CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
(Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten)
CGS is an approach to the faith formation of children. It is based on Sacred Scripture, liturgy, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. God's love is experienced through Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Through a specially prepared religious environment (Atrium), children reflect and wonder on the questions "God, who are you?" and "How do you love us?". The aim of CGS is to help the child enter a relationship with God.
The Atrium is a prepared environment where a child can fall in love with God. It is not a classroom, but rather a quiet space with child-sized materials and small class size (10 students) where children can move freely as they contemplate and come closer to God.
The Atrium helps the child develop their faith and to participate more fully in Mass. Handmade materials (works) are biblically and liturgically based to help make the mysteries of faith more concrete. Work spaces facilitate independence and concentration. Essentiality is emphasized rather than an over-stimulating environment.
The Atrium is divided into areas with corresponding materials:
The Prayer Corner Kingdom of God (parables) Geography
Baptismal Corner Altar/Mass Works Good Shepherd Infancy Narratives Paschal Mystery Practical Life
Children will visit the Atrium one time per week for 45-minute sessions. Each visit consists of prayer, song, a presentation of a work, and quiet time to reflect on their chosen works.
The catechist’s role is to prepare the environment, give presentations from scripture and liturgy, and reflect with the child on questions generated from the presentations. The catechist acts as a facilitator while the child works independently with the materials. The catechist serves as a spiritual guide understanding that the experience is about the child’s relationship with God. Catechists have received formal training in an approved CGS formation program.
For more information about CGS visit: https://www.cgsusa.org/