Catechesis is a responsibility of the entire Christian community. This is should not be the work of catechists and priests alone, but of the whole community of the faithful. The Christian community follows the development of catechetical processes, for children, young people and adults, as a duty that involves and binds it directly. (GDC 220) A fully Christian community can exist only when a systematic catechesis of all its members takes place and when an effective and well developed catechesis of adults is regarded as the central task of the catechetical enterprise.” (ACCC, no. 25).


"The most effective catechetical program for adolescents are integrated into a comprehensive program of pastoral ministry for youth that includes catechesis, community life, evangelization, justice and service, leadership development, pastoral care, and prayer and worship. Such programs aim to empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today; to draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community; and to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person." (National Directory for Catechesis, p. 201)


The first catechists in any child’s life are the family members with whom he or she lives. What happens at home – both positive and negative – provides lessons for life. In the family, faith is shared as part of the unfolding of daily life. The home or “domestic church” provides a real place in which a child learns to live his or her faith as well as understanding it.

Our goal is to create a program of lifelong faith formation that is centered in and flows out of the events of Church life. It embraces all ages and generation, promotes faith growth at home and promotes participation in Church life.

Becoming Catholic

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process whereby adults enter the Catholic Church. RCIA classes are held weekly and over the course of several months those who attend the RCIA classes are educated on what the Catholic Church believes and are given the opportunity to ask question about those beliefs.

Just because you start RCIA, doesn't mean you are committed to finish. If you are merely curious about what the Catholic faith, please feel free to come. All are welcome.

RCIA Cycle Start: Early October

RCIA Cycle Finish:  Two Weeks After Easter

St. Joseph Educational Center

Since 1972, St. Joseph Educational Center (SJEC) has served as a Catholic adult education center supported by the parishes of the Des Moines region. SJEC continues to develop and offer Catholic adult faith formation resources for parishes.

Please browse the following links to projects they provide and news updates:

Bite-Sized Faith for Parents, a weekly blog on Catholic parenting with essays written by regional pastors, deacons, theology teachers, and parish faith formation personnel, most of whom are parents or grandparents.
Semina Verbi for Catechists, a resource blog for parish catechists, with ideas and essays written by SJEC staff and regional parish faith formation personnel and volunteer catechists.
Director's Blog, written by SJEC's Director, Matthew Halbach, on various faith-related topics of interest to Catholic adults.
SJEC also has a Facebook page which you can 'Like' from your own parish Facebook page. From your own page, just search for SJEC Iowa.
For more information on St. Joseph: