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2020-21 Faith Formation – Together in Faith – Registration

For the 2020-21 academic year, we are excited to offer Together in Faith, an AtHome Faith Formation model for all Youth Faith Formation programs. The focus for this year will be for the household to learn and grow in their faith together. Each month will have a new theme as we explore the New Testament of the bible.

To learn more and to register, visit:

Together in Faith

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a Montessori approach to faith formation with children (ages 3-12) that began in Rome over 60 years ago.

In 1954, Sofia Cavalletti, a Biblical scholar, and her co-worker, Gianna Gobbi, a trained Montessorian, began to develop this approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori was a devout Catholic who believed faith formation has an essential role in the development of the child.

Schedule for 2020-21

(Space is limited to 10 children per session)

CGS takes place on Wednesday evenings September through April following the school calendar.  Students must be the appropriate age by September 15, 2020 and must be toilet-trained.

Level I (Preschool-Kindergarten/Ages 3-5)

Day Time
Wednesday  4:30 – 5:45 pm
Wednesday 6:15 – 7:30 pm

Level II (Grades 1-3)

Day Time
Wednesday 4:30 – 5:45 pm
Wednesday 6:15 – 7:30 pm

Level III (Grades 4-6)

Day Time
Wednesday 6:15 – 7:30 pm


Catechesis of the Good Shepherd takes place in a specially prepared space called an Atrium.

  • The Atrium contains age-appropriate materials that are simple and essential to the child’s development of a relationship with God.
  • The Atrium items are carefully selected or created out of wood, glass, metal and fabric. Many of the materials will remind the child of what they see in church.
  • Children are taught a sense of reverence for the Atrium and for the items it contains. The expected behavior in the Atrium is peaceful and respectful, similar to what is expected at Mass.
  • In our busy, noisy world, many children find refuge in the quieter atmosphere of the Atrium.

A visit to an atrium session would be a good way to understand the experience of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

Each session consists of a presentation of new material, work time, and prayer.

  • Presentations include biblical geography, liturgy, the Nativity narratives, parables, and practical life lessons. Older children are also introduced to Old Testament work.
  • The presentations are selected to coincide with the Church year. After the presentation, the children may choose to work with the materials during their work time. All materials remain in the Atrium the entire year so children may revisit past presentations during their work time. The children are given time for repetition and contemplation but may only choose to work with materials that have been presented to them.
  • Communal prayer takes place during each atrium session. The children gather around the prayer table and are encouraged to be calm and silent. This habit helps develop an atmosphere to listen and talk to God.

Since many of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd lessons are linked to the liturgy, children benefit greatly by also attending Mass regularly with their families.

Students in 2nd grade in the CGS program will need to attend 4-5 bible studies that take place outside of their regular class time for sacrament preparation for 1st Reconciliation and 1st Communion.

Watch this video to learn more about CGS

CGS Parent Meeting

All new families to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program will need to attend a mandatory parent informational meeting.

This meeting is scheduled for August 19, 2020 at 6 p.m. More details to come for new families!

Our hope is to help parents understand more fully the unique approach of the CGS formation model. At this time, we will explore with you the atrium and the Montessori approach used for the catechesis. You will also have an opportunity to see a presentation of one of the atrium works.

Volunteer Opportunities

Our Youth Faith Formation programs rely on parents, families and parishioners as volunteers to support our children as they grow in their faith. Each of the volunteer roles are either 100% tuition-waived or 50% tuition-waived.

YFF Volunteer Opportunities

For information about the other Youth Faith Formation programs, please visit:

Youth Faith Formation

For information about the High School Faith Formation programs, including Confirmation Preparation, please visit:

High School Faith Formation

For more information about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jill Klubek-Alonzo, Early Childhood Faith Formation Coordinator, by email or at 515-440-1030.