About the Program
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (COGS) is an approach to the religious formation of children 3 – 6 years old (Level I), 6 – 9 years old (Level II) and 9 – 12 years old (Level III). The program offers children a hands-on approach to learning more about their faith and inviting them into deeper relationship with God. Gathering in an “atrium”, a room specially prepared for them, the children receive presentations rooted in the Bible and the Liturgy on a variety of topics such as liturgical colors, the parables, biblical geography, articles of the altar, prayers and gestures of the Mass, and much more. Each presentation includes simple yet beautiful materials the child is invited to work with during the extended work time that is available to them during each class.
You may be wondering how these materials help the religious life of children? If an adult hears a beautiful passage from the Bible, the adult might take a Bible, find the passage, and read it slowly again and again. He or she may think deeply about the words and perhaps speak to God in a thankful or hopeful prayer. But a little child, too young to read, needs another way.
In an atrium the child can ponder a biblical passage or a prayer from the liturgy by taking the material for that text and working with it – placing wood figures of sheep in a sheepfold of the Good Shepherd, setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table, or preparing a small altar with the furnishings used for the Eucharist. Older children who do read often copy parables from the Bible, lay in order written prayers from the rite of baptism, or label a long time line showing the history of the kingdom of God.
Visit the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for additional information about the program.