Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
CGS is a common religious experience involving children and adults in which the religious values of childhood, primarily those values of contemplation and enjoyment of God, are predominant. This experience is shared in a place particularly prepared for the religious life of children called the Atrium. CGS is a Roman Catholic religious formation for children ages 3 to 12. CGS is based on the Bible and the Catholic Church’s liturgy; the principles of Montessori education inspire it. It is available to St. Monica PreK through Second Graders during the school day. In addition, children ages 3-6 not enrolled at St. Monica School may participate in our Wednesday session during the school year.
Parents are encouraged to volunteer to support the Atrium (i.e., Restoring/sanitizing the Atrium after the session, prepping or making materials, caring for linens, providing childcare for catechists or assistants, etc.). The Atrium is a room prepared for the children in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. It is a place of prayer, work, and community. In the Atrium, Jesus is the teacher. The role of the catechist is to listen to God with the children. Our Atrium is located next to the school library at our main school entrance.
During an atrium session, the catechist and the child engage in biblical and liturgical presentations. The child then works with carefully produced materials. This “hands-on” experience invites the child to contemplate and enjoy God’s presence and respond to his love.
Why is the color green used in Ordinary Time?
CGS is right on with the Church’s mind in this approach, and the etymological roots of the word Ordinary confirm that this time is anything but ordinary!!
In the Atrium, we focus and give presentations on the Liturgical Colors. We even sing a Liturgical Color song. Then, as the Church moves into Ordinary Time, we talk about what that means with the children, especially since anything to do with God and the Church is ever “ordinary.” We use the language of it being “growing time” and green being symbolic of this. It is also a time to ponder all we did during the Preparation and Celebration that we have just finished in Christmas and later in the year with Easter and Pentecost.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
We are looking forward to year five of our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) program at St. Monica Catholic School for the 2023/2024 school year. Registration for Non-School Families will open in August 2023. CGS Level One will be held on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Classes will run from September – June following the school calendar. The CGS Tuition is $200 per year first child and $100 for each additional child. The class size is limited to 12 students. Level One is open to children ages 3-6 by September 1st.