Ut Fidem

Go therefore and make disciples.

Ut Fidem, from a longer Latin phrase meaning “Keep the Faith,” strives to develop high school students into intentional disciples who will keep the faith for the rest of their lives, and especially through college.

Ut Fidem supports students in forming deep, personal relationships with Jesus Christ through weekly small groups of 5-6 and are actively discipled by an adult faith mentor. Groups grow their devotion to personal prayer, the Sacramental life, understanding of Church teachings, and enter into the lifestyle of an on-fire Catholic. By forming virtuous relationships with one another, groups develop deep relationships with Jesus Christ. No longer are students alone in the journey, but they are walking shoulder to shoulder together at a time when isolation, depression, and anxiety are running rampant. 

A Proven Solution
    • By the end of year four at Dowling Catholic High School, Ut Fidem grew to involve 45 active small groups, or 265 students, which was one fifth of the student body.
    • Ut Fidem alumni were 62% more likely to attend Mass 4+ times a month than non-Ut Fidem alumni.
    • 83% of Ut Fidem alumni identified themselves as active Catholics, compared to only 51% of non-Ut Fidem alumni.
    • Ut Fidem alumni are more likely to be committed to their faith, feel more confident in defending it, continue growing in their faith in college, and engage in faith behaviors like daily prayer, Mass, reconciliation, and faith groups than non-Ut Fidem alumni.


  • 5-6 students in each group (same gender and grade)
  • 1 Ut Fidem adult mentor
    • VIRTUS certified with background check
    • Received Ut Fidem small group mentor training
    • Equipped with “Forming Intentional Disciples,” by Sherry Weddell
  • Groups meet for an hour once a week.
  • Students discuss anything from apologetics to personal prayer to the life of the saints to any question on their hearts.
  • Flexible scheduling- each group finds their own time to meet that works for each individual student and mentor. In this way, everyone can find a time to prioritize their faith and participate in an Ut Fidem group.
  • Weekly “commits”- each week the group chooses a weekly faith challenge in an effort to take what was discussed in the meeting into their daily lifestyle.
  • Ut Fidem forms groups out of friendships so that the same students who talk about faith, are the same students that eat lunch together, and the same students who play basketball together or sing in choir together, etc. This is vital to avoid the compartmentalization of faith.


Ut Fidem can uniquely meet all 5 essential needs of a human person.
  1. The need to be understood.
  2. The need to belong.
  3. The need to be transparent.
  4. The need for critical thinking around faith and beliefs.
  5. The need for guidance.


  • Join an Ut Fidem group as a student.
  • Discern Ut Fidem adult mentorship.
  • Join the Ut Fidem 24 hour prayer team.
  • Sign up to receive the Ut Fidem monthly newsletter.

If interested in becoming involved in any of the above ways, contact Ut Fidem coordinator, Addie Croegaert, at acroegaert@dowlingcatholic.org, or stop by her office during school hours.

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Addie Croegaert

    Addie Croegaert 

    Graduate Ministries Program Coordinator
  • Photo of Kirby Power

    Kirby Power 

    Ut Fidem Coordinator
  • Photo of Ryland Jones

    Ryland Jones 

    Ut Fidem Coordinator

Dowling Catholic High School

Dowling Catholic High School is committed to serving the Greater Des Moines Catholic community and embracing learners of all faiths. In an environment that is faithful, caring and dedicated, Dowling Catholic forms each student to become a Christ-centered leader.