Beware of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Quote:[b]The Catechesis of the Good Shepard has problems in three main areas. The first is a lack of an objective curriculum and thus no guarantee that the teachers will cover the necessary material to properly catechize the students. Secondly, we can see that some of the faculty who implement and train CGS catechists are not always orthodox. Third, there are concepts of how to teach which are taken from Maria Montessori who wrote academic journals for the Theosophy Society in India.[/b]

[b]1) No complete curriculum[/b]
Unlike a traditional curriculum that follows a single book for all who teach the same class, each catechist forms the class from their album page. The album page is written by the catechist during training sessions and is slightly different for each catechist depending on the instructor. There is a master plan which generally reveals what is to be presented to all the catechists. CGS sets the foundations for the capacity for the specific doctrines to be conveyed within the album pages through these specified themes. The contents of these album pages are handwritten and passed down from the CGS instructor to the catechist during CGS training. [u]What is problematic[/u] are specific doctrines, as directed by the bishops, that must be covered in all classes, however, time and again the album pages reveal that vast amounts of Catholic doctrine are missing from the program.

Upon observing these album pages you will find the CGS system is missing many essential details such as the Trinity, sanctifying grace, original sin, angels, and Marian doctrine. This is partly because CGS ideology believes that the [u]catechist is not to teach [/u]but to let the child come to the conclusion through the inner spiritual knowledge of the child. The founders of CGS even admit to removing parts of catechesis they did not find to be essential. However, since there is no formal curriculum, CGS has [u]never been approved or condemned by the USCCB.[/u]
The CGS catechists are not encouraged to teach, for only Christ is the teacher, and the catechists are a mere guide who asks pondering questions. This combined with only a slim outline of content which needs to be covered, it is unlikely that the catechists will cover the necessary material as has been mandated by the US bishops. It is true that one can adopt elements from the CGS style to convey the faith in a manner that is both adequate and orthodox, but as this blog will reveal, this will only be done through ignoring much of the ideology of CGS.

[b]2) Implemented by unorthodox members[/b]
Though there is [u]not a universal formal curriculum/album pages[/u], all CGS catechists go to classes to be trained to teach CGS and learn the CGS ideology and method. At the very heights of this organization, we see people who drastically deviate from the Church's teachings. One example is Catherine Maresca, who's website (Center for Children and Theology) is supported by CGSUSA. Maresca's site is linked to by CGSUSA and contains materials to aid children in participating in prayers of other religions such as Islam. They even sell zen gong to be rung before each class, and materials to participate in Buddhist rituals and meditation.

The yearly CGSUSA retreat also contains unorthodox members such as Catherine Maresca who gives talks on implementing CGS. These conferences are called "Weaving Our Gifts" and is organized by the Center for Children and Theology run by Catherine Maresca. Here the unorthodoxy of CGSUSA is also manifest by liberals such as Sr. Linda Gibbler as you can see below.

3) CGS is based on the style and ideology of Maria Montessori. Unlike the traditional method of passing on truths where the students learn from the learned, the catechist is not to teach the student for this would impede the student's creativity. Maria Montessori taught that the [u]child has special knowledge not found in adults[/u] which he can tap into and come to know truths. As we shall show this does not come from a Christian understanding in which the faith must be passed down from previous generations, for certain things can only be known through revelation. Rather [u]Maria Montessori's journal writings for Theosophy Society in India[/u] reveal that her ideology came from the teachings of false religions. This blog will show how these ideas from theosophy are permeated though the method and ideology of CGS.
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#2 touched one of the third rails of "conservative", "traditional" and "homeschool" Catechesis.

Well, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

I didn't know she was a Theosophist but I'm not surprised especially after discovering the Theosophical influences on JPII.

I went to a Catholic Montessori school for 6 years--2 yo to 8 yo.

I have fond memories of the experience and sought to utilize the method when I homeschooled my own children.

Reading the books that described the beautifully designed "hands-on" learning tools and her enticing methodology where parents and teachers are merely 'facilitators"as the child explores and discovers whatever learning experience they feel guided towards was so enthralling to me as a young mom.  

Indeed I had vivid memories after so many years of each and every hands on learning tool employed and spent many an hour creating them by hand for my own children.  They offered a kinesthetic learning experience according to Piaget's concrete operational stage of learning.  If they etched an indelible memory in my mind they must have been quite formative to be sure.

Well, I have to say that I did enjoy utilizing such smartly designed hands on tools and I do think they can be useful.  Are they as "magically" imperative as the promoters of Montessori's fans claim them to be?


Moreover, is her childcentric methodology "Catholic" and as mystical and Christological as its proponents claim it to be?

Absolutely not.

Yes I used her hands on tools and I also drove my oldest children to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd every week for several years which was "facilitated" by an enthusiastic and well meaning teacher  um...facilitator.

But no.  The results as I had suspected were not as promised.

The Biblical maps and liturgical calendars, well I hope my children remember some of those lessons.  The unrolling of the large scroll of paper in the park to symbolize how long the people of the old testament had to wait for the Advent and then for the Parousia, well it had a great impact on me, if not them.

When I ask what they remember they say nothing.  ::Sigh::

Well that could be said about any primary school religious ed.

The part that I really take issue with is the child led, child centered aspect.  

As a parent who sought to teach my children virtue as building blocks which depended on a foundation in order to add additional blocks as maturity allowed, this Montessori philosophy was an antithesis to the Biblical order of the family and formation of children.

The most important element of Montessori was that parents should never "teach" or interfere with the "freedom" of the child to explore as their imagination and inner guide led them to whatever they were truly ready to learn.


Thousands of years of Catholic education stressed the importance of obedience as foundational to education and the structure of family life.  Was abuse committed in the name of this virtue?  Yes, sadly sometimes it was.  Does that mean the virtue is unnecessary?  Of course not.

All I can say to fellow homeschool moms is if you don't lay the foundation for obedience then good luck teaching anything for years and years to come.

I know parents who say how wonderful the Montessori school was for their son since the teachers would tell them that if he didn't feel like learning that day he could just go outside and play.

One lady told me that her adult son still follows the Montessori method by exploring and tinkering in the garage as his family gathered for dinner inside.  ::rolls eyes::

My relatively well behaved children would have a marked difference after I picked them up from the Cat of the Good Shepherd.  My daughter especially would turn into a kind of selfish brat for hours after and seemed to think she was entitled to say and do anything she felt like doing.  The difference in her demeanor was quite shocking!  Deprogramming was a weekly effort.

This is not to say that I don't believe homeschooling is a wonderful opportunity to tailor each child's education to their aptitudes and passionate interests as they grow older.  That is one of the best parts of homeschooling---AFTER the fundamentals have been taught and mastered which often requires the little one to sit down and do his work as he has been told and following directions with a teachable and obedient heart.

The training of a child in virtue while battling their natural born concupiscence looks like a funnel.  If you start out with a very small amount of freedoms (deciding bedtime, waketime, naptime, mealtime, schooltime, tv/computer time, etc.) you can always give more and more freedoms and choices as they grow older and show virtue to handle them while still respecting your authority.  

If you give all the freedoms too young, you will have a 5 year old telling you what to do, what to make for dinner, when their bedtime is, what they feel like learning or not, etc.  They're ready to move out and get themselves an apartment!  What do they a need parent for?

This will continue on until you put them back in the funnel which allows them to relax as they don't have the stressful responsibility of all those choices.  Instead  they can relax and let you lead them as their parent until they have acquired the virtues necessary to handle each freedom that comes with maturity.  (Hopefully you will have scheduled plenty of one on one time with them for snuggling and reading books, playing games or in the yard...etc. as well as loads of praise for good behavior.)

If the funnel is upside down and you have given them all the freedom they want as littles, but expect obedience as they take your $40,000 car out on Saturday night when they are 16, what make you think it will suddenly appear?

With privileges comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes more privileges.  That's how the funnel grows over time.

This mirrors our relationship as adults with God.  We want the "freedom" to do whatever we want when we want.  This ultimately leads to our demise and it's only when we learn to have obedience, trust and humility before the Lord that we are truly free and happy.

"Do as thou wilt is the whole of the law" is the universal code of Luciferianism, Freemasonry, Theosophy, Kabbalah, Baphomet, and a host of other recycled names.

So when moms ask me what curriculum I suggest, I always tell them to use whatever they like the most.  It really doesn't matter that much and I try to encourage them not to get sidetracked in all the hoopla about "the latest" or the "most classical".      

  What really matters?........VIRTUES

Acquire the virtues and you can pursue whatever goals you desire according to God's will.
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I actually watched this earlier today! LOL :D

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(06-09-2020, 12:46 AM)Sacred Heart lover Wrote: I actually watched this earlier today! LOL :D

This is hilarious.
Also would you mind if I posted your post above as a testimony on the CGSExposed website?
(06-09-2020, 08:50 AM)br__Allen Wrote: This is hilarious.
Also would you mind if I posted your post above as a testimony on the CGSExposed website?

Isn't it?  LOL :P

Sure, that's fine.

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