St. Ambrose Parish recognizes and respects the role of parents in the religious formation of their children. St. Ambrose supports families in the faith formation of their children by offering the following programs:

Sunday Preschool

Preschool classes for children who are 3 years old, 4 years old, or 5 years old by September 15th are held in the rectory during the 10:30 a.m. mass from the middle of September through spring.

Religious Education for children in Grades 1 – 8

Classes for all elementary students who do not attend Holy Family School are held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. –   7:15 p.m. at Holy Family School from the middle of September through spring. Second Grade children are prepared to receive their First Communion.



Holy Family
Pre Kindergarten – 8th Grade

1111 Garfield Avenue,
Des Moines, Iowa 50316

Holy Family school is our St. Ambrose school. In 1980 five parishes joined to form Holy Family School: All Saints, Basilica of St. John, St. Ambrose, St. Peter, and Visitation.  In 1999 the Holy Family School was remodeled, expanded and additional classrooms were added.  The total cost to rebuild Holy Family was approximately $2.4 million.  Holy Family has a $3.8 million endowment.  St. Ambrose, along with the four other parishes, provides financial support to Holy Family.  We encourage families with elementary or junior high school age children to attend Holy Family.  There are approximately 220 total students currently enrolled at Holy Family.  Holy Family School is one of the most diverse schools in Iowa and is often referred to as the "Catholic United Nations School".  Currently Holy Family has the following composition: 33% Caucasian, 29% Hispanic, 21% Asian, 7% Sudanese, 6% African-American, and 4% bi-racial.  Click to visit



High School Faith Formation

Youth ministry is a very important part of faith formation at St. Ambrose, and we have a very active high school youth group. The youth ministers provide a setting for high school students to continue developing their faith with their peers. They are encouraged to be actively involved in the activities of the parish and the larger community. The major components of the youth group are: community building activities, service and justice work, and faith and worship experiences. Also, St. Ambrose has a youth choir that is open to anyone in high school. The youth choir practices twice a month and provides music ministry at various parish activities and liturgies throughout the year.



Dowling High School

1400 Buffalo Road,
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
Dowling is our consolidated Catholic High School for the Des Moines metro area. Each year, all Holy Family eighth grade students are invited to enroll at Dowling High School. Currently, there are approximately 30 St. Ambrose students enrolled at Dowling High School. Financial assistance is available.  Click to visit Click