St. Cecilia Church

For 100 years, the members of the Saint Cecilia Catholic community have met in Ames to worship God and celebrate our faith.  As we begin a new millennium, it is good to remember our humble beginnings.

In 1899, Fr. Henry Eckart was commissioned by the Archbishop of Dubuque to establish a church in Ames as a mission church of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church of Gilbert.  On August 30, 1899, he oversaw the purchase of Lincoln Way lots.  The ten families and dozen Iowa State College students in the parish helped bring the building materials for the church.  They met for Mass at the William Kinkade home and in Read’s Hall at 114  5th Street in downtown Ames until the white frame Church of the Good Shepherd was built at Boone (now Lincoln Way) and Elm Streets and dedicated October 11, 1901.  The 34 by 36 feet church held approximately 60 parishioners and was heated by a wood burning cast iron stove.

After the sale of the frame church to the Bethesda Lutheran congregation in 1905, a brick church was built with the cornerstone laid in 1906.  This second church was 40 by 70 feet, seated 240 on the main floor, and was renamed Saint Cecilia Catholic Church in 1906.  In 1914 Saint Cecilia and Saints Peter and Paul parishes separated and an addition to the church was built.

Saint Cecilia School, the second Catholic school in the county, was completed in 1925 under the direction of Fr. Joseph Campbell and staffed by the Sisters of Mercy.  An addition was completed in 1960 to accommodate the growth of the parish.

With a growing congregation, a third church was constructed at 30th Street and Hoover Avenue and dedicated in 1972.  The following year, the rectory and administration center were built.  In 1977, Saint Cecilia Parish was placed under the care of the Conventional Franciscan Province of Our Lady of Consolation and our “black friars” arrived.

Building continued with the ground breaking for the social center in 1986.  A new Education Center, built at the Hoover site in 1995, marked the end of 23 years of divided parish facilities.

Saint Cecilia is one of the most famous Roman martyrs of the early Church as well as one of the patrons of music.  According to legend, Cecilia was a Christian of high rank betrothed to a Roman named Valerian.  Through her influence, Valerian was converted.  He was martyred along with his brother.  Cecilia’s martyrdom followed.

Since the time of the Renaissance, Saint Cecilia has usually been portrayed with a viola or a small organ.  As one biographer put it, “Like any good Christian, Cecilia sang in her heart and sometimes with her voice.  She has become a symbol of the Church’s conviction that good music is an integral part of the liturgy, of greater value to the Church than any other art.”


Aug 06, 2019
Coordinator of Elementary Faith Formation Job Description Overview Looking to put your ministry skills to use for the mission of the Church? St. Cecilia Parish is looking for someone like you to join our team. Your passion and skills will drive children's formation and evangelization. Who We Are We are a Catholic parish passionate about faith formation and evangelization. We are process-driven, not program-driven. We believe that the surest way to advance the Gospel is through one-on-one, intentional relationships and we seek to be a center of formation for the laity so that they are empowered to do the work of evangelization in the world. Your Typical Day Here Children's Formation • Oversee classroom faith formation for Pre-Kinder through 5th grade as well as our Montessori-based Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. • Recruit and manage a volunteer staff of 30+ catechists and assistants. • Plan and execute First Communion preparation. Evangelization • Foster a culture of prayer for children in the classroom as well as catechists. • Nurture intentional relationships through frequent one-on-one meetings at coffee shops and restaurants with catechists, volunteers, and parents in the parish. • Provide coaching and other opportunities for continued formation and growth to catechists and parents. What You Need We are looking for a proactive and results-oriented individual with the following attributes: Commitment - Deeply passionate about the mission of our parish to draw people into a deeper encounter with Jesus through prayer and to share that encounter with others through the apostolate of evangelization. Coachability - We want to grow in holiness and are continually looking for ways to improve, seek out best practices, and add value to our parish and those whom we serve. Awareness - Our work relies on developing healthy, constructive relationships with fellow team members, staff, and parishioners. True awareness of self and others allows us to nurture these relationships and work together to harmoniously achieve our mission. In addition - • Eager to monitor personal key metrics in order to identify best practices and sustain high performance standards. • High emotional intelligence. • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills. • Ability to multi-task, detail oriented. • Ability to be agile and adjust to ever changing priorities and conditions. • Independent self-starter, willing to "go the extra mile" in all that you do. Must also be a practicing Catholic, in good standing. What We Have To Offer • Competitive compensation • Cost-shared health benefits • Discounted tuition (PreK-5th grade school) • A fun working environment • Perpetual Adoration Position reports to the Director of Faith Formation. To apply: Please send a resume and cover letter outlining your philosophy of ministry to Katie Patrizio, Director of Faith Formation at Please send both the resume and cover letter as a single PDF document, cover letter first. Please also send two letters of reference to either the above email address. 
St. Cecilia Church Ames, IA, USA Full time