprouts has books and materials for children on adoration, the rosary and Holy Week.

The Great Adventure Storybook – A Walk Through the Catholic Bible by Emily Cavins, Lisa Bromschwig, Regina Neville, and Linda Wandrei

Books for Adults

The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life by Kendra Tierney

Busy Lives & Restless Souls by Becky Eldredge

Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly

Beautiful Mercy by Matthew Kelly

Fearless A Catholic Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare by Sonja Corbitt


Retreats, Conferences, and Classes

A Deeper Love Retreat – August 22nd, 2020 Ames Area – a day away with your spouse to reconnect through converstation, speakers, Mass and more. Focus on the reality, the struggles and the beauty of marriage

Religious Education Catechists , Co-Catechists, Classroom Assistants, as well as, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Leads and Assistants – For those with a love of sharing about Jesus, enjoy children, and like to teach others.  Must be available most weeks of the school year to offer consistency for the children. You may choose to be paid or volunteer your time.

Substitute Catechists – For those who want to help spread the love of Jesus, but are not available on a consistent basis. You may choose to be paid or volunteer your time.

Office Help – For those with a gift of hospitality and organization, Help in the office during the Monday or Wednesday sessions, monitor the door, collect attendance, aid catechists as needed, make copies, and other simple tasks to help the programs, This postition may be paid or you may volunteer your time.

Materials Helper – Are you creative? Do you like to work with your hands? Throughout the year we have various projects we can use help with – these include, but are not limited to, creating poster boards, designing parent resources, constructing materials out of wood, painting, ect.

Laundry Helper – Each week we have a small amount of towels, mats, and cloths that need to be laundered from our CGS program. These would need to be picked up after 4:30 on Wednesday afternoon and returned Monday morning.

Prayer Angel – Pray for a specific group of children and catechists in one of our programs

To find out more or to volunteer to help – please contact Mary Downey, Faith Formation Administrative Assistant at  or by calling (515)232-3514