Celebrating 21 years of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in WA

17 Nov 2022

By The Record

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Board Members, from left, Marie Fernandez, Christine Giuffre, Veronika Metcalf , Kim Metcalf and Chair, Anne Diamond. Photo: Supplied/CGS.

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd community have last month come together to celebrate 21 years of service.

The dinner-style event on Friday 21 October, was attended by those who have undertaken formation, parents who have had children attend the Catechesis and whose children are now adults and friends and supporters of the CGS in WA.

CGS Executive Committee Chair Anne Diamond explained to The Record that the CGS is a hands-on approach for children that assists them to grow in their knowledge and love of God.

CGS Executive Committee Chair Anne Diamond explained to The Record that the CGS is a hands-on approach for children that assists them to grow in their knowledge and love of God. Photo: Supplied/CGS.

It is based on Maria Montessori’s principals of education meaning that it is based on the developmental stages and capacities of children to grow and learn.

“In the case of CGS, two women, one a scripture scholar, Sofia Cavelletti, the other a Montessori guide, Gianna Gobbi, came together through a set of circumstances that led over many years to what we see today,” Ms Diamond explained.

“We believe, because of the observation and study of these three women, that there is a strong bond between God and the child from infancy, even before birth.

Ms Diamond continued by highlighting that the aim of CGS is to nurture and help strengthen this relationship.

“It’s more than an intellectual gathering of head knowledge, but an opportunity to fall in love with the Good Shepherd,” Ms Diamond explained.

“The children have time and space to discover who Jesus is. They do this in what is known as the atrium. The two-hour sessions bring together the mystery of God and the mystery of the child. The pillars of the Catechesis are Scripture and Liturgy.

The two-hour sessions of CGS bring together the mystery of God and the mystery of the child. The pillars of the Catechesis are Scripture and Liturgy. Photo: Supplied/CGS.

Formed in 2001, the CGS community began formation with a catechist from the US and two catechists from Brisbane as mentors.  The following six years were spent praying, learning and developing the content, building what was needed to serve children aged three to 12 years old.

Some eight years later, the community made the decision to form an association to safeguard the work moving forward.

Negotiations commenced in 2018 to find a permanent space for the CGS community, with parent and architect Tim Lanigan providing the necessary guidance and support.

In 2021, a lease was signed with the new space, the former Dominican Convent in December, to be completed this December 2022.