CGS in the Roman Catholic Tradition

CGS Conformity with the CCC
Pastoral References
Sofia Cavalletti on Apostolic Exhortation, Catechesi Tradendae
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Logo, a green circle split into quadrants by a white cross

From time to time, in the association’s national office, we are asked if the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is approved by certain Diocesan Offices or the Office for the Catechism. Sometimes the question is very simple: “Is it on the approved list?

Other times we are asked if the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd matches a particular Catholic diocese’s guidelines or “scope and sequence” document.

Bishops, pastors, and religious educators ask, “Are the children learning what the church teaches?” “Are the catechists orthodox? Have they been prepared?” and “How can we get the parents to come to Sunday Mass and bring their children?

The following documents can help to answer these and other questions:


Every catechist should be able to apply to himself the mysterious words of Jesus: ‘My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me (John 7:16).’

Read the entire article below. 

Sofia Cavalletti’s words on Apostolic Exhortation, Catechesi Tradendae, (On Catechesis in Our Time) from the 2006 Annual Journal of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Characteristics of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd:

#30 The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd offers its services to the diocese and therefore works in communion with the bishop.

The 32 Points of Reflection represent the principal aspects of the catechesis as they have emerged after more than fifty years of work with children of different countries, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. 

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd featured on EWTN News In Depth

Mary Pat Heelen, Associate Director
Office of Religious Education for the Diocese of Worcester, MA

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd by Fr. Giancarlo Pani, S.J.


CGSUSA is delighted to share a beautiful and important article on the foundations of CGS, written by Fr. Giancarlo Pani S.J. Fr. Giancarlo is the Deputy Director of Civiltà Cattolica and has served on the faculty of “La Sapienza”of the University of Rome. He first met Sofia Cavalletti in 1971, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in which she served as guide. Father Giancarlo became a priest in 1974 and then, in 1976, began a collaboration with Sofia and Gianna at the atrium of Via delgi Orsini in Rome. In addition to celebrating Mass throughout the atrium year, he heard the confessions of the children and assisted with the retreats and celebrations of their First Communion. He was one of our keynote speakers at our International Retreat in 2014.

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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.

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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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