The Catechesis

“If we want to help the child draw nearer to God,
we should with patience and courage seek to go always
closer to the vital nucleus of things. This requires study and prayer.
The child will be our teacher if we know how to observe.”
– Sofia Cavalletti


The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a Catholic formation process for children aged 3 to 12 years, in which they experience and form an authentic, faithful relationship with God.

The vision for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd formation began in 1954 with Dr. Sofia Cavalletti, a Hebrew and Scripture scholar and her colleague, Professor Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori trained educator.

Sofia was asked by a mother to give her son some religious instruction. This experience with the 7-year-old boy changed her whole life and began what we now know as the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Dr Cavalletti saw in that child, and in numerous other children since, a way of being in the presence of God that is unique to the child and a gift to the adult who stops long enough to notice.

Children desire to draw near to God but need the sensitive guidance of the adult as well as the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit to nurture this relationship.

Grounded in scriptural and liturgical study framed by Maria Montessori’s principles of education, children ‘hear’ the Gospel through the use of sensorial rich materials. The children are free to work with these materials that represent essential proclamations of the Christian message.

The sessions take place in a sacred space for the children called the ‘Atrium’.  This is to recall the place in the early Christian basilica where the first Christians received their formation in the faith.  In the Atrium, children can respond to a holy relationship, first proclaimed to them through Jesus, the Good Shepherd. For more on the Atrium and our Atrium sessions, please click here.

Currently, there are 12 Atria in Singapore, all of which are associated with the Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Singapore) which coordinates training for catechists and parents interested in learning more about CGS.

There are 3 levels of training:

  • Level I: 3-6 years
  • Level II: 6-9 years
  • Level III: 9-12 years

Catechists at the Church of St. Joseph Atrium have been trained in Level I, II and III. Training is ongoing.

If you are interested in attending the next Level I Part I training, please contact us.

The Atrium is located on the top floor of St Joseph’s Community Hall.

For more information on enrolling your child in the atrium, please check out the ‘Contact’ page.