CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

 
 

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children that is based on the conviction that God and the Child are in relationship. Our role as adults is to protect and nurture this bond. In the Catechesis we present age-appropriate themes from the Bible and our liturgy with manipulative materials the children use to internalize and ponder the great mysteries of our faith.

The Catechesis seeks to give children the guidance and vocabulary which enable them to become aware of their relationship with God and give expression to it. With the Catechesis we help each child to continue to fall in love with God while building community among peers.

Each level of the child’s work explores the fundamental theme of covenant, God’s call and our response, as reflected in the Bible and as lived in liturgy. At Level I the 3-6 year-olds have the capacity to receive and enjoy the most essential elements of our faith: the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, the announcement of God’s love given for us in the person of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. At Level II the 6-9 year-olds focus on the image of the True Vine, deepening their relationship with God, family, friends and the larger community as they prepare for and celebrate communion, broadening their understanding of Mass.

Children need their own place to work with these essentials and many other key elements of our faith. This place is called an atrium. Montessori coined this term recalling the part of the Early Christian church building where catechumens would gather in preparation to join the church. Each atrium is specially designed with child-sized furniture including a prayer table for gathering, a model altar, as well as materials to deepen their familiarity with more parables and the Mass itself. After being presented with new material in a small group, children are free to choose work which particularly speaks to them to foster the growth of their own relationship.

For more information about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd please contact Ruth Ann McClure at ruthann_mcclure@rogers.com.

Testimonials

“How wonderful it is to witness the utmost reverence for the Holy in a child so young.”
 
“Katherine delights in what she learns and it is amazing to see her little faith bloom as part of the great care, water and sunshine that you pour over her. Thank you.”
 
“In this busy world where we often find it difficult to carve out a few hours of quiet reflective time, catechesis was an opportunity to slow down in a beautiful environment and learn about the teachings of God.”

"I very much enjoyed seeing the atmosphere you have worked so passionately to create. I think Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi are smiling down on your atrium with Jesus and Mary. You have such a gift, and even in my short time there, I have taken away so much" – Katherine L, fellow Catechist, Annunciation of the Lord Parish

CHILDREN'S LITURGY

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The Children’s Liturgy is a welcoming and nurturing part of the St. George Community. Children enjoy the Gospel and discussion in an informal, reflective way that is age-appropriate. The goal is to have the children relate to Jesus at their level and to enjoy participation at Mass. The Children’s Liturgy takes place during the Sunday 10:30 Mass, from September to May.  The children are divided into a Younger Group (3-6 year olds) and an Older Group (7-10 year olds). The younger group meets in the Sacristy behind the Altar, and the older group meets downstairs in the conference room of the Church Hall. The children leave the Mass before the first reading and return after the prayers of the intercessions.

Leaders of the Children’s Liturgy are scheduled only once per month, depending on your availability. Volunteers for the Younger Group are provided with a complete package, including the Gospel reading, suggestions for leading an informal discussion and a colouring page. The Older Group uses a Gospel reading and prayer, discussion and charades to reinforce the Gospel.

Children’s Liturgy is an important ministry, yet requires minimal preparation and a very small time commitment. We are always happy to welcome new volunteers. Please contact Siobhan Stewart at siobhan-stewart@hotmail.com for additional information.

JUNIOR YOUTH GROUP

Are YOU in grade 6, 7, or 8? If so, come on out and join an awesome group of young people as we grow in our faith through prayer, games, activities, learning and sharing, volunteering in our church and our community (and more)!

WHEN:  Every Friday – 7:00-9:00pm  (September thru June)

WHERE:  Downstairs @ St. George’s – Salon A (dance room)

WHAT:  This year Youth Group will be structured around a ministry program called "Edge" by LifeTeen. Edge is a program tailored to youth in grades 6, 7, 8. Through Edge we will explore the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Got questions? Get in touch with one of Youth Leaders via anjuli.baldwin@gmail.com

ST. GEORGE'S JUBILEE BURSARY

Awarded to Notre Dame students that have an impact volunteering for their community, within the parish and within the school. 

2013 Winners

Berlin Bradley
Berlin is now attending Guelph University, Faculty of Science.

Redessa Hayes
Redessa is now attending the University of Pennsylvania to study English and History.


2012 Winners

Robyn Bidgood
Robyn is now attending Ryerson University.

Alexandra Downey
Alex is attending Carleton University, in Communications Studies and Sociology.


2011 Winners

Aimee McAlea
Congratulations to Aimee.

Ben Dimillo
Ben is presently studying mechanical engineering at Carleton University.