FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 16,2023
Contact Mary Mirrione
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 www.CGSUSA.org.