CHRISTIAN FORMATION at CORPUS CHRISTI
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Children: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
For children ages 4 and up, Corpus Christi’s approach to religious formation is based upon the “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd” model. What is that? Here is one description:
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was founded in the 1950's by two Italian laywomen, one a scriptural scholar and one an expert in Montessori education. Together they conceived of a simple, attractive method for sharing the richness of the Faith with children, who are uniquely capable of accepting the beauty of God's love. The program is presented in three levels, and includes time in the "Atrium," which is a quiet environment where children learn through tactile play.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd emphasizes quiet contemplation and -- imagine this -- "the enjoyment of God." The children hear Bible stories and watch them acted out with simple materials; they learn songs and prayers, and are encouraged to play quietly with simple and meaningful objects. One mother explained that CGS "cracked the code" of the Mass for her son, as he learned to become alert to the details of the liturgy: the significance of color, the names and purposes of the various vessels and tools on the altar.
We love children at Corpus Christi, with all their noise and energy as well as their joy and wonder, and, in obedience to the Lord’s command, wish to bring them to Jesus for his blessing and friendship. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd allows this to happen in the most fruitful way, taking seriously both the child’s love of play and capacity to comprehend, with childlike faith, the mysteries of the Gospel. The philosopher GEM Anscombe (and mother) noted that the child best learns the faith “as part of an action; as concerning something going on before it; as actually unifying and connecting beliefs, which is clearer and more vivifying than being taught only later, in a classroom perhaps, that we have all these beliefs.”
*All Corpus Christi calendars are subject to last minute and unpredictable change! Be sure to read the weekly newsletter!
Fall 2019 Adults’ Class: 1st Peter:
Led by Fr Allen. Read, discuss, and apply St Peter’s first epistle. Peter speaks especially to Christians in the midst of suffering, difficulty, persecution, and shows how that even in these circumstances we may have a confident joy that transcends our circumstances because it is founded on the victory of Jesus Christ. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” - 1 Peter 1.3-5
Spring 2019 Adults' Class: The Prayers of the Mass
Fr Allen (with a little help from from his friends) will lead a study and discussion of "The Prayers of the Mass," in which we will look at the proper "orations" - Collect of the Day, Prayer over the Offerings, and Postcommunion - for the coming Sunday, with the hope of informing and increasing our "active participation" in Mass. And not only will we talk about praying, but we will actually pray Compline together each week.
Fall 2018 Adults' Class: The Church, That Wonderful and Sacred Mystery
Fr Allen (with a little help from from his friends) will lead a study and discussion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church's teaching on the Church, her nature and form. What does it mean to call the Church "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic?" How is the Church Christ's Body? Or his Bride? Can we affirm with St. Cyprian, extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (outside the Church there is no salvation)?
O GOD of unchangeable power and eternal light, look favourably on thy whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; and by the tranquil operation of thy perpetual providence carry out the work of man's salvation, and let the whole world feel and see that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and all things are returning to perfection through him from whom they took their origin, even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Collect at the Easter Vigil, from Divine Worship: The Missal