Discover the Difference: Students Discover Media Talents

by Diocese of Des Moines | April 28, 2022

Student works a video camera

Middle School students at St. Malachy Catholic School in Creston are getting a lesson in media arts with the school's new Faith and Film Club. The club formed out of a need to offer live-stream events during the pandemic and has grown to include students interested in creating quality videos and live-stream events.

"My parents in Kansas City were thoroughly impressed with the quality of the streaming," recalled Jennifer Simmons, school administrator. "I thought we probably have some students here that would enjoy learning how to film and stream events."

Parishioner Steve Heffern was recording and streaming the parish's Masses. Simmons approached him about serving as the club moderator and involving St. Malachy students in the process of filming and streaming school and parish events. Heffern was on board, and the Faith and Film Club was born in the fall of 2020. All St. Malachy students in grades 7-8 are welcome to join the club. Currently, thirteen students participate as members of the Faith and Film Crew. 

Children are innately curious about the world and open to acquiring new skills. Extracurricular program offerings like the Faith and Film Club help students discover their unique talents and interests through experiential learning. Additionally, students can share the skills gained through these extracurricular offerings to support the entire school community. 

"This club reaches those students who have a love and passion for something other than sports and music," said Simmons. "It's another outlet to get involved and learn new skills, to wear a team shirt and represent St. Malachy both at school, church, and Creston schools. We are part of a bigger partnership, and their part in it matters."

The club was modeled after a "train the trainer" learning model. Heffern initially trained students, but now master students help their classmates who are new to the club learn to record, edit and produce the videos. The students have become adept at working the equipment; they now create the weekly Masses without adult assistance. 

Since the club's inception, students have taken part in recording and streaming weekend Masses, which involves a five-six camera set up, soundboard, and computer. Students connect to St. Malachy's YouTube to stream the video and adjust sound and camera choices throughout the mass. The student film crew also recorded two musicals at Creston High School and created social media video ads to promote Catholic Schools Week. 

Click here to listen to an interview about the Faith and Film Club on Iowa Catholic Radio with school administrator Jennifer Malachy. Click here to check out the St. Malachy YouTube Channel videos produced by students.

Since 1870, St. Malachy Catholic School has developed and inspired learning for life by providing a world-class education within a Catholic environment for students throughout the Creston community. To learn more or inquire about enrollment opportunities, visit or call 641-782-7125.

The Diocese of Des Moines Catholic Schools includes 16 schools in 23 counties in central and southwest Iowa. Catholic schools in the Des Moines Diocese build Christ-centered, collaborative, inclusive partnerships with parents, students, and parishes to provide students with innovative academic excellence and inspirational faith formation. To learn about more Catholic schools in the Diocese of Des Moines, visit or email

Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area in the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties.