Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

I am trained in Levels 1 and 2, and love discussing all things Montessori and CGS. I implemented this program in our parish in 2019. We are currently the only parish in our diocese that offers it to families, so it was a bit of a one-woman show to start up our atrium. If you are in a similar boat, feel free to reach out and ask all the questions! Eventually I found some wonderful parishioners and area Catholics to build, sew, and paint, and I am so pleased with our beautiful space (although I'm learning that it will ever evolve!)

What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is based on the Montessori method of teaching, which is self-directed activity and hands-on learning. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian Catholic, physician, and educator. Through her scientific studies on educational theory and pedagogy, her philosophy on education was born. Dr. Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi developed Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which serves children from ages three to twelve. (The Catechetical Review)

CGS seeks to create and facilitate a sacred, “hands-on space” in which both the children and their catechists can hear, ponder, and celebrate the essential mysteries of the Catholic faith as revealed in Scripture and the Liturgy.

The Atrium is a specially prepared place for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. It is a place where we gather with children to listen to God through:

  • Sharing of Holy Scripture
  • Learning about the Sacraments
  • Exploring the Parables Jesus shared about the Kingdom of God and how we should live in God’s Kingdom
  • Learning about the Mass, including the articles used, the priest’s garments, prayers and gestures, and the colors and cycle of the church year
  • Understanding the history of the life of Jesus through the BIble and Biblical geography
  • Prayer – communal and individual 
  • Practical Life Exercises – meant for development as well as meditative movement
  • Art – as an expression of relationship to God