What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?
A hands-on approach to religious education based on the Montessori Method. Recognizing that children have a unique and beautiful relationship with God, the aim of this method is to foster this relationship while helping children grow in an understanding of scripture and liturgy, thus allowing them to participate more fully in the center of the Church’s life – the Mass.
History of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is the result of a long period of careful observation of children by Sofia Cavalletti and her Montessori collaborator, Gianna Gobbi, in Rome. It began quite by accident, without warning or planning, the way God so often comes into our lives. In 1954 Sofia was a Hebrew and Scripture scholar, comfortable in her role in the academic world, when a mother asked her to give some religious instruction to her son. At first Sofia refused, saying she knew nothing about children. The mother persisted and eventually, Sofia consented.
That experience with a 7 year-old changed her whole life. She saw in that child and in numerous other children since, a way of being in the presence of God that is both unique to the child and a gift to the adult who stops long enough to notice. Perhaps it is because Sofia went before the child with no preconceived ideas of what should happen that the child responded with such joy. Certainly her background in Scripture made it possible for her to talk about God in a way that opened and enthused the child. From that day to the present time Sofia and Gianna remind us constantly to look to the child for that sign of a deeply religious life – joy – and to always ask the question: “What face of God is the child telling us he or she needs to see?”
I learn so much about Jesus at Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Ames CGS Participant
I am convinced that the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program has made me a better mother and wife, and has been the catalyst for so many other growth opportunities for me.
Melissa HillCGS Parent and Catechist
Thank you so much for providing this particularly lovely RE format. It’s better than anything I would have expected.