Parenting is a ministry, a service to life.
Each child is an important person to you as parents and to God. You as parent have the dignity of being the “original and irreplaceable” person in your child’s religious journey. The family is the primary community in the faith journey of the child; it is the “domestic church,” because it is within the life of the family we find the first and privileged place of the Christian community lived. Here, you as parents are “the first heralds of the faith.” Here “faith works through love” and a relationship with God can begin to be nurtured. You, as parents, have shared the gift of human life with your child, and through Baptism, have enriched your child with a share in God’s own life. Your faith, your attitude toward others, and your trust in a loving God strongly influences the development of your child’s faith. We offer these suggestions to help you nurture your child’s developing relationship with God.
Praying with Your Child
As parents, we find that we pray often and earnestly for our children. We ask God to keep them safe, to make them well, and to help us as we care for them. But there is another gift of prayer that comes to us: the gift of praying with our children. There is a big difference between the child’s prayer and that of the adult. It is precisely this difference that makes it such a privilege to pray with little children. They lead us to an enjoyment of God that we may have been missing. When allowed to pray naturally, their simple words come straight from the heart.
What is prayer? We have probably been told that prayer is talking to God. But talking is only one of the ways that young children communicate with God. They help us understand a broader and richer notion of prayer: to pray is to listen to God and to respond to God, to receive God’s gifts and to respond.
Every aspect of our lives requires an environment in which to live it. This is especially true for our religious life. As parents, there are some basic ways you can help your child by preparing a place for prayer in your home:
Our mission is to support catechists, parents, and others in the Church and beyond as they grow in their understanding of the religious potential of children. With this in mind, we offer these newsletters developed by CGS catechists to serve you and your child:
- All About the Atrium – Infant-Toddler Catechesis
- All About the Atrium – Be Not Afraid
- All About the Atrium – The White Garment
- All About the Atrium – The City of Jerusalem
- All About the Atrium – The Holy Family
- All About the Atrium – Art and the Child
- All About the Atrium – Purple is for Preparation
- All About the Atrium – Observaion as a Tool for Parenting
- All About the Atrium – Infancy Narratives
- All about the Atrium – The True Vine
- All About the Atrium – The Paschal Mystery and the Child
- All About the Atrium – Silence
- All About the Atrium – The Messianic Prophecies
- All About the Atrium – Who is the Child?
- All About the Atrium – “Help me do it by myself!”
- All About the Atrium – Baptism
- All About the Atrium – The Gestures of the Mass
- All About the Atrium – The Last Supper
- All About the Atrium – The Parables
- All About the Atrium – Christmas
- All About the Atrium – Advent
- All About the Atrium – Celebrating the Liturgical Seasons at Home
- All About the Atrium – What is the Atrium?
- It’s a CGS Summer – Practicle Life
- It’s a CGS Summer – The Precious Pearl
- It’s a CGS Summer – Pentecost
- It’s a CGS Summer – The Fourth Sunday of Easter – Good Shepherd Sunday
Now revised and updated with reflections by Rebekah Rojcewicz, this foundational text outlines the trusted methods used for training those in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program.
This book describes an approach to religious formation that is biblical, sacramental and, at the same time, deeply respectful of children.
Written for home use by parents and adults who want to help children’s religious life, but also for home schooling parents, an adult waiting to take the Level I course, catechists or formation leaders who do parent education.
The meditations in this book explore and illuminate the Christian message and are the fruit of Sofia Cavalletti’s meditations with adults gathered together as listeners to the Word.
The following books can help nurture the religious life of your child.
We would especially recommend the “Little Gospels,” which reflect the deep respect Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi had for the child, exemplified by the carefully translated selections of Scripture, the placement of only a few words on each page to facilitate the child’s contemplation and enjoyment of each part of the text, along with beautiful illustrations created by Gianna. Even the size of the “Little Gospels” honors children and the size of their hands.
Each book in this five-book set contains the Scripture passages of the Infancy Narratives and is illustrated with simple, beautiful drawings. With very readable font, the presentation of these individual Infancy Narrative stories in beautifully bound books allows the child to interact with the Word in a profound way.
Each letter has a beautiful image from the atrium and a prayer from Scripture or the liturgy.
This book is a reverent, child-led tour of an empty church, giving names to its furnishings. Perfect for ages 5 and up. Written and illustrated by a CGS advisory board member.
A beautiful set of five bilingual books presents the essence of the Gospel message to young children in a simple, but powerful way. Written in simple, clear language by Genelda Woggon, the series presents the Gospel message in five thematic books that fit a small child’s hand. (For children ages 3-7.)