Catechesis of the Good Shepherd


Holy Family Parish follows Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) for its Elementary Faith Formation. The children meet in the atrium, a place of prayer designed to meet the spiritual and developmental needs of children using the Montessori method.

CGS atrium sessions are 2-hour sessions once a week. There are three levels. Level I is for children 3-6 years old, Level II is for children 6-9 years old and Level III is for children 6-12 years old.

We often receive questions from parents about what level their child should be in.The age of the child is a general guideline. If they are new to faith formation, select the lower level for their age. If they are returning or have had previous faith formation experience, select the higher level.

Johnny is 6 years old and has never been in formal faith formation. He would be placed in Level 1.
Billy is 6 years old but has been attending CGS since he was 3 years old. He would be placed in Level 2.

-Children in Level 1 must be potty-trained and at least 3 years old by September 15th.
-In general, afternoon sessions are reserved for school age children. If you have an older child with a younger sibling, please email Connie for placement help.
-Space is limited based on volunteer availability.
-For more information about CGS, please visit

The Homeschool option is parent-led with Faith Formation staff support. For more information on our Homeschool Faith Formation program, click on the following link: Spirit of Truth curriculum by Sophia Institute

We are excited to begin working with your children and look forward to active collaboration in our community of parents, parishioners and catechists! Let us know if you have any questions or need more information. Blessings!

Connie Moretti                                                         Julie Klinkenberg                              

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd offers remote preparation for Mass. It is not meant to replace Sunday liturgy or the domestic church.

“It is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example . . . the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children.” – CCC 1656

Prayerfully consider how you can set time aside for your child to attend atrium sessions and Sunday Eucharist. Consistent Mass attendance is critical for a strong prayer life in the family.

“On Sundays and other Holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.” – Canon Law 1247 

Keep in mind, due to high demand, once admitted your child is expected to attend all sessions. Priority will be given to registered families who volunteer as catechists as a token of appreciation for their time and dedication to keep this catechesis going!


Parent Participation

The work of many hands is required to provide the CGS ministry. All families are expected to participate.

“By praying with their children, by reading the word of God with them and by introducing them deeply through Christian initiation into the Body of Christ – both the Eucharistic and the ecclesial Body – they become fully parents, in that they are begetters not only of bodily life but also of the life that through the Spirit’s renewal flows from the Cross and Resurrection of Christ.”  — St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio

Families who participate in CGS and the Homeschool Option are active and registered parishioners of Holy Family Parish, giving of their time, talent, and treasure.  Families must attend Sunday liturgy every week.

Learn More Here: HOLY FAMILY CGS Parent Handbook January 2024

Sacramental Preparation

Has your child (age 7 or second grade) been baptized in the Catholic Church?  Sacramental Preparation is the process of preparing children (age 7, second grade, or older) for First Penance and First Eucharist.

At Holy Family Parish, baptized children who have been preparing through daily family prayer, Sunday liturgy, and in the atrium begin the discernment process for their First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. The child, with their parents, must spend time in prayer and reflection and together ask to receive the sacraments.

The immediate year of preparation for the Sacraments of First Penance and First Eucharist takes place from September to May – with meetings, workshops, and rehearsals in addition to and outside of Homeschool Faith Formation or CGS Level 2 atrium sessions.  First Penance takes place during Lent and First Eucharist takes place in May.  The Archdiocese requires 2 years of preparation for these Sacraments.

Is your child 7 years old or older and not yet baptized?  Catholic parents who want to raise their children in the Catholic faith are welcome to sign up their child for the Rite of Christian Initiation adapted for Children through either Homeschool Faith Formation or Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  These children will be attending sessions to prepare for the reception of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist at the Easter Vigil Celebration.   In addition, they will attend the rites required of RCIA catechumens and candidates in preparation for Easter Vigil.