What is the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Christian method of formation which enables children 3-12 to encounter and contemplate the mystery and the love of God and to grow in relationship with him. This approach is inspired by Maria Montessori’s principles of education. The specially prepared environment or atrium, and hands-on materials, help the child to absorb the Word of God by reflecting on key passages from scripture, such as the Parable of the Good Shepherd. A sequence of presentations on aspects of the Eucharist, assists the child’s understanding and prepares him or her to engage more fully with the Mass.

This method offers:

  • A “religious experience that responds to a deep hunger in the child”- Sofia Cavaletti

  • An opportunity for the young child to fall in love with Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and thus receive a firm foundation for faith

  • A sacred prepared environment “where work easily becomes meditation and prayer”- Gianna Gobbi

  • An extensive range of beautiful materials suited to the unique capacities of the child age 3-12

City of jerusalem

City of jerusalem

Who is it for?

There are three levels to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Level I (for 3 to 6 year olds), Level II (6 to 9 year olds) and Level III (9 to 12 year olds). There are also moves towards developing a variant for infants.

the visitation (  for ages 3-6 - level 1 )

the visitation ( for ages 3-6 - level 1 )

How can Catechesis of the Good Shepherd benefit a parish?

  • CGS provides an effective way to help children hear the Word of God and engage with the Mass;

  • it provides a model of fostering prayer for children which parents can use in the home;

  • it builds community as parishioners with a variety of skills working together to prepare the materials and the sacred environment called the Atrium, and

  • the inspiring materials can also be used to support catechesis in other contexts e.g. RCIA, Baptism Preparation

“Having seen the Good Shepherd programme in another part of the country I was delighted to find out that we had a Good Shepherd Catechist within our parish. We are truly blessed in having this facility for our young ones, as they learn about the wonders of the faith through this inspiring programme.I would certainly endorse the Good Shepherd programme and would recommend it to my brother priests” - Fr Richard Reid- St Mary’s Clapham

“I am confident that the encounter with the Good Shepherd experienced by 3-6 year olds which I witnessed in the atrium will stay with them their whole life.” - Mary Maye, CGS Catechist Clapham

biblical geography (  for ages 3-6- level 1  )

biblical geography ( for ages 3-6- level 1 )

Who is CGS Training For?

  • Parents and grandparents - CGS can provide valuable insights into: how young children pray; how to create a prayer area in your home; how to read the Bible with children; how to help children grow closer to God, how to help children to engage with the Mass.

  • Catechists and Children’s Liturgists – CGS can provide a rich and meaningful experience for children in a parish context to develop a relationship with God.

  • Teachers – CGS can be used very fruitfully with children in Nursery and Reception while materials for older children could be used to supplement the curriculum.

What is a CGS training course like?

In a retreat-like atmosphere, adults are shown how to:

  • offer the many scriptural and liturgical presentations to children

  • prepare the sacred space called the Atrium

  • foster prayer in the Atrium

  • make and source materials

  • compile an album page for each presentation

    “A person who attends a CGS formation course hoping to learn how to give the presentations to children soon fi nds that he or she is being invited into a deeper relationship with God by means of these same presentations.” Barbara Matera, Formation Leader

I’m interested, where can I find the next training?

We are delighted to announce that we will be offering Level 1 Part 1 (of 2) via 10 monthly training sessions. Please get in touch to find out more or book your place via the link on this page (places are limited to 20).

A list of other training sessions across UK and Europe can be found on the CGS UK website.

What are catechists who have experienced CGS training in the UK saying about it?

A fantastic experience….rediscovering aspects of the liturgy…being personally touched by many presentations eg Epiclesis, Pentecost, Biblical Geography, Practical Life…the care put into every gesture was for me a testimony or sign of the tenderness of God for us; his care and in everything he does…it helped me to deepen my understanding and love of children and will make a huge difference in my life as a mum and catechist…can’t wait for Part 2!”

“Amazing course….a gift to children and catechists…a journey of faith for both child and catechist…I have heard God speak to me through the presentations.”

“Having read the books before I came, I knew that this course would impact greatly on my life. It has been a profound and humbling experience, arousing deep reflection and prayer”

It has ignited in me the wonderful simplicity of how pure materials can transport a child into wonder at The Word of God…it has made me want to share the atrium with many, and especially with my own child.”

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level I Part 1

Part 1 of training for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level 1 (for parents, grandparents and others looking to deliver the catechesis to children aged 3-6).

The course fee includes craft materials & a £10 voucher toward the cost of any CGS book in the Centre for Catholic Formation bookshop.

If you wish to pay in two installments (£85 and £60) or wish to pay by cash or cheque, you will not be able to use the checkout function but are instead asked to complete the form via the button marked registration with later payment on the CGS webpage.

Attendance at each of the 10 sessions is essential. Places are limited to 20

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