Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
- Jesus (Matthew 19:14)
Registration for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a Montessori-inspired religious formation program that helps children foster a friendship with Jesus and prepares them to participate fully in the liturgy and life of the Church. CGS responds to the voice within the child that says, “Help me come closer to God by myself.”
At SMOY, children ages 3 to 6 meet weekly in a prepared environment called, "the atrium.” In this space, children hear the Word of God, pray, and work with hands-on materials specially designed to help them meditate on Scripture and to encounter the Good Shepherd through his or her Catholic faith. Trained catechists present lessons and songs in small groups and one-on-one with the children, and then children have time to choose the “works” (materials) that interest them most. This prepared environment is a Montessori concept, which facilitates independent learning and prayer. Children experience freedom, while learning self-discipline, in a place designed to meet their unique spiritual and developmental needs. Materials introduce children to
- the liturgical calendar and colors
- the meaning of baptism and other Sacraments
- vestments of the priest
- the articles of the Mass (which children set up on a model altar)
- prophecies and their fulfillment in Christ
- the life of Jesus, the geography of Israel, the parables of Jesus
- practical life works, like flower arranging, sweeping, and plant watering, to inspire the habits necessary for prayer and contemplation
- and much more!
Presentations are simple enough to understand yet profound enough to teach the truth and beauty of our faith. It is not uncommon for parents with children in this program to find their children are coming home and teaching them something they didn’t know! CGS began almost 70 years ago and is used all around the world–even by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity on the streets of Calcutta. Children everywhere have the capacity for deep religious experience and to enter into relationship with God. As one young SMOY parishioner observed in the atrium, “Plants need sun and water to grow. Jesus is the light and He helps us grow!”
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Help Our CGS Program Grow!
In order to grow and sustain the CGS program, we are looking for more catechists who might be called to use their gifts in this ministry. Are you or someone you know trained as a catechist, or interested in learning more about becoming a catechist? If so, please contact Jacilyn Jackson.