CGS in the Home

Parenting is a Ministry, a service to life
Praying with Your Child
level 1 atrium child playing
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.

An Open Letter to Parents of Young Children from a Parent of Teens

level 2 atrium 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.

Praying With Young Children

The Importance of the Environment
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:

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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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