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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Courses

Formation Courses for Adults in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) began in Rome in 1954. It is the result of a long period of careful observation of children by Sofia Cavalletti and her Montessori collaborator, Gianna Gobbi.

Based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s deep understanding of the child and her resulting pedagogy, this beautiful method answers the child’s silent plea: “Help me to draw closer to God by myself” by inviting him into an intimate relationship with Jesus the Good Shepherd. CGS is now offered in more than 37 countries and is approved by Rome and local dioceses for religious and sacramental preparation of children.

Formation courses in this method for parents, clergy, religious educators, grandparents and other interested adults help attune adults to understand how children pray, listen and grow closer to God in the setting of the specially prepared environment called the Atrium. Offered in a rich retreat-like format, CGS courses for adults can also serve to transform our adult notions of how to approach God and greatly enrich our own spirituality and prayer life.

Formation Courses at John XXIII Montessori are offered through an affiliation with with Cultural and Catechetical Montessori Association (CCMA). Course may either be held at John XXIII’s campus in Front Royal, or at the CCMA training center in Nokesville, VA.

Schedule of upcoming/current CGS Formation Courses offered through our affiliation with CCMA:

CGS Level I Course for working with children ages 3-6

Course Dates: September 26, 2020 - June 19, 2021

Formation Leader: Laura Accettullo

Assisted by: Jennifer Ashton, Cecilia Drabbant, Michelle Castellan, Natia Meehan

CGS Level 1 Course Details

Location:  John XXIII Montessori Children's Center

1401 Linden St, Front Royal, VA 22630

Formation Leaders: Laura Accettullo

Assisted by: Jennifer Ashton, Cecilia Drabbant, Michelle Castellan, Natia Meehan



Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday,  Sept. 27

Saturday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct. 25

Saturday, Nov. 21



Saturday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 17

Saturday, Feb. 13

Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21

Saturday, April 17

Saturday, May 15

Thursday, June 17, Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19


*If there are gathering restrictions due to COVID-19, postponed dates will be rescheduled in June 2021.


Through courses in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, adults have the opportunity to see all age appropriate presentations and materials given to children from the Bible and liturgy. Each formation course focuses on a specific developmental age group of the child.

A Level I formation course prepares adults working with children ages three to six years old.

A Level II formation course prepares adults working with children ages six to nine years old.

A Level III formation course prepares adults working with children ages nine to twelve years old.

The foundation for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is in the Level I formation course as it is this course that a catechist becomes attuned to the religious life of the child. (From the CGS USA website)

Courses for adults are offered by John XXIII on an ongoing basis, led by Formation Leaders recognized by the National Association of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. A certificate for participants will be granted from CGS National Office upon completion of all requirements. Courses typically cycle through part A and part B of a particular CGS course level in subsequent summers; one part held each summer.

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