Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
A religious formation program that began in 1954 by Sofia Cavelletti and Giana Gobbi, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is based on Maria Montessori’s approach to education. This program is based on two strong pillars. The first pillar is the theological foundation focusing on the reverence for the Bible and the liturgy as sources of God’s communication with us. The second pillar is the pedagogical foundation that is based on respect for the person and the potential of the child. The Atrium is the space where the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd takes place. Sofia and Giana developed the Atrium, the environment, and its materials, according to the developmental needs of the children.
Students will visit the Atrium once a week to experience the environment and materials and be presented with the essential themes of the Christian message. These experiences will provide them with the opportunity to encounter God and foster their relationship with Him. During their many years of work, Sofia and Gianna discovered that children of the same developmental age throughout the world responded the same way to their experiences in the Atrium. These children were filled with joy after encountering God! It is our hope and prayer that in the Atrium, the children experience an encounter with God, the true teacher!
Sacred Heart Schools currently uses Level 1 formation. Each CGS Level has a three-year plan allowing students to build upon what they have learned in previous years.
My name is Kathy Schafer, and I am the Lead Catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. My husband and I have been married for 30 years and have three adult children. I have a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education from Bellarmine. I have been teaching for 28 years, with 22 of those years working in Early Education. This will be my 15th year on the Sacred Heart Schools campus as I am a graduate of SHA, and have been a parent to two SHA graduates. I am beginning my 7th year as an educator on campus. I previously taught at SHP and now have the role of Lead Catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) program. I have been involved with CGS at Sacred Heart since it was brought to campus during the 2020-2021 school year. I am excited to have this new role and look forward to seeing the children of SHP in the Atrium each week!