CGS Level One Instructor Formation

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Register by June 30 to secure your spot.


Part One August 3-8, 2020, 9am-5pm

Part Two August 2-7, 2021, 9am-5pm

About Catechesis of the Good Shepherd & Catechist Formation

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is an approach to the religious formation of children, 3-12 years of age.  It originated in 1954 with the founding of the children’s center or “atrium” in Rome by Sofia Cavalletti, a biblical scholar, and Gianna Gobbi, an educator of children and teachers.

The goal of Level I (ages 3-6) of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is to help the child enjoy and be in love with God, first proclaimed as Jesus, the Good Shepherd.  Such a relationship is the strongest possible foundation for life-long spiritual growth and moral living.

Children hear the Gospel by working with sensorially rich, but simple materials, keyed to scriptural or liturgical moments.  Central to this program is the Atrium, a sacred space prepared for the children.  A place of beauty, the atrium is designed for being with and enjoying God, listening to God’s Word, and praying.

Implementation of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd requires training for adults at each level or age group: Level I focuses on children ages 3-6. The training course features 100 hours of lectures, participation in discussions, lesson presentations, assistance with preparing materials and the catechist’s album. The Level I course is foundational for all three levels of CGS.

At the end of this course, the participants will receive certification for Level I from the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  (


Level I Catechist Formation Course Objectives

  • To explore the religious nature and the most vital religious needs of the 3-6 year old child.
  • To present the methodology and guiding principles of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
  • To broaden the catechist’s ability to observe and learn from children, to listen with children to scripture and to deepen the catechist’s enjoyment of God’s presence.
  • To offer guidelines and assistance in preparing the “atrium” environment, developing the catechist’s teaching album, and making catechetical materials.
  • To meditate on the scriptural and liturgical themes presented to the 3-6 year old.


The Formation Leaders

 Pam Turchi has been involved in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd since 2007.  She assisted in building Level I, II, and III at St. Robert in Flushing, has been a catechist in all three atria, and was certified as a Level I Formation Leader in 2018.

Hannah Turchi began her journey with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2011, and is a catechist and Director of Religious Education at St. Robert Bellarmine, Flushing.  In 2018, Hannah was certified as a Level I Formation Leader, and is currently enrolled in the Pastoral Studies and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (MAPS-CGS) graduate program at Aquinas Institute in St. Louis, MO.


Tuition for Part One Catechist Formation:

Diocese of Lansing Parishioner: $250

Non-Diocese of Lansing Parishioner: $350

  • A $100 nonrefundable deposit must be remitted with registration by June 30, 2020 to hold your seat in this course. The remainder of the tuition is due by August 3, 2020.
    • NOTE: Your deposit is appreciated but not necessary right now given the current COVID-19  situation.  Please simply sign up if you have an interest in attending the training
  • Class size is limited to 25 participants.
  • Morning and afternoon snacks, as well as a light lunch, will be provided.
  • Please make checks or money orders payable to St. Thomas the Apostle (attn. 3-6 Training). You can also pay online.


Three Required Texts

  • The Religious Potential of the Child by Sofia Cavalletti
  • Listening to God with Children by Gianna Gobbi
  • The Good Shepherd and the Child, A Joyful Journey

Order from the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd ( ) or from Liturgical Training Publications ( ). Please purchase prior to the course as there will be preparatory reading assigned. 

Other Recommended Reading:

  • Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in a Parish Setting by Tina Lillig
  • The Development of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd by Sofia Cavalletti