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Deepening your relationship with God

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. It has a holistic approach for the adult, enriching the adult in a background of scripture and liturgy, theology and prayer, as well as the pedagogy of the young child, helping the adult to see what face of God the young child most needs in order to enter into a relationship with God.

Therefore, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd requires the adult to receive training in the method in a way that is “retreat-like,” giving time and space to absorb the richness of what it means to live one’s baptismal covenant and grow in the love and knowledge of God.

Training in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Level I
Level II
Level III
level 1 atrium child playing
Level I catechist formation is for adults seeking to serve children who are three to six years old. This training is at least 90 hours. This is the foundational training for all succeeding levels of catechist formation. All the key themes and presentations that are essential to this method of catechesis are introduced at this level so it is important for an adult to begin at this level. It is also valuable for the adult in understanding the child’s developmental needs and religious capacities at this level.
level 2 atrium child
Level II catechist formation is for adults seeking to serve children who are six to nine years old (or first through third grade). This training is at least 96 hours and continues the themes first introduced in Level I catechist formation. It expands upon those themes according to the developmental needs and capacities of this age child. New themes are also introduced at this level especially around the History of the Kingdom of God, Moral Parables, and the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Sacramental preparation is also a key component of this catechist formation.
level 3 atrium children
Level III catechist formation is for those seeking to serve children who are nine to twelve years old (or fourth through sixth grades). This training is about 110-120 hours and builds upon the previous two levels of training. It continues to broaden the scope of scriptural and liturgical themes according to the child’s ability and developmental needs. In-depth Old Testament scripture studies are introduced at this level along with a broader look at God’s Plan in the History of the Kingdom of God and the Judeo-Christian roots of Christianity.

Formation Courses

Courses in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd have a variety of formats as often they are structured to suit the needs of a particular community. Some courses are monthly, while others are quarterly, and, still others are one-two weeks over two summers.

Courses in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd are led by formation leaders who are recognized leaders through the United States Association of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

These formation leaders have not only completed all three levels of catechist formation in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, they have personally written an album for the level they will lead, had it reviewed by another formation leader, served on courses in which they have received mentoring by another more experienced formation leader, and they have entered a formal process of discernment and review for recognition as a formation leader.

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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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