2390 Bush St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 567-7824

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CGS Level 1, Part 1 with Ruth

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Level 1 Adult Formation

Class is full!

Part 1:  Friday, June 26 - Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Montessori Skills:   August 21-22, 2020 
Part 2:   July 7-13, 2021 (Wednesday - Tuesday)


Cost:  $550.00

(or $500 if paid in full up front by June 26, 2020)

$200.00 non-refundable (unless class cancelled) deposit due June 1, 2020

2nd payment of $200.00 due June 26, 2020

3rd payment of $150.00 due June 1, 2021


Class is full

Pay Here


Please contact Kathleen Folan, Director of Family and Youth Ministries at St. Dominic's, with any questions.  Kathy@stdominics.org or (415) 567-7824 x111 (leave message while Shelter in Place is in effect).

Formation Leaders:


Dr. Ruth Ohm Sutherland

Until she moved to Wisconsin7 years ago, Dr. Ruth Ohm Sutherland taught Sacred Scripture as Associate Professor at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University and was a Formation Advisor for seminarians. She is a catechist of all 3 levels,  for children 3-12 years-old in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.    Ruth was foundational in starting the CGS Program at St. Dominic's 13 years ago, and is currently a consultant, helping to grow CGS in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. 




Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell is a Catechist of the Good Shepherd.  Drawn to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) by the atrium experiences of her own children, she has worked regularly for 20+ years in “atria” with children 3-12 years old.  She is a CGSUSA Formation Leader locally and Internationally and is on the seminal Formation team of Infant-Toddler Catechesis.  Jennifer has been delighted to share CGS in Formation of the Sisters of Missionaries of Charity in San Francisco and Rome since 2013. She is a Spiritual Director working with individuals and groups.




Elizabeth Calenchini - Montessori Section

Elizabeth Calenchini is an AMI trained Montessori directress and guide for children ages 0-12. She is formed in all 3 levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and has assisted in formations of all levels on both coasts for several years. Since 1991 she has worked in 3 different Catholic Montessori schools, most recently as both a Level 2 & 3 catechist and Director of Programs for 6 years. In the last position she was able to continue developing toddler catechesis and was asked to offer the Toddler Breakout Sessions at the 2014 International Catechesis Celebration in Arizona. For several years she has offered 2 or 3 retreats a year to children preparing for sacraments and celebrating Lent ages 6-13. Elizabeth has consulted independently for a handful of Catholic Montessori Schools and parishes and has offered Montessori Theory and Practical Life to catechist groups. 

Course Vision:


A Vision for Children 

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd offers Christian formation for children ages 3 through 12. Through this experience, children (and adults) are helped to form an authentic, faithful relationship with God. The CGS is grounded in scriptural and liturgical study framed by Montessori's principles of education. This gives children the opportunity to hear the Gospel and absorb its message through the use of sensorially rich materials and the work of their hands. This method of catechesis began with Dr. Maria Montessori and was continued in Rome, Italy in 1954 by Sofia Cavalletti, a Hebrew and Scripture scholar, and her colleague, Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori trained educator. Both women were Roman Catholic. In their work with children, they sought to discover what face of God children most needed to see in order to grow in their knowledge and love of God. Children need the sensitive guidance of the adult and the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit to nurture this relationship. The adult prepares the sacred space for children, called the atrium, which allows them a prayerful place to learn to listen to and respond to a relationship with God through Jesus, the Good Shepherd. The atrium is a place of community and worship. It is a place to be with God, enjoy Him, listen to His Word, and to pray. It is designed to reflect the beauty of His creation and God's abiding love. It is also a place to begin to learn and recognize the

signs and symbols that speak of Him through the liturgies of Eucharist and Baptism.


Course Description: 


This course is a spiritual formation experience for adults as well as instruction in this approach of catechesis for children. The course is retreat-like, thus allowing for its contemplative nature. Time will be allocated during the course for album page discussion and writing. Successful participation in this course and Part 2 will result in

a certificate from the National Association of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.


Formation Course Objectives:


The Level I course is the foundation for all three levels of the CGS.** The objectives of

this Level I formation are:

        • To present the guiding principles and method of the Catechesis of the Good

Shepherd for the 3-6 year-old age child;

        • To explore the religious nature and the vital religious needs of the 3-6 year old


        • To offer the adult time for prayerful reflection and to consider the Biblical and

liturgical themes presented to the 3-6 year old child;

        • To broaden the adult’s ability to observe and learn from children’s spirituality;

        • To cultivate the capacity to listen deeply to and enjoy the Word of God with


        • To offer guidelines and assistance in preparing the atrium space, making the

catechist's album, and making materials for the atrium.


**Level 1: 3-6 year-olds; Level 2: 6-9 year-olds; Level 3: 9-12 year-olds. Infant-Toddler CGS is also now



Formation Registration and Contact:


The 90+ hours of formation are offered over several parts over the course of 2 years. Part 1 will give you all the formation you need to carry you through Year 1 of the CGS atrium; Part 2 will cover Years 2 & 3.


Upon completion of Part 2, participants will be awarded a certificate from CGSUSA.

Please visit www.cgsusa.org for more information on the CGS.


See links at the top of this page for registration and payment.  Contact Kathleen Folan at kathy@stdominics.org with any questions or concerns.


There are several books needed for Level 1 Formation.  Occasionally used copies can be found on Amazon.com. The books for Level 1 children are:


  • Sofia Cavalletti, Religious Potential of the Child;
  • Gianna Gobbi, Listening to God with Children;
  • Sofia Cavalletti et al., Good Shepherd and the Child: Joyful Journey, revised edition.

All may be purchased at CGSUSA.org. 


LocationSchool Classrooms
ContactKathy Folan, 415-567-7824x111, kathy@stdominics.org
DateSunday, June 28, 2020
Time8:30 AM - 5:00 PM