Jennifer Bell is a accomplished
International Leader within the
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
In 2009, the Sisters of Missionaries of Charity voted and declared that every novice in their order would receive training in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as part of their own Formation. I have worked with the Sisters of Missionaries of Charity in San Francisco since 2013 and had the great honor of traveling to Rome twice in the summer of 2019 to give CGS Formation to the Sisters of Missionaries of Charity in Via Casilina Rome. These Sisters bring CGS to the children in “gypsy camps” also known as the Roma people.
CGS is a common religious experience involving children and adults in which the religious values of childhood, primarily those values of contemplation and enjoyment of God, are predominant. This experience is shared in a place particularly prepared for the religious life of children called the Atrium.
God and the child have a unique relationship with one another particularly before the age of six. The growth of this relationship should be assisted by the adult, but is directed by the Spirit of God within the child. Children need their own place to foster the growth of that relationship. This spiritual growth is best served through tangible but indirect means.
“If we want to help the child grow near to God, we should, with patience and courage…seek to go always closer to the vital nucleus of things. This requires study and prayer. The child himself will be our teacher if we know how to observe him.”