Saturday, March 1, 2014

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Conformity and Red Flags

Some questions that come up that are perhaps not answered in the most succinct way by the CGS National Office:

Does the CGS have an imprimatur? 
Short answer: This isn't quite the right question.
Longer answer: CGS as a whole is not a published curriculum or teaching text. Imprimaturs and Nihil Obstats are reserved for publications addressing the Catholic faith. CGS is a method and an environment whose primary texts are the Roman Missal, Sacred Scripture and the Cathechism of the Catholic Church. Thus an imprimatur and nihil obstat do not apply to CGS as a whole.

Do CGS published texts have the imprimatur? 
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: The published texts regarding CGS have both the imprimatur and the nihil obstat; these texts are not the ones utilized by the students - these are utilized by the adults during their formation, with the primary texts of study being the Roman Missal, Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Is CGS on the Bishops' approved list of religious ed texts? 
Short answer: No.
Medium-Long answer: the Bishops' list is ONLY for *published textbooks* - thus the question doesn't apply to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - even if the albums (lesson plans) were published, still the only "published text" the child uses is the Holy Bible and the Roman Missal.
Longer answer: Like the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat, the approval process to get on that list doesn't apply to CGS because the teaching program that the children receive is not a published text. The (arch)bishops of many (arch)dioceses approve the use of CGS and encourage its use among the faithful, but it doesn't fit within the scope of the "approved texts list".
Even longer answer: CGS Letter of Conformity with the CCC


Censor's stamp: NIHIL OBSTAT "nothing stands in the way"

Bishop's stamp: IMPRIMATUR "let it be printed"

UPDATE: 3/3/2014 - I think I might make this post a page of its own.
I am also downloading the protocol used to assess each published text - use the same form and the same format to correlate CGS as it stands at this moment in time. CGS serves to meet the needs of the children - thus is a work-in-progress in the fine-tune details.

But this still compares favorably to published texts - just because a lesson is there, doesn't mean it happens. Due to the 3-year nature of the atrium, if something is "missed" one year, it is picked up the next - or absorbed from the work of older children who already received that presentation.


  1. Glad you addressed this. Since that question was raised it's been bugging me. I also heard that CGS is considered Liberal!

    1. Liberal? I can't even laugh at that one, it's so silly. Some liberal people, YES.

      I came to CGS because I was literally sick to my stomach of the watered-down and some outright *liberal* religious ed texts I'd been using for almost 10 years - and I'd only been doing it for 10 years. Given that I was able to improve what was handed to me, why should I have to go to that much trouble to teach a preschool class? (I had preschool for several years - in a few locations - with all the then-available texts - only one was decent). CGS is one of very few options that actually stays true to the Faith (again, only as good as the adult leading it) - and even goes deep with it.

      Liberal. Ugh.