GS and Child Podcast | Season 4

114. Characteristic #27 with Francesca Cocchini and Marty O’Bryan

“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them.” Mark 10:14 


Submit a Podcast Listener Question HERE! 

Read the article “Characteristics of the Good Shepherd Catechesis Number 27” HERE 

What are the principal points which distinguish this catechesis and because of which it is called the “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd”? 

We have 32 characteristics that are intended to represent the principal aspects of the catechesis as they have emerged after more than fifty years of work with children of different countries, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. These characteristics are reflective of the constants which have presented themselves in this work and are presented here with the invitation to go deeper into them for further reflection. Read all 32 Points of Reflection HERE 


In the 2020 CGS Journal Francesca Cocchini wrote an article about characteristic #27.  Today we will listen to that article as well as discuss it with Marty O’Bryan.  Marty also answers one of our listener’s questions about how to manage a level one atrium and still follow the child with many little ones. Read the article HERE 


Characteristic #27: 

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is also concerned with helping adults open their eyes to the hidden riches of the child, especially to the child’s spiritual wealth, so that adults will be drawn to learn from the child and to serve him/her. The guiding principles in this endeavor are: 

  • The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd does not seek success. 
  • It does not set about to be important or to impress others. (Isaiah 10:33-11:10) 
  • It is faithful to the spirit of the mustard seed. (Matthew 13: 31) 
  • It stands in solidarity with the least in the church. 


Marty O’Bryan began her formation in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd with Sofia Cavalletti in 1983 and has been a catechists since 1985. She conducts adult formations at Levels I, II and III throughout the United States. A retired speech and language pathologist, Marty holds a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Studies with an emphasis on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd from Aquinas Institute of Theology. Currently, she works with children in Level I, II, and III atria in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. 


Further Reading: 


2020 Journal of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd 

The Religious Potential of the Child by Sofia Cavalletti  

The Religious Potential of the Child 6 to 12 Years Old by Sofia Cavalletti 


Other Episodes You Might Enjoy 

Episode 94-CGS Characteristics #17, 18, 19, and 20 with Lynda Catalano and Diane Olsen 

Episode 95- CGS Characteristics #21 and 25 with Lynne Worthington and Marty O’Bryan 


Learn more about the 40th Anniversary Celebration of CGSUSA HERE 



Audiobook – Now Available on Audible 

CGSUSA is excited to offer you the audio version of The Religious Potential of the Child – 3rd Edition by Sofia Cavalletti, read by Rebekah Rojcewicz! 

The Religious Potential of the Child is not a “how-to” book, complete with lesson plans and material ideas. Instead it offers a glimpse into the religious life of the atrium, a specially prepared place for children to live out their silent request: “Help me come closer to God by myself.” Here we can see the child’s spiritual capabilities and perhaps even find in our own souls the child long burdened with religious information. This book serves as a companion to the second volume, The Religious Potential of the Child 6 to 12 Years Old. The desire to have this essential text available in audio has been a long-held goal for many. The work of many hands has combined to bring this release to life as an audiobook. 


Follow Us

Formation for Adults

Adults are given the opportunity to embrace a method of religious education that will deepen one’s relationship with God.

Recent Updates from CGSUSA

Welcome to CGSUSA

We believe God and the child have a unique relationship with one another. Children need their own place to foster the growth of that relationship. The growth of this relationship is assisted by the adult, but is directed by the Spirit of God within the child.

The CGS Approach

Find an Atrium

CGS in the Home
CGS in the Parish
CGS in the School

Discover CGS

What is the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd? The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was born from the joy of the children’s encounter with God. It has been observed that children of the same developmental stage, even those from widely varying cultural backgrounds, respond to elements of the Christian message in the same way.

CGS in the World
CGS and Ecumenism

Roman Catholic Tradition

Episcopal Tradition
Orthodox Tradition
32 Points of Reflection
CBP en Espanol
Children with Disabilities
Justice and Solidarity

Learn with CGS

In Catechesis of the Good Shepherd adults are given the opportunity to embrace a method of catechesis (or religious education) that will deepen one’s relationship with God. Catechist formation in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is both instructive as well as experiential. It captivates both the head as well as the heart.

Courses for Adults
Host a Course
Register a Course
Scholarships & Grants

Good Shepherd and the Child Podcast

The Journal
Document Library

Connect to CGSUSA

We read in the Gospel of Mark that Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs, two by two; the journey was not meant to be a solitary one. It is essential for us as catechists to support one another as we prepare materials, work in the atrium, and observe the child. We come together in unity, as members of CGSUSA, to share the joy of this work.

Become a Member
Member Benefits
Individual Membership
Organization Membership
Regions & Regional Groups
CGSUSA Leadership: Staff & Board
Annual Meeting
CGSUSA Vendor Members - Digital Source List

Support CGSUSA

Through their joy, their wonder and awe, their capacity for love and prayer, and their radical simplicity, children offer us adults a glimpse of what it means to fall in love with God. This has been the work of CGSUSA for over 30 years: to advocate for the child’s joy.

Leadership: Staff and Board of Trustees
Contact Us
Ways to Give
TLM Memorial Fund
Tribute Gifts
Sustainable Giving