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“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14 NAB. How can a young child deeply encounter the love of God and respond to it? What does this look like? How can we as adults foster and facilitate children’s authentic and loving awareness of God? What are the needs and capacities for a healthy religious life that children show us for such relationship?

The method of Christian Faith Formation called The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has been exploring these questions for over 65 years guided by the Bible, Liturgy, Montessori principles, and the careful observation of what resonates most deeply with children. Our host is Kerri Mecke-Lozano. Kerri has been involved with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd since 2010. She is certified in Level I, II, and III, and is in the process of becoming a certified formation leader by CGSUSA. She has worked in atria in both the United States and in Haiti. Kerri has a sociology degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has completed the CGS Heritage course from Aquinas Institute of Theology, St Louis, MO. She currently resides in the Hill Country of Texas with her husband, PJ, and their six children. Journey with us, every other Wednesday as we explore the spirituality of the child through The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

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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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