Religious Education – Family Faith & Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Fall 2020 – Reopening Plan

As with any and all plans, the following will be continually evaluated and revised as necessary. Please click on the icon to the left and read our complete reopening document so you are up-to-speed on health and safety guidelines, etc.

Religious Education Time-Slot Preference Form

Please complete this form to sign up your family for either the On-Campus Religious Education option or the Remote Learning Religious Education option. You will also be asked to list various preferences regarding time, etc. You will be notified of your family’s Religious Education schedule by Tuesday, September 1.

(Nb. Should the Sunday Mass schedule change, the formation sessions will adjust accordingly.)

Questions? Please contact Kristen Eggers at

Our Programs: Explained

Family Faith (Children in Gr. 3-8 + Parents)

Central to the experience of the faith is the family. This year, families are given a unique opportunity to partner with the parish in the faith formation of their child(ren) by gathering together in small groups of families, exploring the faith as a community.

For a list of FAQs regarding the Family Faith program, please see this document.

  • Families with children only in grades 3–8, or in both the Atrium (age 3 – grade 2) and grades 3-8 will participate in Family Faith: 
    • On Campus Option: 
      • Whole families (i.e. parents and children) will be assigned to one formation session at St. Gertrude each month from October 2020 – April 2021 (7 sessions total). 
      • Each session will last approximately 50 minutes and sessions will be offered the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Sundays of the month at both 9:00am and 11:00am in the St. Gertrude School cafeteria, so as to not conflict with the current Mass schedule. We will also make available a Tuesday session from 6:30-7:30pm. 
      • Families with children also participating in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (age 3 – grade 2) will be dropped off in their assigned Atrium. 
      • All remaining family members (i.e. parents and children in grades 3–8) will sit together at an assigned table in the school cafeteria. Tables will be appropriately spaced to allow for proper physical distancing from other households. Light refreshments will be provided. 
        • If a family has high school teens, those students are welcome to attend these family sessions. 
      • On Campus sessions will be limited to 12 families per session. 
      • Over the next two months, we will be designing a highly dynamic formation program that is family-based and child-centered. This program will aim to unlock the Bible by providing a foundational understanding of the basic plot. It will be capable of engaging your whole family during the once-per-month session and through simple and appropriate follow-up opportunities for home. Further details on the contents of the formation program will be available as October approaches. 
    • Remote Learning Option: 
      • Families will attend one Family Faith session remotely each month from October 2020 – April 2021 (7 sessions total). 
      • Each session will last approximately 50 minutes and sessions will be available via livestream the 3rd Sunday of the month at both 9:00am and 11:00am. 
      • Prior to a remote formation session, we will coordinate with families to ensure they have all necessary materials. 
      • Families will need access to audio and video capabilities in order to participate in the remote learning options.
    • If your child is in 8th grade:

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (age 3 – Gr. 2)

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a common religious experience involving children and adults in which the religious values of childhood, primarily those values of contemplation and enjoyment of God, are predominant. This experience is shared in a place particularly prepared for the religious life of children called the Atrium. For more on CGS, please visit

  • Students ages 3 years old through 2nd grade will have regularly scheduled Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the atrium. Therefore CGS will be implemented as follows:
    • To keep smaller and therefore safer numbers of children in our atrium space, we are offering biweekly (every other week) atrium times instead of the weekly class families as offered originally at registration.
    • To continue to walk with your children and family on the ‘off week’, we are offering several new opportunities:
      • Online virtual prayer and singing time for families that will happen in a live format with several times offered a week.
      • CGS work will be available for checking out and taking home for a week. In order for a work to be taken home, a brief in-person presentation will be given to both parent and child. The works will be sanitized before being lent to another family. We will ask to please be respectful of returning works in a timely manner.
    • We are unable to offer a remote-only learning option for CGS.
      • In accordance with guidelines given by CGSUSA, recorded presentations are not ideal and are frowned upon to do. Because of the nature of the atrium of receiving presentations (announcements of the Word) and then work time to absorb the message, moments in the atrium cannot be ‘realized’ electronically. 
      • Therefore, should stay at home orders arise, we will provide additional at home resources and support to continue for children and families to grow nearer to God together. 
      • If a child has been a part of the atrium before and would like to participate in at home opportunities only (prayer/singing/taking work home) they have that option. If a child has never been in an atrium before, unfortunately he or she may not participate remotely.
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia: Good Shepherd Mosaic