Bringing Preschool Children Closer to God
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
HELP WANTED: Are you handy with painting, wood working, or crafts? Currently, we are looking for skilled craftsmen and women to build classroom materials for our new Atrium for our upcoming CGS program. For those interested, please contact Sheri Suess at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the faith formation of preschool children, ages 3-6 years old, rooted in the Bible and Liturgy and is founded on the Montessori educational principles.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) formation of the child is rooted in the Bible and Liturgy and is founded on the educational principles of Maria Montessori. The children gather in the “atrium” which is a room prepared for them containing simple, yet beautiful materials that they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of our Catholic faith.
An “atrium”, a room prepared to contain simple yet beautiful materials, helps the child absorb the most essential proclamations of our Catholic faith. Once given a presentation, the child is free to work independently and choose what he/she would like to work with. Practical life activities such as pouring, hand washing, flower arranging, etc are incorporated into the program. These activities involve contemplation which is the goal of this catechesis.
One of the key principles is to help the child grow closer to God by him/herself . This is done by incorporating the “work” into the presentations. The child is given a presentation and then is free to work independently and choose what he/she would like to work with.
The catechesis is administered through a series of presentations that have proven to be the most essential to an age group. Some of the themes include: Liturgical colors, the Altar and its articles, Advent and Christmas (Infancy Narratives), the Holy Bible, The Kingdom of God Parables (the mustard seed, the merchant and pearl, the leaven), the Parable of the Good Shepherd, the Cenacle and Last Supper, Baptism, the Liturgy of Light, Easter, and Pentecost. Once a child is given a presentation, the child is free to work independently and choose what he/she would like to work with.
One unique aspect of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is that adults are drawn to and nourished by many of the presentations that are given to the children, just as the children are.