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Member Testimonials


I have a distinct memory of the time when the word “remain” struck a deep chord within me. I was receiving my Level II formation, and Maria Christlieb was presenting the Parable of the True Vine. Her strong Spanish accent stressed the importance of remaining on the vine.

In many ways, my work in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has been driven by the desire to remain. Over the past 25 years, the joy and rewards of sharing our Christian faith with children in an atrium setting have become a bedrock to my own spiritual journey. The presentations, the materials and the times of working and wondering with the children have strengthened my understanding of the scripture and my thoughts during worship. 

When my life has moved through stages of over-commitment, I recall being questioned about how I do it all. I remember thinking that, if something had to be given up, the last thing to be eliminated from my life would be the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. I wish for everyone the rich fulfillment that has come to me by remaining with the children in this work. 

     --Lynn Robinson, member of CGSUSA since 1990


My motivation going into that first CGS course was that I would be able to share presentations with my daughter Clare, who was three years old at the time. 

As a parish DRE, I knew that I could also share this gift with the children of the parish. I realized immediately the importance of fostering the relationship between the child and the Good Shepherd.

It was not until I was completing the course, that I realized the relationship being fostered between the Good Shepherd and me. The gift, which I wanted to offer the children, was actually intended for me. That gift has brought me immeasurable joy – in being with the children, in my friendships with other catechists and in following the voice of the Shepherd.

     --Mary Heinrich, member of CGSUSA since 2000



What does it benefit to belong? One cannot receive the Sap of the Vine if one does not remain. As Jesus said "Holy Father, that they may be one as we are one," which sometimes needs a lot of praying.

    
--Anna Guida, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, member of CGSUSA since 1984






For about thirty years, I worked with young children ages 3 to 6 years old in a Montessori environment. During the last 12 years, I incorporated the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd into the daily schedule. What a difference that made to the children and the adults, both parents and staff! 

Now as I retire from the regular classroom, I respond by a great desire to share my joy with others in continuing to lead formation courses and promote the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd wherever I can. I strongly encourage all trained in CGS to join the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to keep connected with living, growing and falling more deeply in love with the Good Shepherd.

     --Sister M. Joanne Ladwig, SCC, Graduate of the Aquinas Institute of Theology MAPS program, May 2007



I loved being in the Atrium when I was younger, it was very relaxing and peaceful. The Atrium allowed me to become close to God at a young age and to get to know Him through the Bible. As a fifteen year old, I still love being in the Atrium. 

As an assistant catechist, I get to revisit all of the works that I loved and see them again through the eyes of little children. I think I have such a deep faith today because of the Atrium.

    
--Clare Heinrich, member of CGSUSA since 2012




I remain because working with the children in all three levels, creating and maintaining materials, and being in community with other catechists restores my soul. A six year old in my level one class says that restore means "to fill me up with love."

      --Marie Harrer, member of CGSUSA since 2007



As I look around the atrium, I see Jessi on her knees in the middle of the atrium, hands folded and eyes closed, offering up a Hail Mary to Jesus the Good Shepherd. She is 5 years old and totally oblivious to what is going on around her. This is how deeply immersed the children become when they participate in our weekly Good Shepherd program. Other children are working with the Good Shepherd and practical life materials. Two children have set up the altar and are praying simple prayers for their families. It’s wonderful to be able to share my faith with the children, then allow them the freedom to move around the atrium to the work that calls to them. My work then becomes observer. Having been involved with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for 20 years, I have seen the little ones become grown adults who return and tell me what a great experience it was and how blessed they feel to have been a part of that spiritual journey. We are all very blessed by the work that Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi shared with those first catechists many years ago. Our work now is to continue to plant and spread the mustard seeds within our children. And to do this, we need your support. Please prayerfully consider making a donation to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

     -- Jan Kelly, member of CGSUSA since 1994