Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
“If we want to help the child draw nearer to God, we should with patience and courage seek to go always closer to the vital nucleus of things. This requires study and prayer. The child will be our teacher if we know how to observe.” ~Sofia Cavalletti
We are in need of supplies for our Fall 2019 start- up session. Please click HERE for a list of items still needed - thank you!
What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Sacred Scripture, Catholic doctrine, the liturgy of the Church, prayer, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian faith.
CGS is a sensorially rich experience for children from the ages of 3 to 12 years that gives children the opportunity to grow in love and knowledge of God through the Christian tradition. Here at Transfiguration, we will be offering Level One Atrium in the Fall of 2019. This program will be open to children 2 ½ to 3 year old.
Specialists in early childhood development observe not only that young children can know and experience God, but that their experience bears a character, and is marked by great joy. Children from three to six years of age possess a profound capacity for contemplating the greatest truths of faith, and of experiencing a relationship with God that is loving, joyful, grateful and trusting.
- God and the child have a relationship that the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd seeks to serve with reverence and respect.
- The catechist is a servant of a message that is not her or his own, and together with the child must humbly listen to God’s word.
- The catechist must observe the child carefully, as the inner dynamism of the child’s need, will direct the catechesis.
- The child is capable of perceiving the greatest realities of faith and must never be talked down to.
- The child must be given the opportunity to discover and appropriate the truth for her or himself.
- Prayer, contemplation, and silence are natural components of the child’s religious life and must be honored.
- The content of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is inseparable from the method of the Catechesis. The effective use of both method and content relies upon the preparation and training of the catechist.
The CGS is rich in content. The content is directed by the choices of the children, but there are some texts and themes that are always explored. Jesus, the Christ, is always the starting point and the center of CGS. Jesus, seen through the stories and parables of the New Testament, provides the closest link between the child and the whole mystery of God and salvation. The scriptures proclaimed to the children are always taken from adult versions of the Bible and are read slowly and with respect.
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