The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a program designed to let children know about the Good Shepherd’s personal and unconditional love for each one. Sofia Cavalletti, co-founder together with Gianna Gobbi, describes the aim as: “help me to draw closer to the Word by myself.”
In addition to providing a foundation for the youngest child, following the life of Jesus and selected parables, it gives children something that can grow with them, allowing children the wonder of discovering God during each session.
The program is held in the Atrium, “an environment which is carefully prepared to foster the religious life of the child. The materials and images placed there help the child to concentrate and reflect; thus, they nurture the child’s natural capacity for contemplation.” (Gianna Gobbi, Listening to God with Children.) The Atrium is a place of proclamation and response to the Word of God, and it is where the Good News of the New Testament is revealed to the children.
The program follows the liturgical year, and the trained catechists present the biblical accounts of Advent and Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. The Parable of the Good Shepherd, presentations on Baptism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit bring the children the joy of knowing that God loves each one. Following each presentation, the children can choose to work with the two or three-dimensional figures and other objects, e.g. mustard seeds, that have aided in the presentation. This gives the child an opportunity to rekindle the wonder of each presentation. Practical life activities such as sorting, folding and pasting help the children to develop self-confidence and mastery, all the while providing a calming environment, and an opportunity to reflect.
Level 1 of the program for children ages 3, 4 and 5 is being offered at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, 125 Larose Drive, St. Albert, AB beginning Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 9:30 am to 11:00 am. Please download the attached registration form. To register, and for additional information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration closes September 8, 2023.