SFA Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Trainings

The process of becoming a certified Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Catechist is intense and beautiful. Each adult who seeks certification must attend approximately 16 days of training by a CGSUSA certified Formation Leader who has, at minimum, 8-12 years of experience in CGS. While it sounds intimidating to take on such a time commitment, adults who attend come away feeling that it was more than worth their time and energy. Many feel that they learn more than the children do because of the depth and richness of the adult courses.

Our parish started the construction of the St. Dominic Savio Formation Center which will house a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium Center, complete with a quiet gathering space, private bathroom, and 6 dedicated atria. Part of this building project includes training our catechists.

El proceso de convertirse en una Catequista Certificada del Buen Pastor es intenso y hermoso. Cada adulto que busque la certificación debe asistir a aproximadamente 16 días de capacitación impartida por un líder de formación certificado por CGSUSA que tenga, como mínimo, entre 8 y 12 años de experiencia en CGS. Aunque suene intimidante asumir tal compromiso de tiempo, los adultos que asisten se van sintiendo que valió la pena su tiempo y energía. Muchos sienten que aprenden más que los niños debido a la profundidad y riqueza de los cursos para adultos.

Nuestra parroquia comenzó la construcción del Centro de Formación St. Dominic Savio, que albergará un Centro Atrio de Catequesis del Buen Pastor, completo con un espacio de reunión tranquilo, baño privado y 6 atrios dedicados. Parte de este proyecto de construcción incluye la formación de nuestros catequistas.

Upcoming Training/ Próximo Entrenamiento

2022-2023 Spanish Training – Entrenamiento en Español

Formation Course for Catechists of children 3 to 6 years old in Spanish

Course ID: #1-2097

Dates & Schedule

Sessions are Saturday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

2022: September 17th & 18th, November 5th & 6th.

2023: Jan 28th & 29th, March 11th & 12th, May 20th & 21, June 24th & 25th, July 8th & 9th.

Location 

St Francis of Assisi, Grapevine, Texas

 

Tuition & Registration 

Tuition & Registration for Part A & B $400.

To register, fill out the form below for each one of the attendees and make a check to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Send the registration forms and check to 861 Wildwood Lane, Grapevine, TX 76051.

Curso de Formación para Catequistas de niños de 3 a 6 años en Español

N. Curso: #1-2097

Días y horario

Las sesiones serán Sábado de 8:00 am a 5:00 pm y Domingo de 8:00 am a 4:00 pm.

2022: Septiembre 17 y 18, Noviembre 5 y 6.

2023: Enero 28 y 29, Marzo 11 y 12, Mayo 20 y 21, Junio 24 y 25, Julio 8 y 9. 

Lugar

St Francis of Assisi, Grapevine, Texas

 

Inscripción y Registro

Inscripción y registro para Parte A y B $400.

Para registrarse, complete el siguiente formulario para cada uno de los asistentes y haga un cheque a nombre de St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Envíe los formularios de inscripción y el cheque a 861 Wildwood Lane, Grapevine, TX 76051.

For more information or donations to help support our bilingual trainer’s costs, please contact our Director of Children’s Catechesis:

Jackie Bedore // 817-481-2685  // [email protected] 

Formation Leader / Guía Formadora: Patricia Verduzco

Patricia began his training 18 years ago. She took the 3 levels in English and Spanish, as well as courses on Salvation History, Bible, The Life of Saint Paul, Introduction to the Faith, Fundamental Evangelization, among others. She has participated in the translations of the support material for conferences of CGSUSA. In 2017, she took the “CGS Cavalletti Heritage” course at the Aquinas Institute of Theology and has attended first-level formators training courses in the city of Atlanta, GA., and in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico. She has taken observation workshops in Montessori schools in order to strengthen the Montessori part and practical life within the atrium. Since 2018, she has supported the CGSUSA Spanish-speaking committee in the translation of materials. She has been a Level 1 trainer, since 2015 and the Director of CBP at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Laredo TX for 12 years.

Comenzó su formación hace 18 años. Tomo los 3 niveles en Inglés y Español, además de cursos de Historia de la Salvación,  Biblia , La vida de San Pablo, Introducción a la  Fe, Evangelización Fundamental, entre otros. Ha participado en las traducciones del material de apoyo de conferencias de la Asociación Nacional. En el 2017 tomó el curso de “CGS Cavalletti Heritage” en Aquinas Institute of Theology y ha asistido a cursos de formación para formadoras de primer nivel, en la ciudad de Atlanta, GA. y en la ciudad de Guadalajara, México. Ha tomado talleres de observación en escuelas Montessori para poder fortalecer la parte Montessoriana y de vida práctica dentro del atrio. Desde 2018 apoya al comité de habla española de CGSUSA en la traducción de materiales. Es formadora de Nivel 1,  desde el 2015. Es la directora de CBP en St. Patrick Catholic Church, Laredo TX desde hace 12 años.

The Methodology & Frequently Asked Questions

METHODOLOGY

The Content

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is based on two pillars: Scripture and Liturgy. The adult and child immerse themselves in Scripture to ponder who God is, His love for us, His Kingdom, and how we are to live in that Kingdom. By lifting up specific aspects of the Liturgy for the child, the adult helps them to understand the depth of the Mass and to better participate in the life of the Church that Jesus Himself founded.

The Unique Space

In Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, the space in which the children gather plays a pivotal role unlike the traditional classroom environment. While a traditional classroom is merely a place in which a subject is taught, the CGS environment, called an atrium, fully immerses the children into the content through beautiful materials which are designed to engage the child’s senses, minds, and hearts. The atrium is designed to be a place of prayerful contemplation of God and His love for us.

The Unique Method

 In Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, the adult doesn’t “teach” the children. Instead, the adult invites the children to hear Scripture and to work with materials to help the child enter into deeper meditation on the truths of God and His unending love for us which is revealed in the Bible.  The adult aids the child in meditation by asking questions designed to encourage deeper reflection.  The child’s time of reflection and meditation continues beyond the initial presentation as they work with the materials. Their work helps them come to a greater understanding of God and their relationship with Him on their own timetable – rather than the adult’s.  In CGS, the catechist is keenly aware that the Holy Spirit is the true teacher and that He is present in the space, the catechist, and the child. The catechist is merely His instrument. 

FAQS

What does the word “catechesis” mean?

The word “catechesis” is often defined as oral instruction given to catechumens (those preparing for baptism). It is from a Greek word, related to the word “to teach,” and means “resounding” or “echoing down.” It refers to the passing on of the truths of our faith. Though most of the children we serve are baptized in infancy and are not actually catechumens, their catechesis has been delayed until the earliest ages at which they can participate in it.

Why is it called the Atrium?

In the early Church, the atrium or porch was the area that people new to the Faith studied and learned prior to becoming full members of the Church.  The atrium was a place of learning and exploration which is why we take that name for the prepared space we have created for the child to explore and learn about their Faith. 

Why is it so quiet in there? Why are the lights dimmed?

The Atrium is a place of prayer where we listen closely to God’s voice. As we remind the children, sometimes God doesn’t speak to us in words that we can hear with our ears. Sometimes He speaks to our hearts so we must be very quiet to hear Him speak to us. 

The quiet of the Atrium helps the child and the adult enter into a mindset of peace, calm, and prayer so that their time in the space can be used to reflect on God’s Word in Scripture and His Church through the Liturgy. 

Sometimes, the lights in an atrium are dimmed in order to help provide a calm atmosphere in which we can enter into prayer and meditation. 

Why are the children (pouring beans, polishing silver, folding cloths, cleaning tables)?

By working with their hands in a focused and concentrated way, the child learns control of their body and their mind.  They gain in focus and concentration as well as in control of their own will.  These abilities are essential to enter into prayer and meditation.  So, all of the works of the child that look, from the outside, like busy work, are actually essential foundation to a life of prayer and self-control. 

Why does the teacher (catechist) talk so softly?

The adult (catechist) speaks softly in the Atrium in order to encourage an atmosphere of peace and prayer for the child.  In a world that is often fast and loud, the Atrium provides a place of calm where we can slow down enough to ponder the vastness of God and His endless love for us. 

What does a child learn in the CGS Atrium?

The child learns so much in the atrium! From the foundational skills of self-control and concentration which helps them enter into prayer, to Scripture and Liturgy, the child enters into the Atrium to come to know God and His Church through God’s Words in Scripture and God’s Church in Liturgy.  In a Level I Atrium (for ages 3-6), the child learns the vestments of the priest and their names, the articles (such as the chalice and paten) and gestures (such as epiclesis and offering) of the Mass.  They learn the geography of the land of Israel and the scriptures narratives of Jesus’s Annunciation, birth, and early life. They also learn some of the parables of the Kingdom of God that Jesus gave the disciples to help us to know what it is like to live in God’s Kingdom and what a wonderful kingdom it is! 

Why do you teach the children this way?

The method used in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd shows a deep respect for and knowledge of the child and their needs.  It honors the child and their ability to know and love God at an early age rather than waiting until the child is an adolescent to give them the richness of our Faith.   

How does someone become a catechist (teacher)?

The process to become a certified CGS Catechist is intense and beautiful. Each adult who seeks certification, must attend approximately 16 days of training by a CGSUSA certified Formation Leader who has, at minimum, 8-12 years of experience in CGS.  While it sounds intimidating to take on such a time commitment, adults who attend come away feeling that it was more than worth their time and energy. Many feel that they learn more than the children do because of the depth and richness of the adult courses. 

How can I participate in this program as an adult helper?

Adults can help our program in many ways. Those who are interested, can attend a training course during the summer to become certified to lead an atrium.  Others who may not be able to commit their time in that way, can assist a trained catechist in the atrium by attending our parish training for CGS assistants. Those who want to help but aren’t feeling called to work in the atrium at this time, can assist the adults in the space by volunteering as bathroom monitors and escorting children to the bathroom during their atrium session. 

NOTE: All adults and teens who volunteer in any capacity at our parish must complete our diocesan Safe Environment Awareness training in addition to completing and passing a background check. 

I can’t volunteer in the Atrium. How else can I help the CGS program at St. Francis?

Volunteers are needed to help make materials for the Atrium, to launder washcloths and other cloth materials, and to help maintain and clean the atrium spaces.

What ages do you accept in the Atria at St. Francis?

Currently, the CGS program at St. Francis serves all children in our community ages 3-7. In addition, we have recently started expansion of our program to include some children in 2nd and 3rd grades with plans to continue that expansion until all 3-9 year olds are in CGS.  Our hope is to continue expansion of this program to eventually include 9-12 year olds in the future. 

METODOLOGÍA

El Contenido

La catequesis del Buen Pastor se basa en dos pilares: la Escritura y la Liturgia. El adulto y el niño se sumergen en las Escrituras para reflexionar sobre quién es Dios, Su amor por nosotros, Su Reino y cómo debemos vivir en ese Reino. Al resaltar aspectos específicos de la Liturgia para el niño, el adulto lo ayuda a comprender la profundidad de la Misa y a participar mejor en la vida de la Iglesia que Jesús mismo fundó.

El Ambiente

En la Catequesis del Buen Pastor, el espacio en el que se reúnen los niños juega un papel fundamental a diferencia del entorno tradicional del aula. Mientras que un salón de clases tradicional es simplemente un lugar en el que se enseña una materia, el entorno de CGS, llamado atrio, sumerge completamente a los niños en el contenido a través de hermosos materiales que están diseñados para involucrar los sentidos, las mentes y los corazones de los niños. El atrio está diseñado para ser un lugar de contemplación orante de Dios y su amor por nosotros.

El Método

En la Catequesis del Buen Pastor, el adulto no “enseña” a los niños. En cambio, el adulto invita a los niños a escuchar las Escrituras y trabajar con materiales para ayudar al niño a entrar en una meditación más profunda sobre las verdades de Dios y Su amor infinito por nosotros que se revela en la Biblia. El adulto ayuda al niño en la meditación haciéndole preguntas diseñadas para fomentar una reflexión más profunda. El tiempo de reflexión y meditación del niño continúa más allá de la presentación inicial mientras trabaja con los materiales. Su trabajo les ayuda a llegar a una mayor comprensión de Dios y su relación con Él en su propio horario, en lugar del de los adultos. En CGS, el catequista es muy consciente de que el Espíritu Santo es el verdadero maestro y que Él está presente en el espacio, el catequista y el niño. El catequista es meramente Su instrumento.

PREGUNTAS FRECUENTES

¿Qué significa la palabra “catequesis”?

La palabra “catequesis” a menudo se define como instrucción oral dada a los catecúmenos (aquellos que se preparan para el bautismo). Proviene de una palabra griega, relacionada con la palabra “enseñar”, y significa “resonante” o “haciendo eco”. Se refiere a la transmisión de las verdades de nuestra fe. Aunque la mayoría de los niños a los que servimos son bautizados en la infancia y en realidad no son catecúmenos, su catequesis se ha retrasado hasta las edades más tempranas en las que pueden participar en ella.

Why is it called the Atrium?

In the early Church, the atrium or porch was the area that people new to the Faith studied and learned prior to becoming full members of the Church.  The atrium was a place of learning and exploration which is why we take that name for the prepared space we have created for the child to explore and learn about their Faith. 

Why is it so quiet in there? Why are the lights dimmed?

The Atrium is a place of prayer where we listen closely to God’s voice. As we remind the children, sometimes God doesn’t speak to us in words that we can hear with our ears. Sometimes He speaks to our hearts so we must be very quiet to hear Him speak to us. 

The quiet of the Atrium helps the child and the adult enter into a mindset of peace, calm, and prayer so that their time in the space can be used to reflect on God’s Word in Scripture and His Church through the Liturgy. 

Sometimes, the lights in an atrium are dimmed in order to help provide a calm atmosphere in which we can enter into prayer and meditation. 

Why are the children (pouring beans, polishing silver, folding cloths, cleaning tables)?

By working with their hands in a focused and concentrated way, the child learns control of their body and their mind.  They gain in focus and concentration as well as in control of their own will.  These abilities are essential to enter into prayer and meditation.  So, all of the works of the child that look, from the outside, like busy work, are actually essential foundation to a life of prayer and self-control. 

Why does the teacher (catechist) talk so softly?

The adult (catechist) speaks softly in the Atrium in order to encourage an atmosphere of peace and prayer for the child.  In a world that is often fast and loud, the Atrium provides a place of calm where we can slow down enough to ponder the vastness of God and His endless love for us. 

What does a child learn in the CGS Atrium?

The child learns so much in the atrium! From the foundational skills of self-control and concentration which helps them enter into prayer, to Scripture and Liturgy, the child enters into the Atrium to come to know God and His Church through God’s Words in Scripture and God’s Church in Liturgy.  In a Level I Atrium (for ages 3-6), the child learns the vestments of the priest and their names, the articles (such as the chalice and paten) and gestures (such as epiclesis and offering) of the Mass.  They learn the geography of the land of Israel and the scriptures narratives of Jesus’s Annunciation, birth, and early life. They also learn some of the parables of the Kingdom of God that Jesus gave the disciples to help us to know what it is like to live in God’s Kingdom and what a wonderful kingdom it is! 

Why do you teach the children this way?

The method used in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd shows a deep respect for and knowledge of the child and their needs.  It honors the child and their ability to know and love God at an early age rather than waiting until the child is an adolescent to give them the richness of our Faith.   

How does someone become a catechist (teacher)?

The process to become a certified CGS Catechist is intense and beautiful. Each adult who seeks certification, must attend approximately 16 days of training by a CGSUSA certified Formation Leader who has, at minimum, 8-12 years of experience in CGS.  While it sounds intimidating to take on such a time commitment, adults who attend come away feeling that it was more than worth their time and energy. Many feel that they learn more than the children do because of the depth and richness of the adult courses. 

How can I participate in this program as an adult helper?

Adults can help our program in many ways. Those who are interested, can attend a training course during the summer to become certified to lead an atrium.  Others who may not be able to commit their time in that way, can assist a trained catechist in the atrium by attending our parish training for CGS assistants. Those who want to help but aren’t feeling called to work in the atrium at this time, can assist the adults in the space by volunteering as bathroom monitors and escorting children to the bathroom during their atrium session. 

NOTE: All adults and teens who volunteer in any capacity at our parish must complete our diocesan Safe Environment Awareness training in addition to completing and passing a background check. 

I can’t volunteer in the Atrium. How else can I help the CGS program at St. Francis?

Volunteers are needed to help make materials for the Atrium, to launder washcloths and other cloth materials, and to help maintain and clean the atrium spaces.

What ages do you accept in the Atria at St. Francis?

Currently, the CGS program at St. Francis serves all children in our community ages 3-7. In addition, we have recently started expansion of our program to include some children in 2nd and 3rd grades with plans to continue that expansion until all 3-9 year olds are in CGS.  Our hope is to continue expansion of this program to eventually include 9-12 year olds in the future.