Incarnate Word has an atrium for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level I, or children ages 3-6.

What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?

Simcha Fisher, a Catholic author, describes the program thus in the National Catholic Register:

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was founded in the 50s by two Italian laywomen, one a scriptural scholar and one an expert in Montessori education. Together they conceived of a simple, attractive method for sharing the richness of the Faith with children,  who are uniquely capable of accepting the beauty of God's love.  The program is presented in three levels, and includes time in the "Atrium," which is a quiet environment where children learn through tactile play.

Catechesis of the Good shepherd emphasizes quiet contemplation and -- imagine this -- "the enjoyment of God." The children hear Bible stories and watch them acted out with simple materials; they learn songs and prayers, and are encouraged to play quietly with simple and meaningful objects.  One mother explained that CGS "cracked the code" of the Mass for her son, as he learned to become alert to the details of the liturgy: the significance of color, the names and purposes of the various vessels and tools on the altar.

In Level 1, ages 3-6, the controlling image is Christ the Good Shepherd, who loves his sheep and gives everything He is for them. The Good Shepherd knows his sheep and calls them by name. The child comes to discover who the Shepherd is and who the sheep are. The enjoyment of the gift of God's own self to the child is the foundation of further religious insight and moral development. 

The motto of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is "Help me fall in love with God by myself.”

When are the sessions and how do I register?

Sessions are held on
Thursday morning, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Monday evening, 6:30 PM-7:45 PM

The first Thursday session for 2019-2020 is September 12, and sessions run through May. Monday sessions will begin in October. However, due to the individual nature of the instruction, mid-year registrations are easily accommodated.

Space is limited to 8 children per session, as we form the children in the CGS method of relating to the atrium space and materials. A waitlist is available.

 CGS Registration Form

Please return this form with a check to the parish office.



IMG 09181
Working with the vestments in liturgical colors
Learning about the real altar vessels during a sacristy tour with Fr. Schroeder
The map of Israel, with major events of Jesus' life
A "practical life" work - learning care and attention by placing beans in order along a spiral
A "practical life" work - learning care for his environment by sorting colored fluffs with tweezers
Visiting Jesus in the tabernacle
Tracing a picture to contemplate the story of the Annunciation

CGS News

Formation Course for Catechists

Incarnate Word is looking for more people to be trained as catechists for this method. If you are interested, a formation course is being held on weekends during the 2019-2020 school year in O'Fallon, IL. Below you can find the brochure and registration form!

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Level I Catechist Formation