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.
Micki Hill is a passionate lay minister and advocate for children in the church. In 2004, she was called to honor the youngest in the church and offer them an opportunity to celebrate relationship with our Good Shepherd. After a computer search for teaching resources she found information about a Level I course in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. “It is as if I had a hunger that I was unaware of until I received that first morsel and then it was the only food that satisfied.” She feels that God had carefully prepared her for that moment. In her career as a Landscape Designer, Micki has learned the importance of preparing a site for fruitful harvest. The seeds scattered generously by our good Lord were waiting for harvest.
A catechist in all three levels and a recognized formation leader for Level I, Micki is now working toward recognition as a Level II formation leader. She holds a Certificate in Theology from the University of the South, Sewanee and is working toward her Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri.
Micki is on staff at The Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village, North Carolina as the Dean’s Assistant for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and Children’s Formation. She has served in the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina for over 20 years in various ways. She has mentored Education for Ministry and served as past chair of Lifelong Formation for the Diocese. Her work has involved coordinating ministries for adults and children and developing and managing budgets for these and other ministries. She currently serves on the Diocesan Executive Council and the Bishop’s Strategic Budget Committee. Micki is honored to offer her gifts and passion for service to CGSUSA and brings an experience of working with vestries, clergy, committees, and program directors.
Claudia has been on staff at Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland, Washington since 2009, first serving as director of Faith Formation and now directing the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. CGS began at Holy Family in 2012 and the parish now offers seven weekly atrium sessions in Levels I-III, has eight certified catechists, and serves over 65 children.
She is also a founding member of The Sheepfold, the Pacific Northwest Consortium for CGS sustainability. She serves as a member of the Seattle Archdiocesan Faith Formation Commission, the first CGS member on the commission. Claudia has served on the Seattle Archdiocesan Committee on Religion Standards, the Roman Missal Third Edition Implementation Committee, and continue to serve on the Archdiocesan Faith Formation Best Practices Committee.
In her leadership roles, she and Sister Yvette Mallow, OSB founded in 2003 Cabrini Ministry Espanol, a Spanish-language hospital ministry formation program. In 2005, they also founded The Merciful Love Connection, a non-profit that serves the Refuge of Most Merciful Love in Santiago, Chile. The refuge serves teen mothers and their babies.
In Claudia’s fundraising experience, she has been in involved in many auctions, church campaigns, and fundraising campaigns. She has solicited donations both monetary and in-kind, and helped track donations and matching funds.