Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a spiritual formation program for young children. This unique approach requires a special commitment by the parish, but the fruits are profound for the children who participate, for their families, and for the adults who act as their guides (called "catechists"). Offering Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is transformative for the entire congregation.
Adults who participate in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd know firsthand that it is unlike traditional "Sunday school," and find it a deeply enriching spiritual experience. We hope that you will consider receiving training to be a catechist, regardless of whether you have young children.
A summer intensive will be offered July 28-August 1, 2014. This allows adults to be trained to serve as Level I Catechists over the course of five days rather than over the course of several months. Read more here.
What is our work?
If you are a child who participates in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, your work is intentional and self-driven. Using the Montessori Method combined with a contemplative classroom, called an atrium, you are encouraged to pursue your own endeavors of the spirit through thought- provoking presentations and repetitive, meditative activities.
Ultimately, your work is to wonder. To wonder about who Jesus is; to wonder about the world and where your relationship with God fits into that world. Your work is to begin aligning your inner clock with the liturgical calendar of the church year. Your work is to begin to understand that all of God’s children are called to live into a way of life that incorporates all people and is at its core innate to us all.
If you are an adult who serves as a catechist in one of our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atria, your work is also intentional and child-driven. Your work is simultaneously to encourage the children’s wonder while allowing their discoveries to blossom largely unassisted. Each presentation or work that is given to a child becomes a tool for that child—tools that she can use to break open her relationship with Christ. As a result, the relationship between a child and a catechist is reciprocal. While a child is becoming familiar with a presentation he is uncovering spiritual truths which he shares with the catechists.
To learn more about what your child’s work can be, please contact Martha-Lynn Corner for more information. St. Stephen’s currently offers one Level I atrium serving children ages 3-6 and Level II atrium to serve children ages 6-9 on Sunday mornings. Watch a video of work in the Atrium here.
'Become as children' | A summer offering for adults | Download and print a flyer about this offering
Monday, July 28-Friday, August 1, 2014 | 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
St. Stephen’s is pleased to announce a retreat and formation opportunity for adults. You are invited to join our entire clergy staff and other interested parishioners as we seek to deepen and expand our faith by exploring the spirituality of children through the work of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
When Jesus implored us to “become as children,” what did he mean?
What face of God do children help us see?
During our time together, we will explore the meeting of two mysteries: the mystery of God and the mystery of the child.
The aim of this course is twofold:
The dates for this summer are July 28-August 1 (9:00-4:00) with a second week to be held in the summer of 2015. Upon completion of the course, participants will be prepared to serve as a catechist; however, we are not limiting participation in this event to those who are called to serve in the atria. All are welcome!
The week will be conducted within a prayerful retreat environment. The daily schedule will typically include presentations, adult reflections on biblical or liturgical themes, communal prayer and personal work time.
Lay people and clergy who have participated in a Catechesis course say that it has transformed their lives and deepened their understanding of scripture and liturgy.
Prayerfully consider this opportunity for new friendships and deepening your own faith journey. For more information or registration details, please contact Martha-Lynn Corner, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 804.288.2867. This course is open to those from beyond St. Stephen’s Church as well. If you know someone who might be interested in participating, please share this information.
Read more about the late Sofia Cavelliti and her work here.