Advocates for the Child’s Joy
CGSUSA is 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. In a stark departure from achievement-oriented nature of our culture and schools, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd does not seek success, does not work towards a series of check-marks or gold stars. 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) in its slow and steady growth. We stand in solidarity with the least in the church.
In 1996 Pope John Paul II called for a “new evangelization” to reach out to this population. While embracing and echoing that call, Pope Francis has added an appeal for a new catechesis, one that goes “beyond simply the scholastic sphere to educate believers, from childhood, to meet Christ, living and working in his church.” The pope said the challenge is “how to meet Christ, what is the most coherent place to find him and follow him.”
Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi discovered over sixty years ago that children as young as three years old already know God and have a strong desire to deepen their relationship with God. To respond to the child’s unspoken request – “Help me to come closer to God by myself” – they founded the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS).
Cavalletti reflected near the end of her life that her work in collaboration with Gobbi “was not born in our own heads, nor did it come from our own hands; rather it has all been a GIFT.” Cavalletti and Gobbi joyfully received that gift and graciously passed it on to children and adults around the world.