How Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was introduced to the community at Resurrection Catholic Parish and Preschool.
In 2016 our faith formation staff was looking for a new children’s curriculum. We had been using a weekly handout/Gospel based program for years, but were looking into making a change. Goals were: more interactive and developmentally appropriate material, and hopefully, increased enrollment.
Then-admin. assistant Ann Barba heard about a hands-on form of catechesis through her sister, a religious sister at a parish in Phoenix, Arizona. She brought it to the attention of then-coordinator (summer 2016) Emily Kunkel, who was researching different options for children’s faith formation. Pastoral Associate Anna Arnesen Mosey had also heard about CGS (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd) many years ago, and had made contact with Linda while working at a previous parish. In Fall of 2016, several parish staff members toured Linda’s atrium (CGS room) at Franciscan Montessori Earth School, and reflected on how CGS could be beneficial for the children at Resurrection.
Ann Barba and Amanda May-Hainley completed Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level I training (for children ages 3-6) with Linda Kaiel at Franciscan Montessori Earth School in Portland. The training concluded in November 2017, along with 6 other individuals from various parish settings.
In spring and summer 2018, Ann began collecting things to build a Level I atrium. In Fall 2018, in addition to being the head teacher for 2 preschool classes, Amanda May-Hainley began leading 30-minute atrium sessions once a week with 4 out of the 5 classes in the preschool & kindergarten. In mid-January 2019, when she returned from maternity leave, Ann Barba started leading Sunday morning 1-hour atrium sessions with the Pre-K & K Life Kids (children’s faith formation) group. Her role transitioned to CGS Lead Catechist (plus admin. support) to focus on development of CGS, while Sarah Hoffman stepped in to take the reins coordinating children’s faith formation.
As of Spring 2019, plans are being made to further develop and grow CGS at Resurrection, as well as educate parents, grandparents, and families about this wonderful way of passing on the faith. One volunteer catechist, Claudia Cleetus, has begun her training for Level I and will be working with children in the atrium this fall (2019).
Questions, comments, volunteers, and especially PRAYERS are welcome as we continue this journey with the Good Shepherd and with the children.