Thursday, August 28, 2014

Summer 2014 - Formation Courses and Refreshing Atriums

What a summer it has been!

At our local parish, we have

  • hosted a CGS Overview, 
  • hosted a CGS Open House, 
  • started two formation courses, 
  • updated 2 level 2 atriums 
  • and 2 level 1 atriums, 
  • and I think I glanced into level 3 from time to time (we did get new shelves in there, shifted some shelves back to create more space and I did try to start to update a few minor materials.... yeah. Time to spend a solid day in ONLY level 3!). 

Formation Courses
We have started two formation courses at my local parish this past summer, and I couldn't be more excited about working with these fantastic people!

In Level 2, we have school teachers, volunteer catechists and one out-of-parish catechist. With this small group, we have more than half completed our formation course, worked on lots of materials and -----------------------------

Our level 1 course, we have had just Day 1 thus far - all the background, some early EPL, early nomenclature (liturgical colors and altar 1), toured the atrium, and generally gave everyone that beautiful glassy-eyed look of "wow there is so much here!" For those of you in the course reading this, I promise! It does come together! Actually, everyone seems to have left that (hot!) day pretty excited about the atrium. We have homeschoolers, volunteer catechists, paid catechists, in and out of the parish participants. We even one gentleman joining us, which is fantastic! More men (fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, priests, seminarians, brothers, etc.) should come to this work. Because the initial levels are for the younger children, men tend to shy away. The last official level is level 3, for 9-12 year olds; but that work can easily move into middle and high school - and this is the most perfect age for men to be in the atrium with the children - both for the boys AND for the girls.

I hope the next time we offer level 1, we can get our local priest in the formation. He is fully supportive of the program - so now he just needs to join us! His mother is joining us - a lady I just love to be around!

I will get photos up soon of our refreshed atrium spaces. They are SO beautiful! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Atrium Options for Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and South-East Indiana

Just a quick post to share some opportunities for anyone seeking an atrium experience for their children:

  • homeschoolers
  • public school or private school
  • no religious ed or limited religious education available in your parish
  • or anyone looking for an awesome faith formation experience based on the core tenets of our faith, using the Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Holy Scripture and the Roman Missal as our prime sources of doctrine and knowledge. 

Cincinnati, Ohio: 
Levels 2 and 3 - actually ages 5-13
Tuesdays 3:30-5:30
(contact me for location details)

  • 5 year olds will have a level 1 atrium experience, phasing into the level 2 history presentations as they are ready
  • 6-8 year olds will have a typical (meaning awesome!) level 2 atrium experience 
  • 9-11 year olds will have a typical (equally awesome!) level 3 atrium experience
  • 12-13 year olds will have independent/adult-guided studies in typology and liturgy utilizing the level 3 materials where appropriate. 
  • Sacramental preparation will be offered in 5 additional sessions and 2 retreat days

St. Leon, Indiana (West Harrison, Indiana)
Levels 1, 2, 3, and "3+" - ages 3-13+
Thursdays 3:30-5:30
(contact me for location details)
  • 3-6 year olds will be in the level 1 atrium (led by a level 1 and 2 CGS trained mom)
  • 6-8 year olds will be in the level 2 atrium 
  • 9-13+ will be in the level 3 atrium
    • the 12-13+ year olds will have a combination of level 3 and The Teen Timeline, studying Salvation History in chronological order, utilizing level 3 materials at appropriate moments. Lots of history, typology, Scripture study and an understanding of the Church. 
  • Sacramental preparation will be offered according to the needs of the children who register. 

All children, except the level 1 children on Thursdays will be in atrium spaces coordinated by a catechist trained in level 1, level 2 and level 3; Montessori trained at primary (3-6) and elementary (6-12); homeschool mom and teacher. And formation leader for training the catechists.

Please contact me with any questions :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is not on the Conformity List - WHY!?

Continuing from my first post on Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Conformity and Red Flags

The main "issue" comes down to this:

The USCCB set out to assure that published faith formation (religious education) texts are aligned with the doctrine of the Church.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd provides hands-on materials and experiences for the children that make real to them the Catechism of the Catholic Church (contains our doctrine), the Sacred Scripture (the Word of God), and the Roman Missal and the books on the Rites (our Liturgy - the practice of our faith through our worship). Thus, our textbooks ARE in conformity, because the textbooks we use are those published by the Catholic Church herself.

We could stop there; but most people don't.

The secondary issue comes down to the fact that the experience of the child in ANY faith formation program is only as good as the catechist who allows the Holy Spirit to be in control and not bring in one's own agenda. One could be using a perfectly sound published textbook and the children will NOT get the proper teaching from it, if the catechist has a different agenda or is poorly formed in his/her own faith.

On the other hand, one could be using a perfectly rotten textbook and the catechist has the know-how to bring in appropriate teaching and appropriate experiences so that the children actually learn and grow (this catechist is being led by the Holy Spirit).

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd provides both the sound doctrine (by using the Bible, the Roman Missal and the CCC) and the proper catechist formation in one package: via 90+ hour formation courses for each level (working with 3-6 year olds, 6-9 year olds and 9-12+ year olds).