Religious Education of Children
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Level 1 ages 3 – 6, Level 2 ages 6 – 9, and Breaking Open the Word (BOW) for ages 9 – 12
CGS originated in Italy over 50 years ago and has spread throughout the world. In many countries, in many settings, children come to spend time with God in a specially prepared environment called an Atrium. The original Atrium was so named because,
Atrium sessions last ninety minutes. We begin with singing and a procession. A group presentation is followed by an invitation to work. Arranging flowers, caring for plants, preparing the cruets and chalice, setting the model altar, preparing the prayer table, polishing, drawing: the children offer these works of their hands to God. Through celebrating the liturgical seasons and feasts in a hands-on way, children sense a joyful and deep relationship with God.
BOW is designed for children ages 9 – 12. Children at this age are very group-oriented, so much of the work is done in a communal setting. Music and prayer mark the opening and closing times. The lessons are based in part on the Scripture readings proclaimed at Sunday liturgy with a stronger emphasis on this during the special seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent,
Atrium and BOW include sacramental preparation. Close to First Communion and to
Atrium sessions start at the beginning of October and go through mid-May, with holiday breaks announced to registered families. Level 1 sessions are held on Sundays from 9:45 to 11:15 or Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:00. Level 2 and BOW sessions are held Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:00. Level 2 classes are held in the basement Atrium. BOW takes place on the second floor of the Parish Office building where the furniture and materials are appropriate to the growth of 9 to
For more information on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd or BOW contact coordinator Mary Lennard at (513) 531-7572.