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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a program of religious education that began in Rome, Italy in 1954 and is inspired by the Montessori principles of education.  It is not primarily academic in character.  Rather it seeks to be an experience of life and faith with God.  God is already present to our children in their deepest being.  They only need the guidance and vocabulary to enable them to become aware of their relationship with God and give expression to it.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd helps to invite the child into a relationship with God, and in fact: “helps them fall in love with God.” It is this relationship that draws them further and further into the Mystery of Faith. 

We believe that God and the child have a unique relationship with one another particularly before the age of six and that the growth of this relationship should be assisted by the adult, but is directed by the Spirit of God within the child. Children need their own place to foster the growth of that relationship. We believe that the child’s spiritual growth is best served through tangible but indirect means.

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program is celebrating its’ 60th anniversary year here in the United States.  Many area Catholic schools also have this program including St. Benedict’s, All Saints in Rossford, Blessed Sacrament, St. Catherine, and Regina Coeli, and of course St. Joan of Arc.

The time spent in the program consists of a Proclamation of the Word of God, prayerful discussion, and time to do their ‘chosen prayer work’.  The children will have the opportunity to learn the pieces of the mass including the names of the chalice, paten, epiclesis, offering, chasuble, etc.   They will hear parables, learn the liturgical calendar, take part in a Last Supper, and we will make a visit with Father Adam to view our own St. Joan of Arc Church.

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program at St. Joan of Arc is offered to all preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade students.

To learn more about this program, go to


Jackie Terrill
Certified Catechesis Instructor


"If we want to help the child grow near to God, we should, with patience and courage... This requires study and prayer. The child himself will be our teacher if we know how to observe him.”
-Sofia Cavalletti, developer of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program