The Religious Potential of the Child, third edition Book Study
Why offer a Book Study? It is beneficial for us, whether we have been in this work for many years, or we are just beginning on this journey, to spend time with The Religious Potential of the Child, third edition, so that we may connect with one another and discuss and grow in our knowledge of the spiritual life of the child. The discussion questions found in this study offer a starting point for our conversation with one another about what has struck our heart and allows us to go deeper into the mystery of God and the child.
Why a third edition? This book describes an experience with children from ages three to six, an experience of adults and children dwelling together in the mystery of God. In the preface of this third edition, we read, “Our defining document: “The Characteristics of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: 32 Points for Reflection,” states that ours is a “mustard seed work.” Among other things, this means it is a living work, and a central feature of all living things is that they grow and change. The content of CGS offered to the young child has remained the same especially because of the young child’s essentiality. “ This third edition, however, includes additions that refine how catechists can best present the content to children. This classic text has been updated to reflect Sofia Cavalletti’s edits to the Spanish edition and includes a new Preface and Afterword by editor Rebekah Rojcewicz. As we read the preface, will discover the updates to this third edition.
Download a copy of the Book Study here.
God and the Child with Rebekah Rojcewicz
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,* you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NAB
Does the child already have a connection with God? How can we, as adults, foster it? Why does an encounter with God create a peace and joy in the child and what does this look like? What about the children who have a hard time finding that peace and joy? What is a Metaphysical child?
Rebekah Rojcewicz explores with us the spiritual depth of the child that is discussed in the first chapter of The Religious Potential of the Child by Sofia Cavalletti. In this episode she helps us have a deeper understanding and respect for the hidden riches of the child. She lifts up the place of the adult as co-learner so that we can allow the true teacher, the Holy Spirit, to encounter the child.
Listen to our podcasts here.
Rebekah is a catechist and formation leader in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd having completed her training in 1981 in Rome with Dr. Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi. She has translated several of their books and articles from the original Italian and has written and edited various parts of the CGS core texts. Her book, Life in the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continues, is due for publication in 2020. Rebekah is a catechist at her parish, St. Patrick Catholic Church, and for the Missionaries of Charity atrium in Memphis, Tennessee. She serves on the formation committee of CGSUSA, as well as on the International Board for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
You can purchase the NEW third edition of The Religious Potential of the Child today!
This book is an in-depth description of the greatest mysteries of our faith to which children three to six years of age led them through their deep engagement and joy. It was first published in Italy in 1979, then translated into English and published in the U.S. in 1983. A new edition of the book was published by Liturgy Training Publications in 1992. Now in its third edition, this volume largely remains the same but includes Dr. Cavalletti’s substantial additions.
Our defining document: “The Characteristics of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: 32 Points for Reflection,” states that ours is a “mustard seed work”. Among other things, this means it is a living work, and a central feature of all living things is that they grow and change. Because of the essentiality of the young child, the content offered to them has largely remained the same over these many years. What has changed has more to do with us adults and how we best present that content.
The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey Book Study
In the introduction to the first edition, Sofia Cavalletti acknowledges that in addition to offering rich insights on who the child is spiritually—including the child before 3 years of age–, in Part II the book seeks to answer the question: “But how do I do it (the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd) with children?”
This second edition is a fuller answer to the above question, and it reflects the growth and transformation of the catechesis and, thus, seeks to offer clarifications in some previous practices (such as the matter of no longer narrating a Scripture text before doing the solemn reading of the text directly from the Bible).
Joyful Journey was first conceived in response to a specific request from Bishop Marcel Gervais in Canada who was had been very moved by The Religious Potential of the Child but wanted another rendering of the catechesis which would be even more accessible to parents and educators of young children.
Joyful Journey is meant to be a compliment to and not a substitution for the in-depth exploration of the child’s relationship with God and how we can best foster that relationship which is offered in catechist formation courses. Every catechist will want this book on his or her shelf, to read and re-read again and again.
CGSUSA Podcast Coming Soon!
Episode One – Joyful Journey
Episode Two – Joyful Journey
Episode Three – Joyful Journey
Episode Four – Joyful Journey
You can purchase The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey today!