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Board of Trustees Bios

Barbara Matera

In 1993, Barbara, her husband and their three sons returned to Western Pennsylvania after ten years in Southern California.  She was working night and day in a law practice she had begun with a partner who was still in California, advising insurance companies in complex matters.
Four years later, she heard God calling her to deeper faith and more active involvement in the life of the Church. Her Catholic parish had just become the first in the Diocese of Pittsburgh to offer Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  She simultaneously entered formation to be a Benedictine oblate and a Level I catechist.  She came to see the atrium as a place where children and catechists, like Benedictine monastics, “pray and work.”
Barbara retired from law and in 2003 and joined her parish staff as CGS Coordinator.  In 2010, after completing a Masters in Religious Education at Duquesne University, she became Director of Religious Education at the parish, serving about 350 Level I – III children each week in 31 sessions until her retirement in July 2016.
Barbara is a Level I formation leader and is working toward recognition for Level II, where she has spent the most time with children. At the 60th Anniversary Celebration, she presented at the breakout session on children with special needs, an area of particular interest to her because her brother had special needs and she began her legal career working on behalf of children like him.

Barbara promotes CGS to anyone she meets, and has spread the word about CGS through articles she wrote for Pastoral Liturgy magazine published by LTP.  Barbara has raised funds for CGS and other non-profits at the local level and enjoys reaching out to individuals and organizations who may not know CGS.

In the summer of 2016, a year after joining the board, Barbara was elected Board Chair when Mary Heinrich stepped down to work for the Association. Barbara’s areas of interest on the board have been governance and intellectual property.

Katushka Olave

Katushka’s journey began more than ten years ago when she felt a call, and discovered the marvelous (maravilloso) love of God through her work as a catechist with the children in the Catechisis of the Good Shepherd at her home parish, Immaculata Conception in Durham, North Carolina.  Since that time, her relationship with God has continued to grow, and the most wonderful thing is to be able to lead the children through these green pastures to marvel at the love of God.

Katushka is the Pastoral Associate at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and advocates for the needs of the Latino Parishioners. She is also the head of the Latino Parents Playgroup which serves Spanish-speaking mothers with children ages 0-3 years. Each group meets once a week for fellowship, music, sharing ideas, developing nurturing parenting skills, information sharing and providing referrals to community resources. She helps to empower parishioners to live lives of justice, healing, compassion and peace manifesting the Reign of God in Durham through formation in Catholic Social Teaching, direct service to "the least among us," advocacy, community organizing, mental health and global solidarity.

Katushka is originally from Bolivia, South America. She has lived in Durham, North Carolina for 29 years with her husband Juan and three daughters Francis, Paula and Sebastiana.

Patti Franz

Patti’s involvement in the work of CGS has spanned 20 years, beginning with her two sons’ involvement as three-year olds. From 1994 to 2004, she was blessed to be part of a rich and supportive regional catechist community that grew from shared experiences of formation and support. She completed all three levels of formation, acted as a volunteer program director for her parish (15 catechists and 40 aides serving over 200 children) and helped to host a National course in Scottsdale.

In 2001- 2004, she took time away from directing a parish program to complete her MA in Theology and, during this time, returned to being a catechist in a Level I atrium. But God called her to a job opportunity at Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit boys’ high school, where she worked as Development Director for ten years, until 2015. While she had to give up her time in the atrium, from 2005-2010 she worked with Tina Lillig and the National office staff and board to share with them what she was learning about development, fundraising, and not-for- profit organizations.

Patti is in the middle of her second term on the board.  She is excited to see how CGS continues to grow and spread around the country (and the world) and feels the board must continue to focus on the long term sustainability of the national association. With her faith, the graces of her years of work in CGS, a solid grounding in development and fundraising, and most important, reverence for the child, Patti humbly offer her gifts in service of the association.

Carol Hanlon

Carol’s interest in religious formation began in 1999 as an assistant catechist in her 3 and 4-year-old daughter’s atrium in Glastonbury, CT.  She grew in her understanding of the child by participating in many roles throughout her time at in this program and was blessed to work with many seasoned catechists in her roles as assistant, material maker, and sacramental preparation facilitator.

 In 2004, she worked to bring CGS to her own parish in Hartford, CT.  It was there that she completed training in all three levels and assisted in multiple courses.  She has been blessed to be a catechist in two atria for children ages 9-12 for many years and has grown in her own faith through this endeavor.  Involved in parent education and sacramental preparation, she also facilitated a program for 7th & 8th grade for 9 years before relocating to Philadelphia, PA.

 Carol’s career began in in the area of pension and employee benefits but the call to serve the child has led her to shift her focus toward work with CGS.  She has a M.Ed. in Religious Education from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (2001) and completed the CGS Heritage Course through Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri (2012).  Adolescent religious education has continued to be a topic of interest as has her work with the History of Christianity timeline.

She has enjoyed more than 20 years of serving on non-profit boards specializing in those than benefit the child and has offered presentations at multiple Archdiocese of Hartford Faith and Evangelization Congress’ as well as Weaving our Gifts: A Conference of Catechists. She continues to serve on the CGS Membership committee and is thrilled to offer her heart and hands to the board of CGSUSA.

Micki Hill

Micki Hill is a passionate lay minister and advocate for children in the church. In 2004, she was called to honor the youngest in the church and offer them an opportunity to celebrate relationship with our Good Shepherd. After a computer search for teaching resources she found information about a Level I course in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. “It is as if I had a hunger that I was unaware of until I received that first morsel and then it was the only food that satisfied.” She feels that God had carefully prepared her for that moment. In her career as a Landscape Designer, Micki has learned the importance of preparing a site for fruitful harvest. The seeds scattered generously by our good Lord were waiting for harvest.


A catechist in all three levels and a recognized formation leader for Level I, Micki is now working toward recognition as a Level II formation leader. She holds a Certificate in Theology from the University of the South, Sewanee and is working toward her Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri.


Micki is on staff at The Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village, North Carolina as the Dean’s Assistant for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and Children’s Formation. She has served in the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina for over 20 years in various ways. She has mentored Education for Ministry and served as past chair of Lifelong Formation for the Diocese. Her work has involved coordinating ministries for adults and children and developing and managing budgets for these and other ministries. She currently serves on the Diocesan Executive Council and the Bishop’s Strategic Budget Committee. Micki is honored to offer her gifts and passion for service to CGSUSA and brings an experience of working with vestries, clergy, committees, and program directors.

Claudia Petursson                                                                                                          

Claudia has been on staff at Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland, Washington since 2009, first serving as director of Faith Formation and now directing the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  CGS began at Holy Family in 2012 and the parish now offers seven weekly atrium sessions in Levels I-III, has eight certified catechists, and serves over 65 children.
She is also a founding member of The Sheepfold, the Pacific Northwest Consortium for CGS sustainability. She serves as a member of the Seattle Archdiocesan Faith Formation Commission, the first CGS member on the commission. Claudia has served on the Seattle Archdiocesan Committee on Religion Standards, the Roman Missal Third Edition Implementation Committee, and continue to serve on the Archdiocesan  Faith Formation Best Practices Committee.
In her leadership roles, she and Sister Yvette Mallow, OSB founded in 2003 Cabrini Ministry Espanol, a Spanish-language hospital ministry formation program. In 2005, they also founded The Merciful Love Connection, a non-profit that serves the Refuge of Most Merciful Love in Santiago, Chile. The refuge serves teen mothers and their babies.
In Claudia’s fundraising experience, she has been in involved in many auctions, church campaigns, and fundraising campaigns. She has solicited donations both monetary and in-kind, and helped track donations and matching funds.

 Lynn Robinson

Lynn’s journey in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd began in local formation in Pennsylvania for Level I about twenty-five years ago, and from that moment on, she has remained committed, dedicated and passionate about this work. With the help and support of many, she launched and has led this work at all three levels in her home parish.  She is currently serving as one of two catechists for Level III each Sunday morning.  Her official volunteer leadership position within her church is titled Children’s Catechesis Coordinator, which includes sitting on the Sunday School Steering Committee.

In 2000, Lynn became a recognized formation leader and began offering formation to adults in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. She has led Level I, Level II and Level III adult formation courses for the past 15 years and she enjoys remaining in touch with many of these regional catechists.  In 2007, she was fortunate enough to travel to Rome and visit with Sofia Cavalletti in her home and atria for a number of hours. What a joy and treat that was! Being with Sofia helped expand Lynn’s understanding of the international scope of this work and experience the source of where it all began.  She was further inspired by the International Event held in Phoenix that 2014. Lynn has provided leadership in forming the Holy Triangles Regional CGS Group, encompassing catechists from New Jersey, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.  They have all gathered for two regional events so far.

 In 2013, Lynn joined the Membership Committee for the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, further broadening her experiences with this work that has captured her heart. She currently serves as the chair of the Membership Committee and hopes to further develop the regional groups.  Since Lynn joined the Board of Trustees for CGSUSA in 2014, she has settled into her role on the Executive Committee of Secretary.  She also works on the Governance Committee, helping to generate committee charters and propose needed by-law changes.  She hopes to work with the Methodist Committee in upcoming years.