Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is the name of our Sunday morning spiritual formation for children 3-years old to 6th grade. In CGS we believe that God and the child have a unique relationship with one another particularly before the age of six and that the growth of this relationship should be assisted by the adult, but is directed by the Spirit of God within the child. Children need their own place to foster the growth of that relationship. We believe that the child's spiritual growth is best served through tangible but indirect means.
Sessions for the 2017-2018 program year began on Sunday, September 10 at 10:00 am. Please join us on Sunday, September 3 at 10:00 am for an Open House to see the atria.
To register your children for classes, click here.
For information about the program, visit the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd website by clicking www.cgsusa.org.
For questions, feel free to contact Judy Gardner, Director of Children's Spiritual Formation.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - FAQ
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Why does Catechesis class last until 11:00 a.m.?
The ideal environment for helping children to meet and hear God is quiet and prayerful. For children it often takes an hour or more to help them settle into a prayerful state. Our atrium work uses the following schedule: 1. Circle time (to catch-up on the week’s events and “Good News”); 2. Presentation and work time (For hearing about God, Jesus and our liturgy and experiencing it); 3. Prayer table time (3-6 year olds) and Communal Prayer time (1st – 6th graders) (A time to pray for our concerns and sing).
Why do the children line up outside of the classroom before class?
This method of faith formation is very different from what we are accustomed to as parents. The atrium is established as a place of meeting the Holy One, a Sacred Space; therefore, all children are greeted at the door so they may be gently reminded of the transformation that occurs as they enter the classroom.
Why is the door shut to my child’s room?
This is done to maintain the integrity of the atrium and to keep as much noise as possible out of the room. Children are invited to be in prayer at all times, and having the door shut allows this opportunity to occur more freely.
Why aren’t parents allowed to be in the room during the lesson time?
Parents are allowed in the classroom, but we ask that you schedule your visit in advance. We strive to keep the focus of the class on the presentation and to allow the children to “work” as they feel called to do. We do not want to introduce any situation that may take away from this event. Please speak to Judy Gardner or your child’s teacher to schedule a classroom visit.
My child doesn’t bring home artwork each Sunday. Why not?
All work, whether something on paper or a practical life application, is considered holy. For this reason, whenever throw away work completed in the atrium. Arts and crafts are just one way typical church school lessons are reinforced; however, our focus is on the interior life of the child. We use many Montessori practical life skills that build on moving forward into the heart of our lessons. Some children do choose to do artwork, such as tracing or coloring, which are specific to certain presentations. These are kept in a file folder in the atrium where the child is free to resume the work if he or she feels called. But all work is considered holy.
We are not able to attend every Sunday. Does this prohibit my child from coming into the class?
No. We recognize that events occur from time to time that prevent individuals and/or families from being present. In the event that a presentation is made and your child is absent, the catechist will be glad to work one-on-one with your child to see that the materials are covered.
What is the source of the curriculum used in Catechesis?
The curriculum is rooted in the Bible and the liturgy of the Church. It is developmentally age appropriate and specific in the method in which it is presented, following the calendar of the church year.
Why do children learn practical life skills in Christian Formation?
Each of our activities allows the child to do the following:
Develop dexterity skills needed to move forward into the lessons. Learning how to properly pour beans, rice, and water prepares the child for the presentation on the preparation of the chalice for the Eucharist.
Recognize the beauty of the items in the church. Children use real glassware and silver items in their work.
Participate in the life of the church. They are invited to care for the atrium through polishing, flower arranging, and plant tending.
For more information, contact Judy Gardner.