Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Training

Level I, Part A Dates: October 14-16, 2020 & November 13, 2020 & December 21-22, 2020
Time: 9:00 am—4:30pm
Level I, Part B Dates: TBD: 2021-2022 school year
Location: St. John the Baptist Catholic Montessori School, 638 Mill Street Excelsior, MN 55331
Tuition: Level I, Part A: $185; Level I, Part B: $150 (includes National Certificate fee)

What is the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?
CGS is a Montessori-based Catholic faith formation program where children can grow in their relationship with God through a deep engagement in Scripture and liturgy.

God and the Child
CGS is based on the belief that God and the child are already in relationship. Our work as adults is to provide a place for the child and God to come together and grow.

The Atrium and Materials
The atrium is a specially prepared room where children can come to know Jesus, the Good Shepherd. The atrium is prepared with materials that children work with as a way of meditating upon the essentials of our faith found in Scripture and in liturgy. Examples of materials found in the atrium include small clay figures of Jesus and the disciples used to meditate on the Last Supper; detailed interactive maps of the Land of Israel and the City of Jerusalem to help situate Jesus as a real person in time; Jerusalem Mustard Seeds and beautiful pearls to help ponder the Parables of the Kingdom of God; and a small Baptismal font and Paschal candle used to explore the significance of Baptism.

Course Description
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based religious formation program for children, beginning at the age of three. It seeks to create and facilitate a sacred, “hands-on” space for children called an atrium, in which both the children and their catechists can hear, ponder, and celebrate the most essential mysteries of the Catholic faith as revealed in the Scriptures and the Liturgy. Originally developed in Rome by Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi fifty years ago, the Catechesis continues to spread world- wide. This course will ground the participant in the theory and praxis of CGS while also concretely preparing him/her to develop and facilitate an atrium for 3-6 year old children. 

Course Objectives 
• To explore with participants the general developmental characteristics and religious characteristics of the 3-6 year old child.
• To facilitate meditation on the biblical and liturgical themes of CGS.
• To offer guidelines and assistance to catechists for setting up an atrium for 3-6 year olds, preparing an album, and making materials.
• To deepen participants’ ability to observe and learn from children while also exploring avenues for deepening parental and congregational ability to observe and learn from children.

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