“the material can offer an opportunity for an interior dialogue between the child and the true Teacher.” – Gianna Gobbi

All published vendors are in relationship with The United States Association of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd® and have submitted their products for review. Additionally, these select vendors also have ongoing partnerships with recognized formation leaders to ensure continued adherence to the design standards set forth in the materials manuals.

Commitment to the 32 Points of Reflection, especially numbers 18, 20, 24 and 25, is fundamental to quality and success of all atrium materials and supplies:

  • 18

    The material must be attractive but “sober” and must strictly adhere to the theme being presented.

    In making the material, the catechist refrains from adding superficial embellishments which would distract the child from the essentials of the theme being presented. In other words, the material must be simple, essential, and “poor” in order to allow the richness of the themes content to shine through.
  • 20

    The materials prepared by catechists for the atrium are faithful to the experimental models of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

    The designs of these models are the result of a long, collaborative work of observation and experimentation and have been developed according to the needs of the child at each developmental stage.
  • 24

    The tasks of the catechist include:

    • preparing the materials oneself as much as possible while collaborating with others in areas that are beyond one’s abilities.
  • 25

    The reasons why the catechist is requested to make the materials with his/her own hands are:

    • to absorb the content more deeply;
    • to combat hurry, consumerism, and even excessive “efficiency”;
    • to pace oneself more to the rhythm of the child and thus also, or so we believe, to the working of the Holy Spirit;
    • to try to reach the integration of hand, mind, and heart.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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