June 26, 2024 at 11:48 a.m.

A ‘GOOD SHEPHERD’

Interactive, hands-on catechesis training coming to the Albany Diocese
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an interactive, hands-on approach for children to learn the Catholic faith that is taught at St. Pius X School in Loudonville. (Photo provided)
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an interactive, hands-on approach for children to learn the Catholic faith that is taught at St. Pius X School in Loudonville. (Photo provided) (Courtesy photo of primero)

By Emily Benson | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Passing on the Catholic faith to the next generation is one of the most exciting and vital branches of a Catholic family’s calling. How important it is then that these lessons of our faith be informative, engaging and fun for kids. 

To help tackle this goal, St. Pius X School in Loudonville has partnered with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), a Catholic faith-formation association that adapts an interactive, hands-on approach to teaching the faith.

The school began offering CGS for the 2022-23 school year, and is now closing in on its second year with it. Andrea Reno, who leads CGS at St. Pius, has already seen a positive response from students.

Andrea Reno teaches Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, an interactive, hands-on approach for children (see photos below) to learn the Catholic faith, at St. Pius X School in Loudonville. (Photos provided)

“Teachers have told me, ‘My class comes out of there and they’re so calm,’ ” Reno said. “The goal is not to be taxing on them. They really want to be there and the children really love it.”

Now other adults and faith formation leaders can learn about the CGS method at an upcoming Level 1 training July 7-13. The training will be held at St. George’s Episcopal Church (912 Rt. 146 in Clifton Park), which will co-host with St. Pius X School.

The program offers three levels for catechists: Level I for students ages 3-6, Level II for students ages 6-9, and Level III for students ages 9-12. The upcoming Level 1 training is offered as a retreat-like course that engages the adults with interactive teachings of Scripture, liturgy, theology and prayer, similar to how they would be supporting the needs of spiritual growth of young children.

Reno first encountered CGS as a child, learning about the Catholic faith as a student of the program. When her family moved to the Albany Diocese, she knew she wanted the same for her son and started working on becoming a trainer. Now a CGS course assistant, Reno is trained in Levels I, II, and III.

“Something about this method, instead of being tossed a workbook and being told to go teach the kids, adults are expected to take a rather intensive training course,” explained Reno. “But it’s like going to a retreat. You see all the presentations and meditations on the parts of the Mass or the parables as they’re given to the children and all the background content. It’s a new way to think about these essential Christian messages.”

Founded in Rome, Italy, in the 1950s by Dr. Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi, CGS has since spread worldwide, with member associations in Australia, Colombia, Germany, Mexico and the U.S.

Reno leads two groups at St. Pius: a Level I class for pre-K students and Level II for students in first grade. Once a week, students visit the CGS classroom on top of their regular religion courses. The space setup, known as the atrium, is the hands-on area where children can interact with the models while being guided through their experience.

“They just love it,” she said. “They’re so sad to leave. I feel like I have the best job. I get to spend time with children and their enjoyment of God. It’s all the joy and awe and wonder.”

Inside the St. Pius atrium, there are models of the church altar, with a model chalice, altar clothes, and a purificator so students can learn the names of objects used at Mass, and a model of Jesus and The Last Supper. 

The program also uses real excerpts from Scripture in the teachings rather than lesson books paraphrasing “to really put the word of God before children,” Reno said. 

“I think when you fall in love with someone it’s harder to leave, so when that someone is God, I think that definitely helped me never leave the faith through my teen or adulthood years,” Reno said. “But it’s really a neat thing to see children falling in love with God and making those connections or having those moments of awe and wonder. To have those moments of God is so good.”

To learn more about the upcoming training, contact Andrea Reno at [email protected] or Gaby Gastelum at [email protected]. For more information on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, visit https://www.cgsusa.org. 


Comments:

You must login to comment.

250 X 250 AD
250 X 250 AD

Events

July

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.

250 X 250 AD