Catechesis of the Good Shepherd grows Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Catechists, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 -- 12:00 AM
Atria in the Diocese
of Madison
Madison — Cathedral Parish, Blessed Sacrament Parish, and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
Pine Bluff — St. Mary Parish
Sun Prairie — Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish
Jefferson — St. John the Baptist Parish
Ashton — St. Peter Parish
Verona — St. Christopher Parish
Dickeyville — Holy Spirit Atrium
Stoughton — St. Ann Parish
Cuba City — St. Rose of Lima Parish
Director — Katie Haun

MADISON -- The room was filled with joyful expectation as catechists and invested partners celebrated the presence of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) in the Diocese of Madison at its third annual gathering.

CGS Diocesan Director Katie Haun warmly encouraged the catechists and directors of religious education (DRE) present to share the joys and challenges of starting and maintaining atrium, the space where children gather to encounter God in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd method.

Haun encouraged all to “remain connected to the vine” as they meet the religious needs of children.

Haun and fellow catechists welcomed St. Ann Parish in Stoughton and St. Rose of Lima Parish in Cuba City as new atria and celebrated the 11 current atria in the diocese.

Guest of honor

The expected guest of honor was Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison. His arrival was met with great enthusiasm as the catechists and DREs learned of his support for their work and received his blessing.

“This experiential way of forming our children to know and love God is highly effective. The Lord becomes very real for them. In my first parish assignment, I was involved in implementing CGS and saw first hand its effective impact,” shared Bishop Hying.

The evening included Bishop Hying’s blessing of the newly designated Level T (toddler and infant) atrium at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, where our youngest brothers and sisters in Christ (ages 18 months to three years old) gather along with a parent.

Level T is in seminal formation and growing in the U.S. and works closely with the catechist as CGS broadens to include infants and their parents.

The evening closed with a tour of the two additional Blessed Sacrament atria for children ages three to 12 led by DRE Peggie Hansen and Fr. Andy McAlpin, OP, from Blessed Sacrament.

Drawing closer to God

CGS helps children draw closer to God through hands-on materials focusing on the simple and essential truths of our faith.

For example, children learn the proclamation “Christ has died, Christ is risen,” while at a model altar carefully prepared as though for Mass.

Each material and presentation in the atrium has been made specifically to foster children’s special relationship with God.

Since its founding in 1954 by Sofia Cavaletti and Gianna Gobbi in Rome, CGS is now present in over 30 countries and continues to grow every year to reach more children and their families with the news of God’s love for each and every person.

Bishop Hying reflected that, “I truly enjoyed my time with the leaders of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd . . . I applaud the parishes in our diocese that are using this method and encourage others to consider it.”

If you would like to visit an atrium, learn more about the work that is being done, or find out if you could help as a material creator, assistant, catechist, or prayer partner in this work to help children draw closer to God, visit or