GS and Child Podcast | Season 2

Episode 75: FAQs: Beginning The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd with Karen Maxwell

We know that all things work for good for those who love God” Romans 8:28

Karen Maxwell joins us on the podcast again to answer many of the questions that people have as they are first beginning their journey in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  What is the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd? How do we begin CGS in my parish or school? What is CGS adult formation like? How do I get all the materials? What is an atrium? How many adults do I need to start CGS at my parish or school? Do I need to do the formation in succession? How much does it cost to start CGS? How much time needs to be allotted for an atrium session? Are there books that are recommended for those just starting to be curious about this work?

Karen became involved with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 1990 when her oldest daughter was four years old. She was moved by the spiritual depth offered to the youngest children and found this approach to faith formation personally enriching as well. She helped to begin all three levels of atria in the first church in Georgia to offer Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She also enjoys introducing adults to this method of catechesis as a CGS formation leader. Karen joined the staff for the United States Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2004 as Director of Formation. Her work supports formation leaders and catechists through communications, conferences, ongoing formation and resources as well as in responding to a variety of inquiries and pastoral concerns about CGS. Karen is one of two US representatives to the International Council. She also was part of the first cohort to complete a Masters in Pastoral Studies in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Aquinas Institute of Theology. Karen currently serves as a Level III catechist for a church in her area. Her children, now young adults, all were involved in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  For further questions about CGS you can email Karen at [email protected]

Link to PDF Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: An Introduction

Another episode with Karen about Catechists Formation

To listen to the article Characteristics of the Good Shepherd Catechesis by Sofia Cavalletti

The Religious Potential of the Child 

The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the Parish Setting

For a list of episodes to help you dive into the chapters in The Religious Potential of the Child and The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey

The Characteristics of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd #3 states that: The atrium is a community in which children and adults live together a religious experience that facilitates participation in the wider community of the family, the church, and other social spheres. We see the atrium as a place of prayer, in which work and study spontaneously become meditation, contemplation, and prayer. The atrium is a place in which the only Teacher is Christ; both children and adults place themselves in a listening stance before his Word and seek to penetrate the mystery of the liturgical celebration.


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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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