Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Students in grades prekindergarten through second participate in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), an extension of our religion program. CGS begins with trust in God’s work in the lives of children and faith in the transformative power of the gifts God has given the Church. These gifts can be described as four-fold: Scripture, Baptism, Eucharist, and the Church calendar. By focusing on these gifts children are given time to reflect upon the stories of Scripture, the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist, and the way in which we pattern time upon the life of Christ. CGS invites children into mystagogy, the ancient form of Christian education that reflects upon the mysteries of the sacraments. This program begins with trust that God’s gifts have an inherent power to speak to and transform children.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd initiates a relationship with Christ through imitation, active participation, and quiet reflection in a space that invites them into the mysteries of the faith. Rather than talking about or explaining prayer to children, the CGS classroom (called an atrium) provides a prayerful space where the catechist invites children to encounter and be with God in ways that honor their physical, spiritual, and intellectual capabilities. Children are invited to engage in prayer works as they respond to scripture and liturgical presentations through prayer drawings, songs of praise and other quiet meditative means. Instead of seeing the classroom as a place for abstract discussion about practice, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd makes room for children to practice their Christian faith in body, mind, and spirit with each visit to our St. Cecilia atrium.