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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Ages 4-5

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children that is based on the conviction that God and the child are in relationship.  This approach, rooted in the Bible and the Liturgy of the Church, provides children the use of hands-on materials to work with as they internalize the great mysteries of our Faith.

Young children learn by doing.  Therefore, formation takes place in a specially prepared environment which is filled with materials the children can pick up and work with while they hear the Scriptures proclaimed or ponder a prayer from the liturgy.  We call this prepared environment the Atrium.

What do the children do, what do they learn?  They learn that the Good Shepherd knows all his sheep, he calls them by name, searches for a lost sheep, and celebrates the found sheep.  They pray and ponder "The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I lack."  Young children are attracted to the Good Shepherd's abiding love for his sheep even before they realize that they are one of the sheep.  By hearing this essential proclamation and working with the Good Shepherd material children develop a special love and attachment to Jesus the Good Shepherd.

In the Atrium, the child encounters these and other key lessons of the Christian message through multi-sensory activities which results in a joy-filled faith experience due to the integration of the mind and the heart through the work of the hands.  The primary goal of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and all of the child's work in the Atrium is the enjoyment of God's presence and growing in friendship with Him.  That joy in His presence grows into full and active participation in the Liturgy.

Sessions for the CGS program are:
  • Monday 4:30-5:45 or 6:00-7:15pm (age 4-5)
  • Wednesday 4:00-5:15pm or 5:30-6:45pm (age 4-5)
 
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?  How do we grow such a relationship?  Listen to the Good Shepherd and the Child Podcast to learn more.