What is the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?

Connecting the Catechesis of the Good Sheppard to Daily Life

“The parables invite meditation as they connect the reality of daily life with the reality of the Kingdom of God.  The parable is not to be explained, which would “treat it like a definition” and “betray its nature.”  

- Sofia Cavalletti, founder of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

“As children receive a liturgical sign or biblical text, understand that it points to God, and become adept at exploring its meaning, they build a repertoire of rich ‘parables’ to help them interpret all of life.  We cannot know and prepare them for the specific joys and challenges of their lives, but we can be sure that these vivid signs will nourish, encourage, and guide the children throughout their lives.”

Catherine Maresca, Center for Children and Theology

            Religious principal, or moral lesson to his followers.  Many of the lessons in the Level I Atrium (3-6 years old students) revolve around work with the parables. Jesus used short allegorical stories or parables to illustrate and teach some truth,

The Parable of the Good Shepherd is a paschal parable: “I lay down my life for the sheep.”  It serves as an introduction of the child to the Mass, that action in which Christ’s complete self-gift is actualized.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed is used to prepare the child for future presentations on the Kingdom of God, Incarnation, and the Paschal Mystery.  The work announces not only the Kingdom of God at hand in the mustard seed, but throughout the whole world, transforming and growing like the mystery of a plant.  

The Parable of the Precious Pearl initiates the child to the awe and wonder of God.  This work helps the child see the Kingdom of God is of great value for those who put their faith and trust in God.  

The Parable of the Thief and the Hireling shows the child that Jesus unites us - one flock and one shepherd.  Christ is protective with love that wins over evil.  The wolf represents that evil and the child comes to see the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan allows the child to begin to understand that God works through all people.  We are all called to be compassionate and giving without exception.  This work provides geographical information and a glimpse into the cultural expectations of Jesus time as well.