Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a Catholic religious education program for 3-12 years old children. CGS uses hands on materials to assist the child in knowledge of liturgy and scripture. Children meet weekly in a specially prepared environment called an atrium. In the atrium adult catechists present materials to children, either individually or in a small group allowing them to work with and meditate on scripture, liturgy and the life of the church. They learn through relationship, prayer, and discussion. Because the children are able to return to the work as often as they choose which is immersed in scripture, it becomes a form of Lectio Divina or contemplative prayer for them. There are three levels corresponding to the natural developmental levels of the child. Each session is led by a catechist with a minimum of 90 hours of training. As the method is based on the development of the child one does not have to begin at Level 1 as they can join at any age without prior experience.
Level 1 (3-6 years old)
The main theme of level one is the parable of the Good Shepherd. In addition the children focus on the gestures and articles of the Mass, vestments of the priest, infancy narratives of Jesus, Kingdom parables, geography of the land of Israel, liturgical colors and calendar, the sacrament of baptism, prayer and more.
Level 2 (6-9 years old)
The main themes of level two are the parable of True Vine and the History of the Kingdom of God from creation to Parousia. The child contemplates what it is to remain in relationship with God and how to love God and neighbor through scripture and in our daily lives. The children also study the history of God’s great love and gifts, explore the Synthesis of the Mass, learn and become comfortable with the books of the Holy Bible, create their own missal, learn the geography of Jerusalem and Israel, including regions and cities. Additional work presented includes baptism, the Origins of the Eucharist, prophecies of the Messiah, and more.
Level 3 (9-12 years old)
The main theme of level three is the Five Great Stories from the Old Testament, learning how the Old Testament and the New Testament are interrelated. This level includes more bible study, advanced study of the Holy Mass, the Sacraments, the moral life and the prophets.
Bring CGS to your parish.
We would love to walk with you and your pastor to help bring CGS to your parish. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the process.
Level 1 Part 1 | Risen Savior, Brandon | June 27-July 2, 2022
The diocese is hosting this training. Cost is $250. Scholarships are available. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com or 605-988-3714.
Level 1 Part 2 | Risen Savior, Brandon | June 9-15, 2022
Risen Savior is hosting this training. Please contact Rachel Uhrich for information and to register (firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-582-6902).
Level 1 Part 2 | Sacred Heart, Aberdeen | July 11-16, 2022
Sacred Heart is hosting this training. To register, click here. Please contact Thomas Eskro for more information (email@example.com or 605-225-7065).
Level 2 Part 1 | Cancelled
We hope to offer Level 2 and 3 training in the future as interest grows throughout the diocese.