Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

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Diocese > Formation > Training & Certification > Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

 Catechesis Formation

“CGS is a common religious experience involving children and adults in which the religious values of childhood, primarily those values of contemplation and enjoyment of God, are predominant.  This experience is shared in a place particularly prepared for the religious life of children called the Atrium.” 

      This type of catechesis, developed by Dr. Sofia Cavalletti and her co-worker Gianna Gobbi, began in Rome in 1954 with the approval of the bishops of Rome, including Pope John Paul II.

      Registrations are now being accepted for the 2021-2022 Fall Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level I Formation Course being offered at Saint Thomas More University Parish in Indiana.  This Level I Formation Course has been opened up to individuals around the United States by the national organization for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  
      Participants in this adult formation discover or rediscover their own unique personal relationship with God as they see presentations through the eyes of the child three to six years of age. This course fulfills several requirements for Basic Certification in the Diocese.

      Not all of the parishes in the Diocese of Greensburg have an Atrium.  Please contact your local parish for information on CGS or for a referral to a parish in your area that offers CGS as part of their faith formation program.

If you need additional information or have any questions, please contact the Office for Faith, Family, and Discipleship at

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Fall Course Dates

​​May 7, 2022
May 21, 2022
​June 11, 2022
July 16, 2022
​July 29, 2022
​July 30, 2022
To register, please call the parish office at 724-463-2277, or email Diane Cawley or Mary Beth Palko with any questions, and fill out the form below:


 Fees and Materials

Registration Fee: $400.00
(Payable to St. Thomas More University Parish)

If you are applying for the Francis Fund, the applications must be submitted to the diocese no later than:

  • November 1, 2021 for the Fall Course
Required Reading:
Follow the link to purchase your Level I Formation Course Recommended Readings: 

  •  The Religious Potential of the Child , 3rd Edition
  • Listening to God With Children
  • The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey, Revised and Updated, 2nd Edition
Suggested Materials for Note-taking and Album Page Work:
  • You will also want to bring a means of taking notes during the course. This may include a notebook, writing utensil and/or a laptop.
  • Many have found a 3-ring 2” binder, 2 sets of page divider tabs and page protectors helpful in organizing their album page work.


Upon completion of the Level I Formation Course, a certificate will be issued from the National Office and presented during the last session by the formation leader, to participants in the cohort who have fully participated in the course.
Catechists in the Diocese of Greensburg who obtain this Level I certificate will fulfill the first requirements necessary for Basic Certification in the diocese and will satisfy varying levels of the Training and Catechetical Certification Process.

 Formation Leader

Mary Beth serves as a catechist in all three levels of the atria at Saint Thomas More University Parish where she is the Director for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and Youth Ministry.
      A nationally recognized CGS Level I Formation Leader, she has permanent certification in the Diocese of Greensburg and has also obtained her master’s degree at Aquinas Institute for Theology in Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Mary Beth and her husband Phil have raised three children.
She continues to share the pure joy of this work with others as her journey continues.