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Local Formation


Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Formation Courses

Level 1 (for those with children ages 3-6)

Part A: January 10-16 2020

REVISED DATE FOR Part B: June 12-17, 2020

Course Team:

Carolyne-Marie Petch and Debbie Zeni - Formation Facilitators

Sister Bibiana Ikwun, and Regina Ramos-Urbano - Facilitators in Formation

Koreen Hrizai and Judith Vasquez - Hosting Team 

Formation Team: Dr. Deb Zeni is a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Association of Canada (CGSAC) certified Level 1-3 catechist & formation facilitator who has facilitated courses across Canada. Carolyne-Marie Petch is a certified catechist and Formation Facilitator for levels 1-3. She is one of the founders and past board members of CGSAC.

  • Participants do not require any pre-requisite courses.
  • Ability to read, write and speak English (at times and at various locations there are courses available in other languages, please contact us if you are interested in other language opportunities)
  • Click here for the Brochure.
  • Click here to Register.
  • Click here for Bursary Information.

Level 2 (for those with children ages 6-9) 

Part A: February 11-17 2020 

Part B: February 20-26 2021

Formation Leaders: Annette Witte and Nancy Wood

  • Participants must have completed Level 1 training prior to beginning Level 2 training.
  • Additional reading is required for Level 2 - A full reading guide will be sent upon registration.
  • Contact Maureen Foster-Fernandes 204-832-4336 or e-mail 
  • Click here for the Level 2 Brochure.
  • Click here for Bursary Information.


Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Association of Canada (CGSAC) National Gathering will be in Calgary, AB November 1-2, 2019. See details on pages 3 & 4 of the July 2019 Newsletter.

Click here for CGSAC News and view the July 2019 Newsletter.

If you would like to learn more about this formation please contact the archdiocesan service of Catechetics or explore the links below. 

Click here for a video introduction of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd  (3:14 minutes)

Click here for a video of children's and parents' experiences (3:47 minutes)

Click here for a video about the beginning of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (9:43 minutes)

Click here for an article Discovering God through Play - Are Children Innately Spiritual? CBC Tapestry

 A parish's perspective...

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori- based religious formation for children starting at the age of 3. It seeks to create and facilitate a sacred, ‘hands-on’ space for children called an atrium, in which both the children and their catechists can listen, ponder and celebrate the most profound mysteries of the Christian faith as revealed in Scripture and Liturgy. Founded in Rome by Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi in 1954, the Catechesis has spread worldwide and is used by various Christian traditions to nurture the child’s relationship with Jesus. The course is presented in the Roman Catholic tradition but includes awareness of material adaptations to the Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox traditions.

There are three levels of training for adults interested in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd:

  • Level 1 for children 3-6 years of age
  • Level 2 for children 6-9 years of age
  • Level 3 for children 9-12 years of age

Level 1 training must be completed before beginning Level 2.

Level 2 training must be completed before beginning Level 3.

The Level 1 course lays the foundation of the theory and practices of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for all three levels of CGS. This 90+ hour course concretely prepares the adult to work, to listen to the Word of God and to learn with and from children.

Fall Formation Sessions

Annual Fall Formation September Sessions are held for all catechists, coordinators, and those that walk with others in faith.  These sessions are fully sponsored for you by the Service of Catechetics Archdioceses of St.Boniface and Winnipeg.

Thanks to all the participants and hosting parishes for the September 2019 series!

Resource to Celebrate Catechists – Catechists Go Forth!

Session 1 – Catechists Named for Mission! (PowerPoint)
Session 2 – Catechists Hear the Good News! (Powerpoint)
Session 3 – Catechists Proclaim the Good News! (PowerPoint)
Click here for Loyola Press 3 Minute Retreat used for Opening Prayer The Rippling Effect


Catechist Fall Faith Formation 2018 topic was Being a Catechist with Enthusiasm! Thank you to all the participants! Preparing, supporting, learning and praying together for the upcoming year was a wonderful way to engage with enthusiasm as a catechist or helper!

Catechist Fall Faith Formation 2017 topic was Sacraments (for all catechists and those in catechetical leadership). Thank you to all the participants. Click here to read an article by Denise Wallyen about the fall formation days 2017.



Upcoming Regional and National Conferences

The Western Conference of Catholic Religious Educators (WCCRE) invite you to mark your calendars for November 12 - 14 2020 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan!

Past Regional and National Conferences



The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, through the Episcopal Commission for Evangelization and Catechesis, hosted the 2019 National Conference on Evangelization and Catechesis on 4-6 April 2019, at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel - Ottawa Airport. The theme of the conference, He Thirsts for You, is inspired by John 4: 4-26 – The Woman at the Well.

Highlights of the Conference included an opening play, He Thirsts for You, written and performed by Catholic playwright Elisa Lollino, as well as the following keynote speakers: the Most Reverend William McGrattan, Father Ron Rolheiser, O.M.I., and Dr. Josephine Lombardi. Additionally, each participant had the opportunity to choose four workshops on a variety of topics related to evangelization and catechesis.

The Western Region of Canada had about thirty participants! Thank you to all participants for a successful conference.


 Online & Distance Faith Formation Courses

St. Paul's College - University of Manitoba

  Click here to learn more about St.Paul's College situated on the University of Manitoba.


Newman Theological College (Edmonton, AB)

Newman Theological College offers a comprehensive selection of courses on various aspects of the Catholic faith. All are offered online, so you can study from the comfort of home and work around your personal schedule. Take an individual course for interest, or work toward one or all of the six specialized Certificates in Catholic Studies.

This program is open to adults and youth of all backgrounds and education levels.

The college has recently created the Benedict XVI Institute which offers a Certificate in Catechesis through non-academic on-line courses. To see about the program and courses offered click here ...

 Online Faith Formation Courses and Programs

We offer a comprehensive selection of courses on various aspects of the Catholic faith. All are offered online, so you can study from the comfort of home and work around your personal schedule. Each course runs five weeks. Take an individual course for interest, or work toward one or all of the 22 specialized Certificates in Catholic Studies.

This program is open to adults and youth of all backgrounds and education levels in all countries.



University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IL)






Click here to read Pope Francis's message about the meaning and importance of the Nativity scene. 

Some quotes from the letter: 

"The nativity scene is like a living Gospel rising up from the pages of sacred Scripture."


"I wish to encourage the beautiful family tradition of preparing the nativity scene in the days before Christmas, but also the custom of setting it up in the workplace, in schools, hospitals, prisons and town squares."


" Standing before the Christmas crèche, we are reminded of the time when we were children, eagerly waiting to set it up. These memories make us all the more conscious of the precious gift received from those who passed on the faith to us. At the same time, they remind us of our duty to share this same experience with our children and our grandchildren. It does not matter how the nativity scene is arranged: it can always be the same or it can change from year to year. What matters is that it speaks to our lives. Wherever it is, and whatever form it takes, the Christmas crèche speaks to us of the love of God, the God who became a child in order to make us know how close he is to every man, woman and child, regardless of their condition."


 " Beginning in childhood, and at every stage of our lives, it teaches us to contemplate Jesus, to experience God’s love for us, to feel and believe that God is with us and that we are with him, his children, brothers and sisters all, thanks to that Child who is the Son of God and the Son of the Virgin Mary. And to realize that in that knowledge we find true happiness. "


Ongoing Catechesis:

Finding God 2013 - Loyola Press


Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

 Immediate Catechesis (Sacraments):

  • We Prepare for Reconciliation - Novalis
  • We Share in the Eucharist -Novalis
  • Alive in the Spirit - Novalis
  • Come Join Us at the Table - Novalis
  • Blessed -Dynamic Catholic
  • Decision Point -Dynamic Catholic
  • Others in consultation with the Service of Catechetics

Planning a retreat for Confirmation, Youth Group, or Families?

Here are some links to ministries that provide retreats for youth and others:

CSE (local)


RUAH (local)

Brochure          Archbishop's letter

NET Canada (National)


FACE 2 FACE (in Saskatoon, SK)

Website Newsletters


Three Minute Retreat

Click here or on the photo below for the Loyola Press Three Minute Retreat: A Work in Progress.

Additional Formation

 Called to be a catechist?



Catechist Online Support & Webinars from Home

Thank you for saying yes to the ministry of the catechist!

Today, growing as a catechist can be convenient and customized to fit your personal schedule.  If you have your own family or a demanding work schedule or aging parents to care for, your vocation as a catechist can still be a nourishing and fulfilling response to God's call.  A vareity of formation opportunities await you.  Just a click away there is information, support and formation ready to meet you where you are in your journey of faith as you hear and echo the Word of God to others. 

Finding God 2013 (Loyola Press)

Our ongoing parish and home catechism program Finding God has many online support resources for catechists and coordinators (DREs).  There are also parent materials available.  Click here to explore the support materials available.

In this series of seven webinars, parishes and catechists Loyola Press presents ways to introduce you to the program for grades 1--6 and assist you in planning a successful, and reflecting on a faith-filled year using Finding God.



3-Dimensional Catechist (Catechist's Journey)

In this pre-recorded series of Webinars, Forming a 3-Dimensional Catechist, Joe Paprocki leads catechists through formation exercises designed to help them grow in these three critical areas: Being, Knowing, and Doing.  Published on 3 Sep 2013 Learn more at



Documents and Reference Materials

General Directory for Catechesis (IntraText)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church


Catechesi Tradendae

Evangelii Nuntiandi

 New Resources for Formation 

 Visit our Resourse Library Section of the website for New Arrivals and to reserve materials.

The Archdiocese of Saint Boniface Resource Library contains a wide variety of religious materials: videos, DVDs, cassettes, CDs and books. These materials are available to enrich any religious education program as well as one's spiritual journey.