“Christ’s whole life is a gift to the Father and to mankind; His death represents the ultimate concretization of His continuing gift of self offered throughout all time to all people, and comes to each one of us especially in the Eucharist.”
- Sofia Cavalletti, The Religious Potential of the Child
On January 13 and 14, catechists from around the Chicago area gathered for a short overnight retreat at the National Shrine of Saint Maximilian Kolbe in Libertyville.
The retreat offered an opportunity for reflection on the progress of the year so far and conversation with fellow catechists about the principles of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. A highlight of the gathering was a shared reading and deep discussion on Sofia Cavalletti’s writing on the Christ the Good Shepherd and the Eucharist. Participants shared wisdom gleaned from years spent in prayer, study, and the observation of children.
Attendees had time for adoration and prayer in the shrine’s beautiful chapel and to work on lesson planning for the remainder of the year. Erica Mahin is a mother of two who recently completed a catechist formation course at St. Gregory the Great. She and her family relocated to the western suburbs in the fall, and she is working to start a new atrium soon.
”This retreat was just what my soul needed,” Erica said. “Time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, quiet, catching up with great friends and fellow catechists, and discussion inspired by the little prophets in our midst with whom we all have the gift of listening to God: children. I left renewed and again reminded that the ways children have of approaching our Good Shepherd are worthy of emulation.”
A few weeks after the retreat, Erica brought a group of women to tour the Atrium at St. Gregory the Great and learn more about the CGS program.
The 16 participants in the retreat included catechists in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium at St. Gregory the Great and others who have taken formation courses there.