Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. John’s
 
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Program is guided by the experiences and intuitions of the children.  This hands-on method of learning offers the essentials of our Catholic faith in a way that engages and delights children through presentations rooted in liturgy and scripture.  Catechesis of the Good Shepherd faith formation program  nurtures the child’s relationship with God and educates the child in the faith.  Catechesis of the Good Shepherd  takes place in an “Atrium.”  An atrium is a place of prayer, prepared especially for children to contemplate the life of Jesus and the liturgy of the Church with the use of many sensory materials, including infancy narrative figures, a raised surface map of the land of Israel, a model altar, and a model baptismal font. This concrete method of presenting faith is similar to the way the Church teaches us through the sacraments, holy water, incense, and statues.
 
We invite you to watch this video to see and hear more about CSG.
 
Who attends Level I CGS? (3-6 year olds)
Weekly Level I CGS Atrium sessions will be offered for children ages 3 through 6 years old.  Children must be potty trained and able to follow simple instructions. 
 
The Level I CGS Atrium nurtures the 3-6 year old child in his or her relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
 
“I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”  John 10:11
 
The child hears that the Good Shepherd knows his sheep, calls them by name, searches for the lost and celebrates the found.  The reality in this image meets a deep need in the child for a relationship.  Presentations about the life of Jesus and his teachings help make the mystery of God concrete for the child.


What happens in the CGS Atrium?
A session in the CGS Atrium at St. John’s is 1 hour and 15 minutes long.
 
Because the CGS Atrium is a sacred space, children are encouraged to use soft voices and walking feet.  While in the CGS Atrium, we encourage  behavior as if we were in the church.
 
We begin gathering around the prayer table for worship time.  Then the children work on activities to help them develop their relationship with God.
 
Children receive presentations of a part of the Bible or Liturgy given to them by a CGS trained Catechist.  There are 52 developmentally appropriate presentations in Level I that can be given over three years.  
 
A significant amount of time follows to allow children to freely choose and to work independently with the materials, which are a close link to the biblical and liturgical sources,  in order to explore and deepen their experience of the presentation at their own pace and rhythm.  
  
We end our CGS Atrium time together around the prayer table for closing prayer, then each child is called by name to line up for dismissal.
 
A CGS Atrium can be compared to a retreat house facilitating recollection and silence.  A place for religious life, meaningful work through which the child can have a conversation with God. A place for preparation in the larger worship community.
 
Where is the CGS Atrium located at St. John the Baptist?  
The CGS Atrium is located in Room 204.  

For more information: contact Joan Walerius at
To register, GO HERE.