Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children in
Pre K through 8th grade. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Beginning in 1954, Sofia Cavalletti, a Hebrew and Scripture scholar and member of the Vatican commission for Jewish-Christian relations, and her colleague, professor Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori trained educator, developed the Catechesis by observing and working with children at the Children’s Centre in Rome, Italy. Children gather with catechists in an "atrium", a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian faith.
The Tina Lillig Formation Center offers formation and training for adults who are interested in journeying together with children in the atrium. Formation leaders recognized by the National Association of CGS-USA lead these courses for Level 1 (ages 3 to 6), Level 2 (ages 6 to 9) and Level 3 (ages 9 to 12). The Center also hosts workshops for CGS being used with other age groups, such as toddlers and adolescents (informally Level 4). Completion of a full, approved course makes a catechist eligible for certification by the National Association at that particular level.