Chapter 1: God and the Child Together– The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey with Marty O’Bryan

 

“God is love” 1 John 4:7

 

This episode begins our book study on The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey. In this episode Marty O’Bryan helps us dive into chapter 1: God and the Child Together.  We discuss the two vital needs of the child, protection and relationship, and how the Good Shepherd parable meets those needs perfectly for the young child. We also discuss how the youngest child has a deep capacity to live in relationship with God.

 

Marty O’Bryan began her formation in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd with Sofia Cavalletti in 1983 and has been conducting adult formations at Levels I, II and III throughout the United States since 1991. A retired speech and language pathologist, Marty holds a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Studies with an emphasis on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd from Aquinas Institute of Theology. Currently, she works with children in Toddler, Level II and III atria in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

 

Join us in two weeks to discuss Chapter 2: Helping the Child

 

We have more information about how you can join us on this book study and resources on how to do this study with a group on our website: https://www.cgsusa.org/learn/religious-potential-of-the-child-third-edition/

 

Order your copy of the book The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey here: https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449824907

 

We will be having discussions about this book on our Facebook page: “The United States Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd”

 

Learn more about The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org

 

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“Behold, children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.”  Psalm 127:3

 

Do Children have something to teach US about God?  Can they draw US closer to the heart of God?  Pam Moore joins us on the podcast today to discuss her book, Taste and See- Savoring the Child’s Wisdom, and her years of observation of children.  She speaks about beautiful pieces of wisdom that children have shared with her over the years and how we can grow in the art of observation so that we don’t miss what they have to show us about God.

 

Pam is a retired catechist, formation leader, retreat leader, and author. However the essential tenets of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd continue to bring her joy and keep her grounded in the faithful love of our Good Shepherd. She obtained a Master’s in Theological Studies from Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL where she was able to continue contemplating the mystery of the child through a broader examination of Scripture and liturgy. Today she is writing her blank page of history by making blankets for Project Linus, a national organization that makes blankets for children in hospitals, battered women shelters, the CASA program in the courts, and other agencies. She introduced Project Linus to her Level 3 children.

 

You can order Pam’s book, Taste and See here: https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449679407

 

Join us for the next four episodes of the podcast for a book study on the book The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey.  We will be diving into the first four chapters of this beautiful book.  We have more information about how you can join us on this book study and resources on how to do this study with a group on our website: https://www.cgsusa.org/learn/religious-potential-of-the-child-third-edition/

 

Order your copy of the book The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey here: https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449824907

 

We will be having discussions about this book on our Facebook page: “The United States Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd”

 

 

 

Learn more about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org

 

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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” Jeremiah 1:5 NAB

 

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd exists to serve the religious potential of the child, even the youngest child.  In our episode today we explore who is the Infant-Toddler?  How can we serve them through The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd? How is the environment and the adult different for this aged child?  What content are we able to address to this aged child?  What mysteries about the Kingdom of God does the Infant-Toddler reveal to us? 

 

Elizabeth Calanchini joins us on the podcast today to ponder these questions and share her wisdom and experience with this aged child.

 

Elizabeth Calanchini is an AMI trained Montessori directress and guide for children ages 0-12. She is formed in 4 levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and has hosted/assisted/formed in formations of all levels on both coasts for several years.  Since 1991 she has worked in 3 different Catholic Montessori schools, most recently as both a Level 2 & 3 catechist and Director of Programs for 6 years.  In the last position she was able to continue working on toddler catechesis and was asked to offer the Toddler Breakout Sessions at the 2014 International Catechesis Celebration in Arizona. For several years she has offered 2 or 3 retreats a year to children preparing for sacraments and celebrating Lent ages 6-13. Elizabeth has consulted independently for a handful of Catholic Montessori Schools and parishes and has offered Montessori Theory and Practical Life to catechist groups.    

For several years she has been part of a team offering level 1 CGS formations for the Missionaries of Charity novices in San Francisco, CA.

 

If you would like to find formation for the Level T or Infant-Toddler atrium please go to: https://www.cgsusa.org/learn/find-a-course/?_sfm_course_level=Level%20T%20(ages%200-3)

 

You can purchase the book for our summer book study of The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey you can purchase the book at:  https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449824907

Learn more about The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org

 

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And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” ACTS 2:4

 

Fifty days after the feast of Easter, we celebrate Pentecost. This feast celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father, the birth of our Church and the gifts that God gives us to transform our lives. As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost in this unique time let us ponder together the loving gifts presented to each of us during this feast and each day of our lives.  

 

Mary Mirrione joins us today to reflect on the scripture of Pentecost, how we celebrate this feast in the atrium with children, and how we can celebrate this feast now at home with the children in our lives.  

 

Mary Mirrione began working with CGS in 1992. She and a team of catechists and parents built atria at St Anne’s in Gilbert, Arizona for their 1800 children. She has been a formation leader since 1997 serving as such at home and abroad.  She also works with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity throughout the United States and around the world.  Mary served on the Board for CGSUSA and is a graduate of the first cohort at Aquinas Institute of Theology to receive a Masters in Pastoral Studies with an emphasis in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She is a faculty member of Kino Catechetical Institute in the Diocese of Phoenix.  Since 2010, she serves as the National Director for the United States Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

 

Information on Celebrating Pentecost as a Family- https://www.cgsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/PP-Pentecost-Celebration-FINAL.pdf

 

Learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org

 

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“Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” – Luke 24:32

 

During the Easter season we often hear the story of Jesus with the disciples on the Road to Emmaus.  This is one of the resurrection narratives catechists read and discuss with children in the Levels II and III atria (6-11 year old).  This scripture offers many avenues to explore for both adults and children. Today Karen Maxwell joins us to ponder this narrative and how it parallels a catechist’s journey through formation in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

 

Karen became involved with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 1990 when her oldest daughter was four years old.   She was moved by the spiritual depth offered to the youngest children and found this approach to faith formation personally enriching as well.  She helped to begin all three levels of atria in the first church in Georgia to offer Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  She also enjoys introducing adults to this method of catechesis as a CGS formation leader.   Karen joined the staff for the United States Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2004 as Director of Formation. Her work supports formation leaders and catechists through communications, conferences, ongoing formation and resources as well as in responding to a variety of inquiries and pastoral concerns about CGS. Karen is one of two US representatives to the International Council. She also was part of the first cohort to complete a Masters in Pastoral Studies in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Aquinas Institute of Theology. Karen currently serves as a Level III catechist for a church in her area. Her children, now young adults, all were involved in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

 

Learn more about formation in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at https://www.cgsusa.org/learn/

 

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Join us in a reflection on the Parable of the Good Shepherd led by Rebekah Rojcewicz.

 

Rebekah Rojcewicz  has been a catechist serving all ages of children for thirty-eight years,  having received her formation from Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi in Rome,  Italy. Rebekah also serves Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in several capacities.  In addition to being a catechist in her parish, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, and at  the Missionaries of Charity atrium in Memphis, Rebekah is formation leader, a consultant to CGSUSA, and serves on the Giunta (Board) for the International Consiglio.

 

Rebekah has translated many of the writings of Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi and is the editor and principal author of Baptism is a Beginning. She is one of the authors of The Good Shepherd and the Child A Joyful Journey and had just completed Life on the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continues which will be published next spring. 

 

The Good Shepherd and the Child a Joyful Journey

https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449824907

 

 

The Good Shepherd Parable – John 10:3-5,11-16

 

“The sheep of the Good Shepherd listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep.  So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.  Then the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  The hired hand runs away because a hired hand cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheepfold.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.“

 

Learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org

 

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“For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” Ephesians 2:10

 

This week Angela Miller shares the story of her community in Ohio who have come together in response to the Holy Spirit to build atria, be formed, and fall more deeply in love with God together.

From the first day, it was clear to Angela that CGS was unlike anything she had ever experienced. The presence of the Good Shepherd in her own life grew and she fell in love with walking with the children and listening to the Voice of the Good Shepherd together. As a Clinical Psychologist, Angela spends her professional life confronting the deep wounds and brokenness which can plague the human person. She finds in the atrium a place where children and adults can encounter full acceptance and gain a true understanding of their value, place, and purpose in their homes, in their communities, and in the greater context of the plan of God. She feels that the sense of intentional connectedness, irreplaceable worth, and essential belonging that is the natural fruit of the atrium life is a gift of CGS to a hurting world. She offers the wealth of her training and education in psychology, as well as her extensive experience in program development, association leadership, and advocacy to CGSUSA in gratitude for God’s gift of CGS in her life and the lives of her five children.

 

Artwork Consent Form- https://www.cgsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/Consent-Form_Journal.pdf

 

Learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org

 

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When the day of the feast of Unleavened Bread arrived, the day for sacrificing the Passover lamb, he sent out Peter and John, instructing them, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” They asked him, “Where do you want us to make the preparations?”  Luke 22:7-9

 

In this time when atria sessions, catechist formation, and even liturgical gatherings are being cancelled out of the need to social distance to fight the coronavirus pandemic, we ask how will we live Easter, this holiest time of year?  How and where should we prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection this year?

 

A thoughtful gift of encouragement for catechists of the Good Shpherd recently came from CGS leaders in Rome, Francesca and Patrizia Cocchini, who sent what is called in Italian, a Foglietto or a little letter. Certainly we are aware that the coronavirus has been particularly devastating for those in Italy and so both Francesca and Patrizia have pondered the same questions we are also considering as we look to Easter. 

 

Francesca and Patrizia both spent many years as older children, adolescents, and adults with Gianna Gobbi and Sofia Cavalletti in the atria of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  Their mother, Tilde Cocchini, was a close friend of Sofia and Gianna and one of their first colleagues in their work with children.

 

Ann Garrido, a catechist and formation leader for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd shares her reflections as she ponders the question found in the passage from the Gospel of Luke 28:1-8 that Peter and John asked Jesus before the Last Supper, “How do you want us to prepare?” It is a question Christians around the world are asking as we seek to celebrate the Triduum – the holy days of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus.

 

Francesca Cocchini writes:

“This year will be the first time since the Lord celebrated his Easter, that so many of his people—we can say almost all his churches—will not be able to make it the memorial! And immediately what comes to mind for me is that question that all three Synoptic Gospels report: "Lord, where / how [pou in Greek means both things] do you want us to prepare ...?".  Alas, it will be the first time, after two thousand years, that this question will be our question, and I have asked Him to show each of us and all of us and all the churches, where and how we should celebrate. Now we must have the patience to wait.  We just have to start asking Him, but He will be the one to tell us, to tell everyone. Truly the story will not end without each of his words being fulfilled (cf. Mt 5:18). This year, for the first time, the Churches are invited to ask the question: "Lord, where do you want us to prepare...?"

 

Ann Garrido is associate professor of homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO and founding director of the school’s Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program with an emphasis on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (MAPS-CGS).  She has served as a catechist with children ages 3-12 since 1996. Ann is also a formation leader with the U.S Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for twenty-one years and a member of the association’s formation committee.  She is the author of eight books, including Mustard Seed Preaching (LTP, 2003) and A Year with Sofia Cavalletti (LTP, 2017).

 

CGSUSA COVID-19 Resources - https://www.cgsusa.org/homepage/covid-19-response/

 

Cavalletti, Sofia.  Facets of Joy: Bonds of Unity and Friendship in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Chicago: LTP, 2014)  (This is a collection of many of the Foglietti (little memos) written by Sofia Cavalletti) https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449280035

 

 Garrido, Ann. A Year with Sofia Cavalletti (Chicago: LTP, 2018)

https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449202187

 

Garrido, Ann. Let's Talk about Truth (ND: Ave Maria Press, 2020)

http://anngarrido.com/writing 

  

Thomas M. King, SJ. Teilhard's Mass: Approaches to "The Mass on the World" (NY: Paulist Press, 2005)  https://www.amazon.com/Teilhards-Mass-Approaches-World/dp/0809143283/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=teilhard+king&qid=1585407083&sr=8-7

 

Heschel, Abraham Joshua. The Sabbath.  (NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005)

 

Learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org

 

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"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken                                                             

nor my covenant of peace be removed,
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. 

All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and great will be their peace."

Isaiah 54: 10,13 

 

Our lives are in a very unique place with the Coronavirus pandemic flooding the world. As Christians how do we respond to such a time?  We have an opportunity to respond with hope and prayer. May the child lead us to a response of overwhelming thanksgiving to the abundance of gifts that surround us that maybe we are normally too busy to see. May we silence ourselves enough to be able to hear God whisper our name.  Gianna Gobbi says, “Silence is a necessary means of listening to and responding to God... This is the greatest help to the child in becoming aware of and mastering his or her own actions.”  May we embrace this opportunity to walk towards God leading others in our lives towards Him as well.

 

 

The Sound of Silence: https://www.cgsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/All-About-the-Atrium_Silence_In-The-Home.pdf

 

COVID for Families - https://www.cgsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/Covid-19-for-Families.pdf

 

Preparing a Prayer Space at Home - https://www.cgsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/Preparing-a-Prayer-Space-at-Home-2020.pdf

 

CGSUSA response and information regarding COVID 19

https://www.cgsusa.org/homepage/covid-19-response/

 

Learn more about The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org

 

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“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”  Revelation 21:1-2 NAB

Why is exploring the geography of Jesus’ life important for the child’s spiritual journey? Can pondering biblical geography help us understand that Jesus was a real man in time and place?

Julie Baltuska shares with us her pilgrimage to the Holy Land and how it moved her spiritually to see, touch, experience the humanity of Jesus by standing where He stood.  Throughout her trip she took many pictures she was able to use to help children in the atrium see that the places we lift up are real places on earth they can visit.  She later made these pictures into three books for anyone to use in their atria to aid the child’s understanding of Jesus in the land of Israel.  Find more information about the three Land of Israel books:

"The Land of Israel"  https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.616898457

"Regions of Israel"   https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.616889217

"The City of Jerusalem"   https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.616913841

In the method of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd we use geography to aid the understanding of Jesus’ incarnation and humanity.  By seeing that the places mentioned in the Bible are real places we can better contemplate the mystery of God, who is outside of time and space, humbling himself to dwell with us in time and space. 

Julie Baltuska is a catechist and formation leader for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas.  She received catechist formation in all three CGS levels and has served children in all three age groups.  She particularly enjoys leading Level III catechist formation and is extremely proud that five additional members of her family are CGS catechists. (mother, brother, sister-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and granddaughter who is currently in Level 1 formation.  Soon a sister will begin Level 1 catechist formation as well.) Julie has served on the board of directors for the SonFlower regional association of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. 

Julie holds a theology degree from Rockhurst University. She is married, the mother of seven children, and grandmother of nine. In her “retirement” from being a full-time mother of little ones, Julie has become fairly fluent in Spanish, is beginning to dabble in the arts (sculpture and pastels), and still dreams of learning to play the piano!

 

Learn more about The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org

Follow us on Social Media-

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