What's been happening with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?
Even in ordinary times, our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) ministry is largely hidden on the top floor of the administration building. Since the pandemic struck, we have become more hidden but continue our work nonetheless.
Thankfully, we were able to resume some in-person work in August and September with the children who had been interrupted in their sacramental preparation. We held much-enjoyed sessions outdoors and also in the church (suitably sanitized, masked and distanced, of course). This culminated in nine children celebrating First Reconciliation and First Communion in the early fall before restrictions turned us to a Zoom format in November.
Then, from Advent to Pentecost, three groups of up to 12 children joined Zoom sessions with catechists ten times each. Our goals have been simple - to keep the children connected to others in their small faith communities, to recall and reinforce key themes, scriptures, materials and nomenclature from their past CGS experience, and most importantly to reflect, sing and pray together. Although Zoom is definitely not the atrium experience, we discovered that it is a tool the Lord can use to bless us. In fact, it was better than we imagined it could be…when we ask the Holy Spirit to take charge, why should we be surprised?!
In addition, families received email resources by which to prepare for and continue the lessons at home. A wider group of families who chose not to register for Zoom also received these remote support resource packages on themes such as the liturgical year, articles of the Mass, Land of Israel, Advent prophecies, infancy narratives, parables, Easter, Baptism and Pentecost.
In these ways, CGS has encouraged 30 families to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd even in these challenging days. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12: 32)
Coordinator of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd