There are plenty of websites and blogs that explain a bit about CGS, but nothing quite approaches the depth of Sofia Cavalletti’s in explaining the theory behind CGS and how she experienced it. There are also other books which are a useful aid in understanding CGS and its practicalities. We possess several of these books, and could be induced to lend them to extremely trustworthy people if the right promises were made and followed through on! We had to get them from the US so it would be a real pain and not cheap to have to replace them!
Of Sofia Cavalletti’s works we have:
Amazon blurb: This classic book describes an experience with children from ages three to six, an experience of adults and children dwelling together in the mystery of God. Known as the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, this way of religious formation is profoundly biblical and sacramental, and it is, at the same time, deeply respectful of the nature of young children, who make their way to God in freedom and joy.’The Religious Potential of the Child’ is not a ‘how-to’ book, complete with lesson plans and material ideas. Instead it offers a glimpse into the religious life of the atrium, a specially prepared place for children to live out their silent request: ‘Help me come closer to God by myself.’ Here we can see the child’s spiritual capabilities and perhaps even find in our own souls the child long burdened with religious information.
Amazon blurb: Here is the continuation of The Religious Potential of the Child (from 3 to 6 years old). The author, Sofia Cavalletti, the founder of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, describes an approach to the religious education of children according to the methods of Maria Montessori. In this book Cavalletti draws on her long experience with children from diverse cultures and environments to describe the vital religious needs of the older child (6 to 12 years old).The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for children age 6 to 12 builds on the foundation in scripture and liturgy offered to the 3- to 6-year-old child. The theme of the covenant between God and humankind, first revealed to the people of Israel, is expanded to include all of history, from Creation to the Parousia, the second coming of Christ. For the older child, awareness of participation in this covenant relationship leads spontaneously to a sense of moral responsibility and of engagement with the cosmos in all its manifestations.This book will be a great help to educators and catechists seeking to understand the characteristics of the older child, particularly the childs relationship with the mystery of God. Even those not familiar with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will find in these pages wisdom and insight into the religious life and needs of older children
Amazon blurb: The History of the Kingdom of God I: Creation to Parousia is a revision by Sofia Cavalletti of her earlier work, History’s Golden Thread, a core text in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Another core text, Living Liturgy, has also been revised and will be the second volume, The History of the Kingdom of God II: Liturgy and the Building of the Kingdom. Together, these two volumes offer the reader insight into Scripture and Liturgy as the means to understand God’s plan of salvation history, from the creation of the world, through redemption by the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus, to its culmination in the Parousia, when God will be all in all. While this first volume is essential reading for all catechists of the Good Shepherd, anyone who studies the Bible and who seeks to understand God’s revelation through sacred history will be enlightened and inspired by Cavalletti’s insights and scholarship.
This one is available on Kindle – yay! and possibly only Kindle, for some reason.
Amazon blurb: The History of the Kingdom of God, Part 2: Liturgy and the Building of the Kingdom is Sofia Cavalletti’s revision of her earlier book Living Liturgy. Together with Part 1, “From Creation to Parousia,” these books offer the reader insight into Scripture and Liturgy as the means to understand God’s plan of salvation history, from the creation of the world, through redemption by the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus, to its culmination in the Parousia, when God will be all in all.
Sofia Cavalletti’s primary concern in this book is to assist adults who are working with the religious formation of children to enter more deeply into the essential aspects of the liturgy. As Rebekah Rojcevicz writes in the introduction, “The second volume, subtitled ‘Liturgy and the Building of the Kingdom of God,’ considers specifically the present phase of history, in which God’s plan is always in action, that is, it is continuing to unfold, and every man, every woman, and every child is invited to participate and collaborate in this history.” Her understanding of liturgy as transformative prayer brings about God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven makes this work of interest to all who love the liturgy and for whom liturgy is central to their Christian life.
Amazon blurb: Celebrating sixty years of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, this inspiring volume contains essays on the history of the program, along with excerpts from Sofia Cavalletti’s letters and an essay by Tina Lillig on the importance of friendship to the catechesis.
This one does not appear to be available on amazon, but is available in NZ from Pleroma. CGSUSA blurb: A photographic record of the materials for the three age groups (3-6, 6-9, and 9-12) as well as historical photographs, and drawings by the children in Sofia Cavalletti’s atrium, Centro di Catechesi Buon Pastore, in Rome. The commentary is by Cavalletti, who with Montessorian Gianna Gobbi, developed this approach to the religious formation of children.
Cavalletti highlights the origin and development of the materials, including how the children’s responses guided the selection of the foundational themes of the Christian message they presented to the children. At each level, the selected themes from Scripture and Liturgy, and materials that elucidate these themes, nurture the child’s religious potential for a relationship with God.
Those are sadly all the books by Sofia that we have at present. Her work is extremely profound and dense and can take some time to digest; whether you’re interested in CGS or not, they are very good books.
The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey was co-authored by Sofia, along with Gianna Gobbi, Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro, and Patricia Coulter. This one is also available in New Zealand from Pleroma and is on special at the time of writing.
Amazon blurb: The Good Shepherd and The Child offers parents and educators a gentle way to enter into and honor the genuine spiritual life of children. The constant message of this book is that children’s natural openness to and wonder at God s presence can be nurtured by caring adults who listen, pray, and journey with them in faith. By hearing and learning with the heart about the story and image of the Good Shepherd, children can be led to the joy of the Good News. From this simple parable and its message of Jesus’ unfailing love for them, children learn how God s unconditional love is part of their world–in the family, in school, and in church.
Amazon blurb: What happens when a parish community chooses the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for its youngest members? What questions should be asked before that decision is made, and after? What does an atrium look like? What do you need? How do you start? And how did this type of Catechesis ever get started in the first place? In this practical book, Tina Lillig, the National Director of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, offers step-by-step information to address the questions of pastors, directors of religious education, parish staff members, parents, catechists, and anyone else interested in the great blessing that young children are to the parish community.
Pleroma blurb: This journal provides insights on the formation of children in the atrium while also highlighting children’s prayers, art, and thoughts on Scripture and the liturgy. The theme of this year’s journal is time: “time, not as a scarce human resource, but as an abundant divine gift.”
This issue includes a reflection by Claudia Margarita Schmitt on Gianna Gobbi’s understanding of the slow work of interior transformation, as well as articles by Francesca Cocchini, Rebekah Rojcewicz, and Betsy Peterson on why time is essential to the God’s work in us and in the world.
If you are interested in borrowing any of these books, contact us here: