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Justice and Solidarity

“I pray… that they all may be one.” (Jn. 17:21)

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd especially honors the spiritual values of childhood and wishes to nurture the formation of a consciousness which is oriented to the construction of the history of salvation in justice and solidarity.

#28 Characteristics of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, The 32 Points of Reflection

“What is social justice if not a question of relationships? Social justice flowers in a climate of balanced relationships, of reciprocal service in respect and love toward one another. In a situation of unharmonious relationships, of over-bearing power of one over another, we have social injustice.” These are the words of Sofia Cavalletti as she writes about social justice.

In our work we are called to live in unity and harmony with one another and with all of God’s creation. We share a particular invitation to deeply love and care for everyone in our communities, to authentically live out our baptismal call to follow our Good Shepherd, and respect the dignity of every human being.

Biblically, this gift was lived out through prophecy. The prophet is one who has a particular capacity to listen to God. As catechists, we learn to take a listening stance before God with the children. This is a capacity we can continue to cultivate as we listen deeply with our brothers and sisters of color in their pain, grief, anger, and hear the injustice they suffer. In her book, The History of the Kingdom of God: From Creation to Parousia, Sofia Cavalletti says, “If the prophet can be identified as a voice the voice of God in the midst of the people it is because he has first been an ear straining to listen to what God has made known to him.” She goes on to point out that God “establishes a particular relationship with the prophets; the Lord enriches them with a great gift that leads to a mission. The prophet lends his ear and even more so his heart to the word of God, not to keep it to himself but to share it with all people, so they might take instruction from it.”

Statements from Our Churches
For Deeper Reflection

Conversations That Matter (The Intersection of Racial Justice and Life Issues) “Racism: The Perduring Assault Against Human Life and Dignity” Gloria Purvis

Conversations That Matter (The Intersection of Racial Justice and Life Issues) “The Strange Fruit of Immigration” Sam Rocha

Conversations That Matter (The Intersection of Racial Justice and Life Issues) “Why Black Education is a Life Issue: Racial Justice and the Church’s Call to Action” Ernest Morrell

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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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