CGSUSA Infant Toddler Atrium Work Receives an Extraordinary Gift!

Contact Mary Mirrione
Telephone 480-228-5189
Email [email protected]

CGSUSA Infant Toddler Atrium Work Receives an Extraordinary Gift!

Scottsdale, Arizona, June 16, 2023 – The United States Association of the Catechesis of the Good
Shepherd (CGSUSA) is pleased to announce that it has received grants totaling $1.25 million from Lilly
Endowment Inc. to strengthen the work being done with our Infant Toddler ministry in atriums across
the United States.

For more than ten years, we have been attentively studying how to better serve children who are
younger than three years of age in a way that is in keeping with the spirit of the Catechesis of the
Good Shepherd. In doing so we are also mentoring their parents, caretakers, catechists, faith
communities and pastors. We are actively engaged in observing young children’s responses to the
encounter with Christ in the same manner that our co-founders did in their early years with three- to
twelve-year-old children. This key research will guide the development of a framework for
understanding so that we are better able to offer catechists, parents, and church ministers assistance
in serving families on their lifelong journey of faith formation.

In late 2022, CGSUSA received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment through its national Christian
Parenting and Caregiving Initiative. A supplemental grant of $250,000 was made in June 2023 to
support the continuation of this work.
With the help of the grant money we have already received from Lilly Endowment we have been
blessed to see the growth in this work around the country. The growth and the interest are amazing!
With this grant we will continue to gather research from around the country, develop formation
courses, workshops, media and technology and other resources for those who care for and form the
youngest of these children. This five-year plan will be an ongoing, sustainable part of our mission and

“I am very grateful to Lilly Endowment for awarding CGSUSA this significant funding. We believe that
partnering with parents and equipping the families of young children as they witness Jesus Christ in
their daily lives is an essential part of a catechist’s formation,” said Mary Mirrione, National Director

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is grounded in the scriptural and liturgical themes that are
essential to assisting the child’s faith formation. It is also based on the observations of children by Dr.
Sofia Cavalletti, a Hebrew and Scripture scholar, and her colleague, Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori
educator, in a specially prepared atrium environment. In their work with children, they sought to
discover the face of God the children most need to see in order to grow in their relationship with and
their knowledge of God.

For more information regarding the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, visit


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