Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Where a child can fall in love with God!

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is an approach to faith formation of children ages 3 to 5th grade.

The focus of the program is to deepen the child’s existing relationship with God; to encourage the formation of a personal prayer life; to participate fully in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church; and to develop a deeper understanding of Catholic identity and tradition.

CGS is rooted in the educational principles of Maria Montessori, and was founded by Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi in Rome and has spread to almost every continent.

CGS utilizes the Montessori principles of multi-aging. Each of the three levels of CGS is a three year program:

  • Level I is for children ages 3 through kindergarten.
  • Level II is for 1st-3rd grade
  • Level III is for 4th and 5th grade.

What is an Atrium?

An Atrium is the room in which the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd takes place.

“The atrium is the meeting ground of two mysteries: the mystery of God and the mystery of the child.”

Level I (Ages 3years old-K)

Level I encourages children to develop their innate potential for a faith-filled relationship with God. They encounter Jesus, the Good Shepherd who loves them, cares for them, and knows them by name. Catechesis includes Scripture, Mass gestures, prayers, artwork, and music. Level One is for children three years old through kindergarten.

Level II (Grades 1-3)

The goals for children in Level II is to help deepen the child’s relationship with Christ and the Catholic faith. Through the moral parables and teachings of Jesus, along with a more intense exploration of the Mass the child grows in a desire to remain close to Christ. It is during this level that the children discern if they are being called to prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist.

Level III (Grades 4 & 5)

In Level III the 9-12 year-old listens to the Old Testament and explores the history of God’s plan for salvation, linking all people together in communion. They begin to ask, “What is the Kingdom of God, and what is my place in it?” It is a primary question which lays the foundation for discerning our individual roles in His Kingdom.

Find out more about CGS

Six reasons to put your kids in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

  1. CGS helps the child to understand and participate in the Mass.
  2. CGS gives your child a peaceful and quiet place of prayer in our loud and busy world.
  3. The younger the child starts (we accept them at 3) the easier it is for them to fall in love with God.
  4. CGS assists the child in wonder and curiosity about the Kingdom of God.
  5. CGS gives parents an opportunity and the time for their own spiritual formation.
  6. You get an hour and a half for yourself every week!

We need your help!

There are many ways to get involved in CGS:

  • Be a catechist (Teacher)
  • Aid the catechist
  • Iron linens
  • Cut out collage pieces
  • Help organize retreats
  • Stuff folders
  • Paint figures
  • Build small tables
  • Translate English to Spanish
  • Monitor the bathrooms
  • Computer work

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