“He said to them, ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

 

Meagan Hofman joins the podcast today to help me share our story of how God helped us build an atrium in Haiti. 

 

Meagan Hofman is president and founder of The Reveye Initiative, a non profit school in rural Haiti. The mission of Reveye is to awaken joy and wonder in education in Haiti. Meagan is trained in level 1 of CGS and has worked in atriums both in Haiti and in St. Louis. She is a former elementary school teacher and has a passion for education and mission work. Meagan lives in St. Louis with her husband and 5 month old son working to build their own little domestic church.

 

For more information about Reveye:

http://www.thereveyeinitiative.com/

 

Or to see pictures of our atrium and CGS “to the streets”:

https://www.instagram.com/reveyehaiti/

 

Join us for our Summer Book Study of the first few chapters of Life in the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continues!  Purchase the book here: https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.1178214665

 

June 23rd Episode we will be covering Chapter 1 and 2 with Rebekah

July 7th Episode we will be covering Chapter 3 with Anna Hurdle

 

Learn more about the book in Episode 26: https://www.cgsusa.org/episode-26/

Listen to Rebekah discuss chapter 7 on Moral Life in the Kingdom of God in Episode 33: https://www.cgsusa.org/episode-33/

 

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

 

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Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?  Acts 2:8

¿Cómo es que cada uno de nosotros los escuchamos en nuestra propia lengua? Hechos  2:8

 

Our experiences with children in the atrium show us a place where we can live a contemplative life with greater intention, permeated with an awareness of how to live as Sofia writes, "the whole of one's life," contemplatively. We, as catechists in the atrium, have the responsibility to help the child live their relationship with God with “the whole of one’s life.” In the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, we give the child time and space for prayer to develop this relationship.  We recognize that we need to be using the child’s familiar language, their “mother tongue.” A bilingual environment takes a fundamental role in the prayer life of a child, where the child can live the contemplative life with greater understanding and intention.

 

Lourdes Santiago Vazquez joins us today to speak about our how we can assist the how we can be sensitive to in serving the child who is bi-lingual and what we need to consider in preparing a bilingual environment and the adults who will serve there so that we can work together as one community with two or more languages.

 

Lourdes began her work in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 1991 as a volunteer with the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. She helped to build the bilingual Atrium at St Anne’s in Gilbert AZ and welcomed many families and children at home and abroad.  Lourdes works with all three levels of children and is a formation Leader in English and in Spanish. She has a bachelor’s degree from the State University of Phoenix, and holds a master’s degree in Theology from the Graduate Theological Foundation from South Bend, Indiana. She has served as a missionary in Honduras, Peru, The Philippines and Western Europe with the Missionaries of Charity. Lourdes continues to coordinate CGS in Spanish at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Gilbert, Arizona. She joined the staff of the National Association in 2006 and works as the coordinator for those  in Spanish and bilingual communities. .Lourdes is from Puerto Rico.  She has been a resident of Arizona since 1989.

 

This summer CGSUSA will hold a Zoom Servant Song Retreat regarding this "Child of Many Languages." This time apart will give you an opportunity to refresh yourself in prayerful reflection on the Gifts of the Spirit as they guide our understanding of the child who is bilingual. You are invited to share your experiences, listen to others' experiences and exchange ideas on serving bi-lingual or multi-lingual children in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium.  As an association, we seek to bring our member catechists together for conversation in order to understand the needs of bilingual children who participate in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as well as the communities they are in so that as catechists we are better able to serve our children. 

 

This Zoom event will be presented in both English and Spanish.  We will have translators interpreting both languages so it will be important for you to let us know when you register whether you prefer English or Spanish.  We invite everyone to join us for a zoom version of this retreat on July 23-24. The event will be translated into both Spanish and English.  You can find more information on our website at this link: 

http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vpagyjlab&oeidk=a07ehzgwu2l7eedf0b3

 

You can read more on our website here: https://www.cgsusa.org/event/the-child-of-many-languages-el-nino-de-muchas-lenguas-2021/

 

Join us for our Summer Book Study of the first few chapters of Life in the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continues!  Purchase the book here: https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.1178214665

 

Learn more about the book in Episode 26: https://www.cgsusa.org/episode-26/

Listen to Rebekah discuss chapter 7 on Moral Life in the Kingdom of God in Episode 33: https://www.cgsusa.org/episode-33/

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

 

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“The unfolding of your words gives light.” Psalm 119:130A

Spiritual direction is, “help given by one believer to another that enables the latter to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.” (The Practice of Spiritual Direction by William A. Barry and William J. Connolly)

In Catechesis of the Good Shepherd we say that the catechist is not the teacher but Christ is.  In both Spiritual Direction and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd we respect the primary role of God communicating to the individual and each person’s unique response.  Autumn Domingue joins the podcast today to speak about this beautiful ministry of Spiritual Direction and its parallels to our work with children in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

Autumn Domingue is a spiritual director, formation leader and Life Coach, whose greatest joy is journeying with those searching for greater meaning and purpose in their lives. In addition to her private practice, Autumn serves on two teams forming new spiritual directors and works as a national formation leader for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd; a Montessori based religious education movement that seeks to honor the contemplative spiritual nature of the child. In her free time, Autumn enjoys yoga, painting, playing with her grandchildren, and taking long walks along the river at the summer camp where she resides. Autumn would love to hear from you and can be reached through email at autumn@autumndomingue.com or through her website at autumndomingue.com where you can also schedule a complimentary spiritual direction or life coaching session.

 

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

 

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“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” John 15:4

 

For True Vine Sunday, we hear the beautiful parable of the True Vine. In this parable, we find that Jesus has invited us to a relationship that is even closer that the relationship between the Shepherd and his sheep. He is the Vine, we are the branches, so close, sharing the same risen life.  And it is His Father, the Vinedresser who is the one taking care of the True Vine and all the branches.  We are called to remain and then we know we will bear fruit.  Rebekah Rojcewicz referred to this parable as the  “linchpin” parable for children nine to twelve,  in her book “Life in the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continues.”   What this means is that from these two parables everything that we do in our atria, and therefore in our spiritual lives, we are able to build off from these two parables. Over the last 60+ years in the atria the children have revealed to us the importance of these two parables in all of our spiritual lives.

 

We have invited Tim Bell to join us on the podcast today to speak about his work tending vines to shed new light on this important parable.

 

Tim Bell has received formation in all levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, including participation in the seminal Infant-Toddler formation in Wales.  He has primarily served as a level 3 catechist in St. Helena, CA.  His wife, Jennifer Bell, is a catechist and formation leader, and his daughter, Emma, has also served as a level 1 catechist.  Tim also was blessed with the opportunity to assist his wife at a level 1 formation in Rome given to the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity in 2019.

 

Tim's vocation is winemaker.  He has made wine in Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, and the Central Coast of California.  Currently he is winemaker at Dry Creek Vineyard.  You can find some of the fruits of his labor at www.drycreekvineyard.com.  Tim and Jennifer live in Santa Rosa, CA, and love immersing themselves in nature, especially when paddling their kayaks.

 

Links to purchase the following books

 

Life in the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continues:  https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.1178214665

 

Ways to Nurture the Relationship with God:  https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449804387

 

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

 

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April 14, 2021

Baptism with Donna Turner

“When we were baptized, we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so
that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new
life. If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his
resurrection.” Romans 6:4-5

Baptism is a beautifully dense sacrament with layers of signs and meaning. There are
ample connections and “golden threads” that we can find throughout scripture. Like
many themes we reflect on in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, we could have an in-depth study just on this sacrament alone. Donna Turner joins us on the podcast today to begin to scratch the surface of this layered and beautiful sacrament.

Donna Turner has been involved in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd since 1994. She has been a catechist of children of all ages, most particularly serving as a Level III catechist for the past 21 years. In addition to being a catechist at her parish, St. Philip Episcopal Church in Memphis, she is also a catechist at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Dyersburg, TN. Donna serves CGSUSA as a member of the Formation Committee, Episcopal Committee, and Methodist Committee. She is a wife and mother and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her first grandchild in May.

Get a copy of Baptism is a Beginning (Bautismo es un Comienzo) from our eStore:
https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.phpref=628.0.
449237007

If you would like a copy of The Religious Potential of the Child, the Third Edition, by
Sofia Cavalletti you can find it in the follow link. Chapter 5 specifically speaks about
Baptism.
https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.708804039

Remember that every purchase from our CGSUSA eStore has a purpose! Our eStore
helps financially support the work of CGSUSA and we appreciate our loyal customers!

Learn more about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org
 
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Shepherd”
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“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” John 12:24

We have entered into Holy Week and are about to encounter the culmination of our faith and the Good Shepherd’s total gift of self within the Paschal Mystery. Carolyn Kohlhaas joins us to ponder this great mystery and how it is celebrated in all three levels of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

Carolyn Kohlhaas is a catechist and formation leader for CGS at all three levels of formation as well as an AMI certified Montessori guide for children ages 3-12. She holds an undergraduate degree in theology and religious education from Franciscan University of Steubenville and a master’s degree in Elementary Montessori Education from Loyola University, Maryland. Carolyn works with area parishes in their implementation of CGS.

Look at the Light Words on Loss and Love from Sofia Cavalletti:
https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.596006323

The Religious Potential of the Child 3 rd Edition-
https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.708804039

Parent Page link-

https://www.cgsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Paschal-Mystery-and-the-Elementary-Child.pdf

Learn more about formation in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at https://www.cgsusa.org/learn/
 
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“You shall love the lord, your God, with all your hear and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Matthew 22:37

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:39

 

The lovely Rebekah Rojcewicz joins us again on the podcast to dive into the rich topic of the Moral Life as we present it in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  She lifts up the importance of our “doing” being in response to God’s love.  She speaks about the need for falling in love and receiving the gifts from God as a necessary foundation to moral life.  From this solid base the older child (9-12) is able to respond to God’s gift by discovering how they can work for God’s kingdom.  She lifts up how the children have guided us over and over again to the essential truth that enjoying the relationship comes before forming our moral life and participating in building the Kingdom of God.

 

Rebekah is a catechist and formation leader in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd having completed her training in 1981 in Rome with Dr. Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi. She has translated several of their books and articles from the original Italian and has written and edited various parts of the CGS core texts. Rebekah is a catechist at her parish, St. Patrick Catholic Church, and for the Missionaries of Charity atrium in Memphis, Tennessee. She serves on the formation committee of CGSUSA, as well as on the International Board for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

 

To pre-order your copy of Life in the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continues today! 

 

Listen to another episode with Rebekah:

Episode 26: Life in the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continue with Rebekah Rojcewicz

https://www.cgsusa.org/episode-26/

Episode 10: Reflection on the Parable of the Good Shepherd Led by Rebekah Rojcewicz

https://www.cgsusa.org/episode-10/

Episode 2: God and the Child with Rebekah Rojcewicz

https://www.cgsusa.org/episode-2/

 

 

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

 

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March 3, 2021

A Priest in the Atrium

A Priest in the Atrium

 

“He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you" Luke 22:15

 

In 2014, 600 catechists from 22 countries came together in the desert of Arizona to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  Many talks and stories were shared throughout the week together.  Today we share with you a talk from Fr Giancarlo Pani, S.J, on what he remembers about being a priest in the atrium with Sofia, Gianna, and the children at the original atrium in Rome.

 

Fr Giancarlo is the Deputy Director of  Civiltà Cattolic and the Docent of Modern History of Christianity at “La Sapienza” of the University of Rome, serving on the faculty of Literature and Philosophy. He first met Sofia in 1971, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in which she served as a guide. Father Giancarlo became a priest in 1974 and then, in 1976, began a collaboration with Sofia and Gianna at the atrium of Via degli Orsini in Rome.  In addition to celebrating Mass throughout the atrium year, he heard the confessions of the children and assisted with the retreat and celebration of their First Communion. 

 

If you would like to purchase the USB of the talk recordings from the 2014 Anniversary Celebration go to: https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/category.php?ref=628.0.336240701

 If you put in the code PODCAST you will receive $5 off your jump drive.

 

You can also read Fr​. Giancarlo’s words in the 2016 journal:

https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449065119

 

As well as the 2014-2018 Compilation journal:

https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.783442583

 

You can read Fr. Giancarlos's important article on the foundations of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, recently published in La Civiltà Cattolic, a highly respected digital Catholic journal from the Vatican in Rome that reviews present issues alive in the Church and the Church scholars interpreting the history, politics, culture, science, and art in the light of the Christian faith. It was also published in “Avvenire,” the Italian daily newspaper of The Italian Episcopal Conference.  https://www.cgsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/Catechesis-of-the-Good-Shepherd-Fr-Giancarlo-Pani-SJ-August-2020.pdf

 

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

 

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“Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12-13)

The first reading from the liturgy of Ash Wednesday from Joel, invites us deeply into the season of Lent.  We are called to return to God with all our hearts.  The words “even now” allow us to reflect on the gift that it is still not too late to turn our hearts to the Lord, especially during this season of Lent.

Mary Heinrich joins the podcast today to share her reflections on this scripture as we prepare our hearts for the season of Lent.  

Mary Heinrich began her journey with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2001 when her daughter was three years old.  She has been trained in all three levels of the catechesis, and is a formation leader throughout the United States, working primarily in Level I and Level II courses.  She works in the atrium at St. Augustin Catholic Church in Des Moines, Iowa and St. Pius X Catholic Church in Urbandale, Iowa.  Her involvement as catechist and formation leader has been a gift for her.

Mary has served as a Director of Faith Formation in the Catholic Church for twenty-nine years, as well as a consultant and editor for religious education publishers.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and a master’s degree in Pastoral Studies in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri.  Mary has served as Chair of the Board of the United States Association, and she has served on the Membership Committee, TLM Fund Committee and the LEAVEN Committee.

Her husband, Kurt is a permanent deacon and teaches theology at the local Catholic high school, is a Level One catechist, and enjoys making materials for the atrium.  Their daughter, Clare, is a Level One catechist and enjoys working in the atrium. When not immersed in CGS, Mary enjoys reading, art and spending time with her family.

Morning Lenten Reflection – https://www.cgsusa.org/reserved-content/

Learn more about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at www.cgsusa.org
 
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“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

Freedom and Discipline are two words usually used as opposites and yet they are at the heart of the Montessori method and our work in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  Maria Montessori believed that true discipline comes from within and that freedom is the ability to accept rules without being limited by them.  The purposeful work that we offer in our environments that leads to concentration and then is followed by the opportunity to make choices and then subsequently develops the will, feeds independence, and results in freedom.  Discipline is not the idea of “training people to obey rules” but more about self-discipline.  It comes from within the child rather than imposed externally. 

 

The art of applying Freedom and Discipline in the atrium, classroom, or our homes can be tricky as we encounter children of different needs or different emotional states from day to day.  Claire Paglia joins us on the podcast today to speak about Montessori’s philosophy of Freedom and Discipline and its application with children.  

 

Claire Paglia was a child of the atrium. As an adult, she is an AMI-trained guide who has been in the primary environment for 12 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in Montessori from Loyola University, Maryland. She worked for a year as a course assistant for the primary training center. In 2012, she received her Level I formation and has been a catechist at her church in varying capacities since then. She enjoys spending time with her family and particularly enjoys preparing Montessori-friendly spaces at home for her three children. 

 

 

Listening to God with Children by Gianna Gobbi:  https://app.etapestry.com/cart/CatechesisGoodShepherd/default/item.php?ref=628.0.449472539

 

The Absorbent Mind (Owl Edition, 1995) Chapters 25 and 26

 

The Discovery of the Child (Clio edition, 1997) Chapters 3 and 23

 

The Secret of Childhood (Ballantine, 1966) Chapter 19

 

Education for a New World (Clio edition, 2007) Chapter 12 

 

At Home with Montessori: https://www.instagram.com/_athomewithmontessori_/

Curious Parenting: https://www.curiousparenting.net/

Dr. Becky at Home: https://drbeckyathome.com/

Seed and Sew: https://www.seedandsew.org/

 

The NAMTA Journal: Montessori's Positive Psychology to Help All Children (Spring 2017 Volume 42, Number 2) https://shop.montessori-namta.org/collections/namta-journals/products/montessoris-positive-psychology-to-help-all-children 

Montessori Speaks to Parents: A Collection of Articles https://amiusa.org/product/maria-montessori-speaks-parents/ 

 

 

A Seminal Infant-Toddler Catechesis Formation: 

Infant-Toddler Catechesis is an exploration of the very youngest child's spirituality springing from the discovery of the child's nature and religious potential revealed by the Holy Spirit and the children to Maria Montessori, Sofia Cavalletti, Gianna Gobbi, Silvana Montanaro and those who continue to listen and observe the child in God's light.

The United States Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is delighted to offer A seminal Infant-Toddler Catechesis Formation;  Part 1 April 18th - April 25, 2021 and Part 2: April 25th - April 30, 2022

For more information about this event:   http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ehcfsm8765524837&llr=vpagyjlab&showPage=true

 

To listen to the podcast about Infant-Toddler Catechesis with Elizabeth Calanchini: https://www.cgsusa.org/episode-13/

 

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

 

Follow us on Social Media-

Facebook at “The United States Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd”

Instagram-  cgsusa

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