CGS: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children in PreK through 6th grade ( ages 3 to 12 years of age). It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather with catechists in an “atrium”, a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian faith.

The atrium is divided into three levels of formation under these general guidelines:

  • Level I – 3 to 6 years of age (PreK to K) – Sessions in 2021-2022 will be on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 pm – This level Atrium is located in the Parish Center.
  • Level II – 6 to 9 years of age (1st to 3rd grades) – Sessions in 2021-2022 will be on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 pm and from 6 to 7:30 pm – This level Atrium is located in the Parish Center.
  • Level III – 9 to 12 years of age (4th to 6th grades) – Sessions in 2021-2022 will be on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 pm and from 6 to 7:30 pm – This level Atrium is located on the first floor of the Gleeson Building.

Students also receive formation for the reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation at the appropriate age and readiness through the parish Sacrament Preparation program. The formation for all sacraments includes students and their parents in a multi-generational setting which fosters prayer, formation, and service throughout their preparation process.

To learn more, please contact Peggy Plastina, at pplastina@stgilesparish.org or 708-383-3430 x 408.

What is the atrium really like? Many of you have had the opportunity to be in the atrium with the children either as a catechist, assistant or visiting parent. For those who haven’t yet had this opportunity, take a few minutes to watch this video from The National Association of CGS. The voices of the current and former children of the atrium mirror many of the comments and reflections we catechists get to share on a weekly basis.

To learn more, contact Marci Madary at 708-383-3430 x 404 or email her at religioused@stgilesparish.org.

WHAT IS COMING SOON – YEAR 2021-2022…


CGS1

In September, the doors of the atria will open once again, welcoming our children into the beautiful, peaceful, sacred spaces of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. You have the opportunity to accompany the children by becoming a CGS catechist. You will find, as those who have served as catechists can attest, the spiritual richness of the program not only blesses the children’s lives, but the lives of the catechists as well.

  • Atrium sessions during the school year will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and early evenings. Registration for the program will begin on August 1. 
  • The next Open House for the atriums of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will take place on Sunday, July 25 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. The Level I atrium (3, 4, and 5 year olds); and the Level II atrium (1st, 2nd, 3rd grades) are located in the Parish Center. The Level III atrium (4th, 5th, 6th grades) is located on the first floor of the Gleeson Building. Why not stop by to see the lovely rooms and have any questions about the program answered. This will be the last Open House of the summer. But, if you would like to see the atria at a different time, please contact Peggy Plastina, CGS Coordinator, at 708-383-3430 x 408, and we can arrange for a private tour.
  • Please consider joining us in in the atrium as a catechist. We will provide you with training and support. More thorough training will be offered in a certification course. And, the children of catechists receive a fifty percent reduction on their tuition.

Email or call any one of us with questions, or for more information.

In the peace of the Good Shepherd,


Visit the National Association of CGS website at www.cgsusa.org.