Who is This Child

The Child

The youngest children lead us to the deepest mysteries of our faith. As they fall in love with the mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-32) they help us discover that the kingdom of God is a mystery of growth and transformation. Like the mustard tree, which hosts birds in its branches, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was born from a tiny “seed”, an unexpected encounter with children and God’s Word. Dr. Sofia Cavalletti was a privileged witness to that encounter, and to the children’s total engagement with the Mystery being revealed, and it changed her life. Beginning in 1954, she and Gianna Gobbi began a “long work” together of tirelessly observing children and seeking to put in their hands the particular announcements from the Bible and the liturgy that seemed to most deeply satisfy their spiritual hungers. Their indicator that the “food” being offered truly matched the need and capacity of the children, was the children’s joy, a peaceful kind of joy that led them to further contemplation, especially through their personal work with the corresponding material, and to prayer.

We present the Good Shepherd parable found in the 10th chapter of John, to children with the greatest respect for the text, without adding anything other than what is found there. The text, which is so rich theologically and so literately valuable, needs no embellishment or additions on our part. We restrict ourselves to highlighting the parable’s various elements, and to helping the children savor their richness. The points on which we linger, for it is these that most enchant the children, are above all the personal love and presence of the Good Shepherd: He calls each one of His sheep by name He knows each intimately even if there are many sheep; He calls his sheep and gradually they become accustomed to the voice of their Good Shepherd and they listen to Him. In this way a precious relationship is established; a thread of love binds the sheep always more closely to their Shepherd. The Shepherd’s voice is powerful and supremely patient; it never tires of calling and reaches out even to those sheep who are far away, beyond the sheepfold. Slowly they too turn to hear His voice and they gather together into one great flock. The Shep­herd knows the needs of His sheep, and He guides them to good pastures, walking ahead of them to show the way and to be the first to confront any danger should it arise. So the sheep are safe and peaceful with their Good Shepherd.

“He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
John 10:3

Your Support Matters

There are many ways to help support the ongoing mission of The United States Association of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. 
Ways to Give
Adult Courses

Welcome to CGSUSA

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.

The CGS Approach

Find an Atrium

CGS in the Home
CGS in the Parish
CGS in the School

Discover CGS

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.

CGS in the World
CGS and Ecumenism

Roman Catholic Tradition

Episcopal Tradition
Orthodox Tradition
32 Points of Reflection
CBP en Espanol
Children with Disabilities
Justice and Solidarity

Learn with CGS

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.

Courses for Adults
Host a Course
Register a Course
Scholarships & Grants

Good Shepherd and the Child Podcast

The Journal
Document Library

Connect to CGSUSA

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.

Become a Member
Member Benefits
Individual Membership
Organization Membership
Regions & Regional Groups
CGSUSA Leadership: Staff & Board
Annual Meeting
CGSUSA Vendor Members - Digital Source List

Support CGSUSA

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.

Leadership: Staff and Board of Trustees
Contact Us
Ways to Give
TLM Memorial Fund
Tribute Gifts
Sustainable Giving