In 1993, Barbara, her husband and their three sons returned to Western Pennsylvania after ten years in Southern California. She was working night and day in a law practice she had begun with a partner who was still in California, advising insurance companies in complex matters.
Four years later, she heard God calling her to deeper faith and more active involvement in the life of the Church. Her Catholic parish had just become the first in the Diocese of Pittsburgh to offer Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She simultaneously entered formation to be a Benedictine oblate and a Level I catechist. She came to see the atrium as a place where children and catechists, like Benedictine monastics, “pray and work.”
Barbara retired from law and in 2003 and joined her parish staff as CGS Coordinator. In 2010, after completing a Masters in Religious Education at Duquesne University, she became Director of Religious Education at the parish, serving about 350 Level I – III children each week in 31 sessions until her retirement in July 2016.
Barbara is a Level I formation leader and is working toward recognition for Level II, where she has spent the most time with children. At the 60th Anniversary Celebration, she presented at the breakout session on children with special needs, an area of particular interest to her because her brother had special needs and she began her legal career working on behalf of children like him.
Barbara promotes CGS to anyone she meets, and has spread the word about CGS through articles she wrote for Pastoral Liturgy magazine published by LTP. Barbara has raised funds for CGS and other non-profits at the local level and enjoys reaching out to individuals and organizations who may not know CGS.
In the summer of 2016, a year after joining the board, Barbara was elected Board Chair when Mary Heinrich stepped down to work for the Association. Barbara’s areas of interest on the board have been governance and intellectual property.
Lisa first encountered the community of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2009. She was involved as a catechist at her home parish of St. Joseph in St. Petersburg, FL and was worked in a traditional faith formation program. She found she had a deeper desire for something "more." After a long search, she finally found a new way to help children establish a permanent and lasting relationship with God in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Since those early days of her first level one catechist formation, she has been an advocate for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the Catholic Province of Florida, especially within her home Diocese of St. Petersburg. She has been very active in hosting, organizing and running many formation courses and establishing atriums in parishes where there is a great need and demand. All these things aside, she continues to follow the way of St. Joseph and quietly does her work without trying to draw attention to herself or looking for recognition. She lives in her hometown of St. Petersburg, with her husband Jack and her dog Riley. She is the proud mother of three boys, and four grandchildren with one more on the way.
Patti’s involvement in the work of CGS has spanned 20 years, beginning with her two sons’ involvement as three-year olds. From 1994 to 2004, she was blessed to be part of a rich and supportive regional catechist community that grew from shared experiences of formation and support. She completed all three levels of formation, acted as a volunteer program director for her parish (15 catechists and 40 aides serving over 200 children) and helped to host a National course in Scottsdale.
In 2001- 2004, she took time away from directing a parish program to complete her MA in Theology and, during this time, returned to being a catechist in a Level I atrium. But God called her to a job opportunity at Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit boys’ high school, where she worked as Development Director for ten years, until 2015. While she had to give up her time in the atrium, from 2005-2010 she worked with Tina Lillig and the National office staff and board to share with them what she was learning about development, fundraising, and not-for- profit organizations.
Patti is in the middle of her second term on the board. She is excited to see how CGS continues to grow and spread around the country (and the world) and feels the board must continue to focus on the long term sustainability of the national association. With her faith, the graces of her years of work in CGS, a solid grounding in development and fundraising, and most important, reverence for the child, Patti humbly offer her gifts in service of the association.
Carol’s interest in religious formation began in 1999 as an assistant catechist in her 3 and 4-year-old daughter’s atrium in Glastonbury, CT. She grew in her understanding of the child by participating in many roles throughout her time at in this program and was blessed to work with many seasoned catechists in her roles as assistant, material maker, and sacramental preparation facilitator.
In 2004, she worked to bring CGS to her own parish in Hartford, CT. It was there that she completed training in all three levels and assisted in multiple courses. She has been blessed to be a catechist in two atria for children ages 9-12 for many years and has grown in her own faith through this endeavor. Involved in parent education and sacramental preparation, she also facilitated a program for 7th & 8th grade for 9 years before relocating to Philadelphia, PA.
Carol’s career began in in the area of pension and employee benefits but the call to serve the child has led her to shift her focus toward work with CGS. She has a M.Ed. in Religious Education from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (2001) and completed the CGS Heritage Course through Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri (2012). Adolescent religious education has continued to be a topic of interest as has her work with the History of Christianity timeline.
She has enjoyed more than 20 years of serving on non-profit boards specializing in those than benefit the child and has offered presentations at multiple Archdiocese of Hartford Faith and Evangelization Congress’ as well as Weaving our Gifts: A Conference of Catechists. She continues to serve on the CGS Membership committee and is thrilled to offer her heart and hands to the board of CGSUSA.