From the first chapter of Genesis, when God created the world in seven days, the number seven in the Bible signifies perfection or completion.
In 2014, we identified seven regions where catechists are engaged in the work of CGS. The map shows the breakdown of our seven CGSUSA regions.
includes California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.
Regional Groups in the Pacific Coast Region: California, The Sheepfold (Pacific Northwest),
Rocky Mountain includes Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.
Regional Groups in the Rocky Mountain Region: Colorado, CGS Las Vegas,
Northern Plains includes Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri and Minnesota
Regional Groups in the Northern Plains Region: Minnesota Catechists, Shepherd's Staff (Iowa), Sonflower (Kansas), Heartland (Kansas), Omaha Catechists,
Southwest includes Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.
Regional Groups in the Southwest: Arizona, CGS NW Texas, Corpus Christi,
Great Lakes includes Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Regional Groups in the Great Lakes Region: Greak Lakes, Central Ohio, Cincinnati, South Bend,
Southeast includes Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Regional Groups in the Southeast Region: Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, Alabama (Birmingham).
Northeast includes Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Vermont.
Regional Groups in the Northeast Region: Guild of the Good Shepherd, Holy Triangles (Tristate), Potomac (Washington, DC), Western Pennsylvania, New York,
The Necessity of Friendship for the Catechist
From the beginning of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, it has been a practice of catechists to spend a significant amount of time with each other after the children had left the atrium to discuss, with particular attentiveness, the religious life of the child. This practice has also built deep and sustaining friendships among the catechists. So often, when catechists gather, there is this feeling of “we have already met” that is experienced and celebrated. For this reason, part of the vision of CGSUSA is that “Regional groups will be encouraged in every part of the nation.” The Informational Packet for Regional Groups is available here as a downloadable document.
Regional gatherings are a solid way of developing these groups. The direct aim of a regional gathering is to build the community of CGS catechists by a refocusing of purpose, and developing a deeper knowledge and understanding of the method and content of CGS, in order to better live our mission and serve the child. There are a number of ways that we do this:
- Regional Support for CGSUSA Events - Are catechists from your region attending National Events? CGSUSA would like to ensure that every region is represented at the Annual Meeting, Servant Song Retreat, National Level One, Level Two or Level Three courses and Formation Leader’s Training Courses. Now is the time to begin the conversation in your region about these events. Several of our regional groups hold fundraisers to help support their own local regional formation and to be able to send participants to National CGSUSA Events. See our calendar for upcoming events!
- Regional Material Making Sessions are a great way for catechists to get together and share resources. Some regions gather monthly or quarterly, inviting catechists to bring whatever materials they are working on; other regions offer specific workshops on sculpy, woodworking, painting and calligraphy. Even if your Atrium does not need materials, could your region help make materials for an Atrium in need? Contact us to assist in the building of an Atrium.
- Regional Encouragement Group - Provide a forum for catechists to share ideas and work on common difficulties. Some regions have monthly “catechist lunches” for interested members to gather and build relationships and support each other.
It is the actual gathering and building of friendship that really fills a "vital need" of the catechists. Some gatherings have been around prayer, some around material making, some around a particular theme... but all are seeking that amazing friendship where we know each other even if we have only just met. As our beloved founder Sofia Cavalletti said, "...we all have a common spring at which we drink: the mystery of God filtered through the child. The face of God has many aspects, and what is shown to us through the child, is different from what is familiar to us as adults. We enter into a spontaneous relationship with God because it is He who first 'called us by name.’” (The Founding of the International Council, 1998 Journal) We invite you to prayerfully consider together how He is calling you to gather with each other.
“I believe it is friendship that supports and sustains our call, and keeps alive our longing for that perfect friendship of the Parousia.”
(Life of the Catechist: The Necessity of Friendship for the Catechist, 2000 Journal)