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 on Mondays from 6:15 to 7:30pm and Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:45pm in 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 is offered at a variety of times Monday thru Wednesday.  This program is for children age 3-12. Click here to learn more.

Sessions have begun but you may register your child by contacting Mary Downey, Administrative Assistant at (515) 232-3514.

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

 

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.

 

Something to Know:

This is a glorious day! In fact, after not singing the joyful Gloria during Lent, it is sung once again tonight at the Mass ‒ and bells are rung as we sing. The Mass of this day celebrates the Last Supper of Jesus before his death tomorrow. This night, the priest at Mass usually washes the feet of parishioners, in imitation of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper; and we celebrate the night when Jesus gave us the Eucharist ‒ His own true Body and Blood ‒ and when he gave us the priesthood to celebrate the Eucharist until the end of time.

Something to Do:

As you gather around your supper table tonight, be mindful that this night we remember Jesus as he gave himself to us ‒ both in service (washing feet) and in the gift of his true, actual Body and Blood. Thank Jesus by giving God glory! Sing (or say) together the words from the Gloria: We praise you, we bless you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory and for ___________________. Have one member of the family fill in the blank with something for which he/she thanks God. Repeat for every member of the family. If you have bells, you can even make a glorious noise by ringing them each time!

Something to Share:

What is the best thing you like about Mass? Why?

Online Activities:

*See more under the Holy Week tab

Last Supper Picture Shuffle

Holy Thursday Crafts, Recipes and More from Catholic Icing

 

 

 

Something to Know:

Today we recall that Jesus suffered; was cruelly scourged, mocked, crowned with thorns, forced to carry a heavy wooden cross up a steep and rocky hill; fell three times along the way; was stripped of his clothes, nailed to that cross, and hung there to die. Why do we call this day “Good” Friday??? Some saints have said Jesus felt JOY while on that cross. Joy? Yes. Jesus felt joy because he knew that his great suffering was his gift to his Father in heaven offered for the forgiveness of OUR sins. Jesus saw all our sins (even though we were not yet born), and he gave his sacred Body and Blood in offering for the forgiveness of all those sins ‒ our sins! That IS reason for joy ‒ and gratitude! It is a “good” Friday.

Something to Do:

Jesus hung on the cross from noon until 3:00pm when he finally breathed his last breath. Participate in a moment of silence at noon and/or at 3:00pm. If you can, focus on a cross or crucifix at this time. During this moment, you might recall your sins, thank Jesus for loving you even with your sins, and ask him to help you draw closer to his loving heart. You might end this time by venerating the cross with a kiss, a touch, or by bowing before it (keeping in mind sanitation practices required in your home these days).

Something to Share:

Share a time when you did something really difficult in order to help someone. Did you feel some joy during or after the task? Why? What do you think Jesus felt when he saw you doing this?

Online Activities:

*See more under the Holy Week tab

Ideas for Good Friday Family Traditions

Good Friday Crafts and Activities

 

 

Something to Know:

This is a holy day of waiting. We wait and watch for Jesus to burst forth from the tomb where his dead body has been put to rest. We wait and watch with his mother, Mary, and with the disciples of Jesus. The Mass that is usually celebrated tonight leads us into Easter. It is filled with joy and with signs and symbols of our baptism ‒ the sacrament that gives us NEW LIFE in Christ, Baptism is our gate to heaven, kind of like our “first Resurrection” until our final glorious resurrection to new life in heaven.

Something to Do:

Think about and remember baptism in your family. You might choose one or more of the following: 

  • Find your child’s baptism candle, baptism certificate, and/or baptism white garment. Share stories about your child’s baptism day. Look at photos/video from the day.
  • Help your child reach out to his/her godparents (call, email, make an Easter card to mail). 
  • Light a candle in a darkened room. Notice how the light brings comfort. Watch the flame flicker and move ‒ almost like it is alive! Light another candle… and another. Talk about how light brings peace/comfort and shows us the way! (That’s why Jesus called himself “The Light of the World.”)
  • Renew your Baptismal Promises. One person can read the following questions. All answer a hearty, faithful “I do.*Do you renounce Satan? *And all his works? And all his empty show? *Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth? *Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father? *Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

Something to Share:

What do you think it was like for the apostles on this day ‒ the day after Jesus died but before he rose from the dead?

Online Resources:

*See more under the Holy Week tab

Easter Vigil Liturgy

 

Easter Sunday

Something to Know:

Today we rejoice. Jesus has risen from the dead. We, like Jesus, can live forever in heaven! Alleluia!! God can bring great good from everything that is difficult (even death, even death on a cross)! Alleluia!!! Even if life is difficult right now, we still rejoice. Alleluia!! God gives us hope. Good always wins in the end. Always! Alleluia!!

Something to Do:

Shout Alleluia! Sing Alleluia! Ring bells. Have a parade with paper streamers. Draw/Color flowers and hang them throughout your house. Smile. Smile again. Smile once more! Keep on smiling all day long! 🙂 Today, just rejoice. Alleluia! Jesus is risen from the dead. Alleluia!!!!! 

Something to Share:

What do you think heaven will be like?

Online Resources:

*See more under the Holy Week tab

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 mdowney@stceciliaparish.org  or by calling (515)232-3514