What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?
We at St. Gertrude Church and School are blessed to offer the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd both in Levels 1 (ages 3-6) and 2 (ages 6-9) . The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a Montessori influenced faith formation experience that is three fold - your child (in a small group), the adult catechist, and the prepared environment called the atrium.
While in the atrium your child will be invited into prayer, be given a presentation that is based on scripture or liturgy, and given time for personal work. Beautifully handmade child-sized materials fill the room. Together we listen to God with your child while honoring the need to “help me come closer to God by myself.”
What is the history of CGS?
Beginning in the 1950’s, CGS was developed by two Italian Catholic laywomen, Dr. Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi. Sofia was a Hebrew scholar and Gianna worked as a Montessori classroom educator. Together Sofia and Gianna observed children for decades learning the most essential Christian messages that met the spiritual desires for each age group. From this The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was born.
At St. Gertrude, CGS began seven years ago. We’ve grown from having one temporary atrium space with a handful of trained catechists to two permanent and one portable atria with over twenty trained catechists in the school and church. Over 250 children are currently participating.
What do the children learn?
Level 1 - The 3- to 6-year-old child
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3
Children in this age range are in the absorbent stage of development and filled with wonder and awe. Our youngest friends joyfully encounter the Good Shepherd and discover his unconditional love and care. They come to know Jesus as the light of the world (and love singing “Christ is Light, in Him there is no Darkness”). While in the atrium your child might learn:
Level 2 - The 6- to 9-year-old child
Developmentally, 6- to 9-year-old children are ready for a deeper understanding of their relationship with Jesus, their families, and our communities. The Parable fo the True Vine is central to their work as they ponder Jesus’ word: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing”.
Through CGS, we also offer a beautiful meditation series for our children preparing for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.
While in the atrium, your child might learn:
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