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We have implemented Family of Parishes catechesis program at the Church of the Transfiguration each Sunday between the 8:30 a.m. and the 11:00 a.m. Mass.  The church is located at 25225 Code Road in Southfield (west of Lahser and north of Ten Mile Road).

This wonderful program is called The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and has been in place at Transfiguration for several years.

What is the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a religious formation approach based on scripture and liturgy that uses the educational and pedagogical principles of Dr. Maria Montessori. The CGS roots are in the Roman Catholic tradition. 

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is framed to where children are encouraged to ask the questions and to discover the answers through work with specially crafted presentations and materials. The content corresponds to the liturgical seasons and the life of the Church.

Learning takes place in what is called the atrium, which is an environment prepared to nurture the already present spirituality of children. Dr. Montessori borrowed the term atrium from the early church, as it was the space where the catechumens were prepared for Baptism. The atrium contains a variety of hands-on materials that are developmentally appropriate for the age range of children that they serve. 

The CGS catechist is the adult who has undergone a personal formational experience with preparation in the Biblical and liturgical themes that correspond with the developmental stages of the children. The adults who work with children are called, not recruited. They take on a servant leadership role, using facilitation instead of direct instruction techniques. In addition to their formation and training, the catechists are vetted with background and security checks.

What are the ages of the children served by the CGS?

Traditionally, children begin the CGS at or around age three. As with the Montessori model, each atrium serves a three-year age span of children up to age 12. Level I includes ages 3-6; Level II includes ages 6-9; and Level III includes ages 9-12.

When is the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd offered?

CGS meets each Sunday during the program year at the Church of the Transfiguration, 9:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. Each session includes song, prayer, a presentation, and a work. Moreover, the atrium is a place of prayer; simply put, the children’s work is their prayer. 


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