What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS)? Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is an approach that nurtures children in their faith through presentations that focus on scripture and the liturgy.
method of helping children enter into a relationship with God. It was developed based on the educational principals of Maria Montessori, who studied early childhood development in depth and greatly valued the dignity and immense potential of the child for learning.
Who began this method of catechesis?
Gianna Gobbi and Sofia Caveletti, started using this approach in the 1950s in Italy. It began simply with reading the bible to a child as a means of religious formation and evolved into formation with a Montessori base at the core. Children were observed praying and working. Specific scripture passages were identified that seemed to resonate most deeply with the children. One such passages was the parable of the Good Shepherd. By listening closely, they heard the children saying they loved the story "because the Good Shepherd knows my name!" Developing this personal loving relationship with Christ is what CGS is all about.
Where do children meet?
CGS takes place in a room called the atrium. An atrium is a carefully prepared environment where great truths about our faith are placed before the children to satisfy their spiritual needs in age-appropriate ways. The atrium reflects the Montessori base of the approach with order, simplicity and materials that are child- sized. The atrium is "more like a church than a classroom." (Religious Potential of the Child, 1992). It is a place where the children learn to contemplate God.
Adult volunteers are required to complete the Volunteer Background Screening Form, Safety Environment Regulations Acknowledgement Form and attend the VIRTUS Safe Environment Training.