Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a Montessori based religious education program for preschool through pre-teen. It was developed in Rome by Sofia Cavaletti and Gianna Gobi in 1954 and has since expanded worldwide. The program’s approach to teaching is not to have the child sit, listen and watch, but to understand our faith through touch and action. The children have a hands-on experience completing their “work” in the atrium. The atrium is a special room that is prepared and filled with learning materials that help the children begin to learn the mysteries of God in a way that supports their natural senses of wonder. Catechists demonstrate various presentations to the children about important Bible stories and the liturgy, and the child is then able to reenact and practice those presentations to discover their deeper meanings.
There are three levels within Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Level 1 includes children ages 3-6 years (pre-K 3’s – Kindergarten). Level 2 includes ages 6-8, and Level 3 includes ages 9-12. St. Ann’s currently offers Level 1 each Sunday 9:00am-10:15am in Room 25. Our hope is that we will be able to expand and offer Level 2 and 3 in the future if there is enough interest and qualified catechists available.
All catechists of CGS must go through a lengthy training process which is necessary to prepare teachers to master the curriculum. To keep this program going, we will need more catechists and assistant catechists trained at the various levels, and who are willing to teach and prepare for a class once per week. Typically there are 2-3 adults in the atrium each week. The next catechist training begins in January 2018.
Whether your child is just beginning or has already begun their journey within St. Ann’s Children’s Ministry, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an additional educational option available to families. CGS follows the LAUNCH schedule and calendar, and uses the same drop-off/pick-up procedures.