Good Shepherd Publications | Level I Recommended Reading

The Religious Potential of the Child – 3rd Edition

The Religious Potential of the Child – 3rd Edition


By Sofia Cavalletti

412 in stock

More About The Religious Potential of the Child – 3rd Edition

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.

I had the opportunity to read the third edition of Religious Potential of the Child over the summer and I appreciated how the newest version reflected the most current approach to sharing Scripture with children, namely reading passages to children with minimal introduction rather than the previous practice of the catechist announcing the content of the Scripture in their own words.  This is such an important development in our work. Kristen Hempstead McGann

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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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