CGS Level II Catechist Formation Course

Pay Online: login or create an account & select “Give a New Gift”

Register by June 30 to secure your spot.


Part One August 5-8 and August 10-13, 2020, 8:30am-4:30pm

Part Two August 4-7 and August 9-12, 2021, 8:30am-4:30pm

*Completion of Level I course is required

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.

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, Level II focuses on children ages 6-9, Level III focuses on children ages 9-12.

Level II catechist formation is for adults seeking to serve children who are six to nine years old (or first through third grade). This training is at least 96 hours and continues the themes first introduced in Level I catechist formation. It expands upon those themes according to the developmental needs and capacities of this age child. New themes are also introduced at this level especially around the History of the Kingdom of God, Moral Parables, and the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Sacramental preparation is also a key component of this catechist formation.

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


Level II Catechist Formation Course Objectives

  • To explore the religious nature and the most vital needs of the 6-9-year- old child.
  • To present the history, methodology, and guiding principles of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
  • To meditate on biblical and liturgical themes appropriate for the 6-9- year-old child.
  • To broaden the participant’s ability to observe and learn from the child, to listen with the child to Scripture, and to assist the child’s prayer.
  •  To offer guidelines and assistance in preparing the atrium environment, making the catechetical materials, and writing the catechist’s album pages.
  •  To deepen the participant’s own enjoyment of God’s gifts.


The Formation Leaders

Annette Witte has been a CGS catechist for over 20 years and a certified CGS formation leader for 10 years, providing formation and guidance in the CGS method of Faith Formation. Her formation has included Levels I, II, and III. Currently, she assists children in Level II at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Grand Rapids, MI. Annette holds a Master’s of Pastoral Studies from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO. She and her husband, Joe, have five children and three grandchildren.

Marie Farage is a certified Montessori guide and a CGS catechist serving children in Levels I, II and III. She teaches at Lighthouse at McMillan in Muskegon, MI.


Tuition for Part One:

Diocese of Lansing Parishioner: $300

All others: $400

  • 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 5, 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.
  • Please make checks or money orders payable to St. Thomas the Apostle (attn. 6-9 Training). You can also pay online.


Required Texts:

You can purchase the following from the CGS website. You are encouraged to purchase these publications in advance so that you can become familiar with the content:

  • Religious Potential of the Child 6 to 12 Years Old by Sofia Cavalletti
  • History of the Kingdom of God, Part 1: From Creation to Parousia by Sofia Cavalletti
  • History of the Kingdom of God, Part 2: Liturgy and the Building of the Kingdom by Sofia Cavalletti
  • Religious Potential of the Child (Vol 1) by Sofia Cavalletti
  • Listening to God with Children: Montessori Principles Applied to the Catechesis of Children, by Gianna Gobbi
  • The Good Shepherd & the Child: The Joyful Journey, by Patricia Coulter

Other Recommended Text:

  • Ways to Nurture the Relationship with God, by Sofia Cavalette and Patricia Coulter