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


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. 

Mass Minutes with Melissa

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 – Watch for next summer’s retreat date to be announced – 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

St. Cecilia’s Faith Formation Program and Anchor Youth Ministry Covid-19 Procedures

Traditional Classroom Programs and Youth Ministry

Drop Off:

  1. Parents will pull up alongside the Education Center sidewalks to drop off their student(s) using the main doors. Parents will remain in the car in order to keep the line moving. High schoolers who are able to  drive will park in the main lot.
  2. Parents wanting to walk their student(s) to the door must park in the lot and walk the student(s) to the main door.  Parents will not be allowed to enter the building.
  3. Adult volunteers will be stationed at the main door and in the hallways to ensure that students get to their classrooms.
  4. All persons entering the building must wear a mask.
  5. Students will walk directly to their classroom and wash or sanitize their hands.

In Classroom:

  1. Everyone will wear a mask at all times.
  2. Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles, but no other items may be brought from home.
  3. No food will be allowed inside.
  4. Students will sit in the same desk each week, socially distanced as much as possible.
  5. Basic supplies such as pencils, sharpeners and erasers will be kept in a pouch for each class. The pencil sharpeners and erasers will be sanitized with a wipe by students after each use and put back in the pouch for another student to use.  All other supplies (colored pencils, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, etc.) will be stored in the Faith Formation office in sets of ten for catechists to borrow for the night.  At the end of the class, these will be put in a marked location so they are not used by the next session. Staff will return them to the supply closet after time is given for the virus to die or they are individually sanitized.
  6. When class is over, students and/or catechists will wipe down all touched areas with a sanitation wipe.  This includes chairs, desks, light switches, closet doors and door handles.
  7. Students will wash or sanitize their hands as they leave the classroom.

Pick Up:

  1. Parents should arrive 5 minutes early.
  2. Parents will form a carline alongside the main doors of the Education Center and remain in their cars, or they may park and walk up to the front area to pick up their student(s). Please social distance from other waiting parents.
  3. Students will be dismissed by class in a staggered fashion to allow for social distancing.  They will exit the Education Center with their class and wait outside for pick-up.
  4. Please Note: Middle School students needing to wait for a High School driver will wait in the entry area of the Education Center, remaining socially distanced.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Drop Off:

  1. Parents will walk their child(ren) into the narthex.
  2. All persons entering the building will wear a mask.
  3. Parents and  assistant catechists will help children hang up their coats and place shoes near the rack.
  4. Children will then visit the restroom to wash their hands.
  5. Children will walk directly to their atrium

In Atrium:

  1. Everyone will wear a mask.
  2. Children will choose a marked area for their workspace, socially distanced as much as possible.
  3. Children will choose a chowki/clipboard/mat for their work area.
  4. Each child will have their own pouch of supplies containing one regular pencil, colored pencils, scissors, glue stick, pencil sharpener, and eraser.  Sets of markers will be available as needed.
  5. Pouches will be kept in a bin for each section.  Only the section that is meeting will have their supply pouches on the shelf
  6. Once materials have been used, children will place them on a designated shelf where the assistant will sanitize them.

Pick Up:

  1. Parents will come into the hall/narthex area to pick up their child(ren).
  2. Parents are to stay back from the atrium doors and social distance while they wait.
  3. An assistant catechist will watch for parents and dismiss children as they see families in the hall.  Children will remain in their atrium until parents arrive.