Catechesis of The Good Shepherd (CGS) Pre-K—Gr 3

In response to COVID-19, changes are being made for the 2020-2021 Atrium year to protect our children, volunteers, and families while continuing to support the Domestic Church.
CGS Program Offerings for Fall are outlined below.

PROGRAM BEGINS SEPTEMBER 13, 2020!

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is offered as an option for children enrolling in PREP, and as an enrichment to the religious education provided to our Holy Family children.

The CGS methodology is a Montessori hands on approach to religious formation that is rich in prayer, liturgical and spiritual content and is specifically designed to meet the age appropriate developmental stages of the child. CGS utilizes a dedicated prepared space for children called the “atrium” and extensively trained catechists. The atria are unique environments filled with materials specifically designed for the child’s use. Because children learn by using their hands, working with materials allows them to enter more deeply into meditation, nurturing their relationship with God. The goal of CGS is to nurture this relationship and prepare the children for full participation in liturgy through the use of the materials, prayer and songs, listening to the Bible with the children, and by giving them time for personal work.

 

CGS Level I

CGS Level I is offered for children who are ages 3-5 in the fall (i.e. pre-K through K). In Level I, the focus on the parable of the Good Shepherd nurtures the child to grow in an appreciation of the unconditional love and protection of the Good Shepherd and the deeply rooted relationship Jesus has with us. The parables of the Kingdom further the children’s understanding of the beauty, value, and strength of God’s Kingdom, deepening their desire to become participating members of the Kingdom of God.

 

 

CGS Level II

CGS Level II is offered for children who are in grades 1 through 3. The Good Shepherd and Kingdom parables of Level I provide the foundation for moral formation that comes as a natural response to God’s love in Level II. The image of Jesus as the True Vine, who invites us to remain in the love of the Good Shepherd, the Moral Parables as well as the Moral Maxims (the Commandments given to us by Jesus) help to nurture and deepen our moral life in Christ. Further study of the History of Salvation from Creation, to Redemption and Parousia allows for reflection on our personal role in fulfilling God’s plan.

 

CGS Program Offerings Planned for Fall 2020

In light of COVID-19 concerns and in support of the Domestic Church, an interim approach to CGS is being offered without fees* that enables Family-based Formation that is CGS-inspired along with some opportunities for in-person time in the atrium.
*(Free-will offerings or donations of items to help provide take-home materials welcomed. Sacramental fee for First Communion requested.)

Plans include:

  • Family Level CGS: At a minimum, all families are encouraged to sign up for Family Level CGS-based enrichment. Each month (September through May), a new theme will be introduced with guidance and support to families provided through:
        • A monthly Parent Zoom Session:
          First Sunday at 4:30pm
        • At least Monthly emails containing additional guidance and resources for at-home implementation.

Family Level CGS is the basis/foundation for the additional options noted below, and necessary for parents of children who select the CGS Level II options for PREP.

  • Level I for 3-5 year olds (pre-k/K): Specifically targeted for this age group, will be:
        • Prepared packages of take-home materials in support of the monthly theme
        • Weekly Zoom Prayer Time:
          Mondays at 7:00pm (~20 minutes of simple prayer, song and sharing)
        • Weekly sign-ups for family time in the atrium (max one family for up to 45 minutes at one-hour intervals):
          Wednesday slots 9:00am-5:00pm
          (potential for additional days/times based on demand)
  • Level II for 1st and 3rd Graders*:
    (*see special option for 2nd graders preparing for First Communion)
    Specifically targeted for this age group, will be:

        • Prepared packages of take-home materials in support of the monthly theme
        • Bi-Weekly Zoom Reinforcement Sessions:
          Tuesdays at 7:00pm (~40 mins)
        • At least one 5:00pm Wednesday outdoor session on church grounds
        • Weekly sign-ups for family time in the atrium (max one family for up to 45 minutes at one-hour intervals):
          Wednesday slots 9:00am-5:00pm
          (potential for additional days/times based on demand)
  • Level II for First Communion*:
    (*Attendance to be limited.)
    Specifically targeted for this year of sacramental preparation:

        • Occasional take-home packages of materials in support of the monthly theme
        • Tentatively, weekly in-person Atrium sessions
          5:00-6:15pm Wednesdays
          and/or occasional Zoom sessions
          Tuesdays at 7:00pm (~40 mins)
        • At least one planned outdoor session on church grounds
        • Weekly sign-ups for family time in the atrium
        • Additional special sessions and retreat also planned (see Sacramental Preparation page)

For Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Parent Information, see these charts from the August 27 Zoom meeting.

 

Questions or looking to become involved/volunteer?

For questions on St. Joseph’s CGS offering, or to become involved in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, please contact Anne Pulsifer (cgsstjoseph@comcast.net/484-431-5156). All volunteers complete state and diocesan regulated Safe Environment checks. Safe Environment Requirements 


CGS Tentative Calendar

To register, please complete the Registration Form 2020-2021 and email
to Anne Pulsifer at cgsstjoseph@comcast.net.

Please see the CGS Safety Plan outlining the plans for staying safe while in the atria.

Please also complete and return the following forms:

Student Release Form for participation in any in-person activities

Virtual (live) Instruction Permission Form for participation in Zoom meetings

For more information on Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, see cgsusa.org.