Remembering Tina Lillig

“I have called you friends because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.”

—John 15:15 NAB

Valentina “Tina” Lillig

A woman with gray hair standing in front of a house.

Tina Lillig

We all have those people in our lives who have touched our hearts in a very special way. For many of us in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, that person is Valentina “Tina” Lillig.  Tina has been described as a visionary religious educator, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. She was instrumental both in bringing the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) to her community in Oak Park, IL, and also in the growth of the United States Association of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. ( CGSUSA)

In 1976 Tina entered her three-year-old son Thomas in a local Montessori-based religious education program called the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. This simple act would change her and her family’s life. Thomas was enthralled with the rituals and songs presented to him at catechesis, repeating songs and prayers at home in the family dining room. Tina was profoundly affected by her young son’s behavior, which validated her longtime belief that even very young children enjoy an active spiritual life, and it inspired her to register for a training course to become a catechist of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.


Learn More about Tina

Episode 57 – Celebrating the Life of Tina Lillig – The Good Shepherd and the Child Podcast

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in a Parish Setting Revised by Tina Lillig

Life of the Catechist: The Necessity of Friendship for the Catechist from the 2000 Journal by Tina Lillig

A Celebration of the Life of Tina Lillig from the 2011 Journal by Barbara Schmich Searle

Tina from the 2011 Journal by Carol Nyberg-Caraviotis

The Tina Lillig Memorial Fund


To honor Tina and the many CGS members like her, we welcome your gifts to the Tina Lillig Memorial Fund (TLM) in support of our most valued goals:

  • Children: The purchase of materials needed to set up an atrium and the formation of adults prepared to serve their religious lives.
  • Outreach: To care for those in under-served communities.
  •  Vision: To assist CGSUSA in responding to the unique needs of its regions and members.

Your gifts to this fund, combined with others are stewarded with the utmost care for Tina’s vision. Since its inception, because of the generosity of people like you, CGSUSA has been able to provide:

  • Distributed over $208,950 in financial support
  • Supported 550 catechists and formation leaders
  • Offered grants to more than 100 communities for missionary outreach

Most recently TLM gifts provided:

  • Translation services, publication, and an orientation workshop for the new I am the Good Shepherd book series.
  •  Spanish-speaking formation leaders to provide catechist formation courses in Spanish.
  •  Support for the CGSUSA 40th Anniversary celebration.

Learn More about Applying for Support from the Tina Lillig Memorial Fund

As a benefit of membership in CGSUSA, the Tina Lillig Memorial Fund offers a source of financial aid (in the form of partial scholarships) to applicants who find paying the full tuition a hardship, for grants for missionary outreach to organizations working to open atria in underserved regions of the United States, and for direct support of the purpose, mission, and vision of the United States Association. Monies for financial aid and grant awards come from direct donations to the Tina Lillig Memorial Fund from friends of CGSUSA interested in supporting this work. Awards are made twice annually.  Applicates are due April 30th and October 31st. Active, current membership and a recommendation is required for all applications for support.

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There are many ways to help support the ongoing mission of The United States Association of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. 
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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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