Level 1 Catechist Formation Course

June 11, 2022 – Feb 26, 2023

PART I – Jun 11-12     Jun 18-19      Jul 16-17        Jul 23
PART II –  Sep 3-4        Oct 29-30       Dec 10-11     Jan 28-29      Feb 25-26




Questions or requesting financial assistance? 

Reach out to Catechetical Coordinator, Christina Wang at faithformation@stsimon.org

More About the Training/Formation Course

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based religious formation program for children, beginning at the age of three. It seeks to create and facilitate a sacred, “hands-on” space for children called an atrium, in which both the children and the catechists can hear, ponder, and celebrate the most essential mysteries of the Christian faith as revealed in the scriptures and the liturgy. Originally developed in Rome by Dr. Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi over 50 years ago, the Catechesis continues to spread worldwide and is used with adaptation in various Christian traditions. This Level I course grounds the participant in the theory and praxis of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd while also concretely preparing her/him to develop and facilitate an atrium for 3-6 year olds.
The Level I training is the foundation for all three levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

The training objectives are:
• To present the methodology and guiding principles of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
• To explore the religious needs of the 3 to 6 year old child
• To meditate on the Biblical and liturgical themes presented to the 3 to 6 year old
• To broaden your ability to observe and learn from children, to listen with children to the Scripture, and to deepen your enjoyment of God’s presence
• To offer you guidelines and assistance in preparing the “Atrium” environment, and in making the catechist’s album and catechetical material

Meet the Trainer/Formation Leader

You’ll be formed by nationally acclaimed trainer Jennifer Bell. Jennifer has been a catechist of the Good Shepherd for 25 years, serving continually in home, parish, and school atria with children ages 3-12 and all levels of CGS.  Her own children’s longing to know Jesus more drew her and her husband, also a catechist, to work in atria.Jennifer has been a CGSUSA recognized Formation Leader in Level 1 and 2 since 2015. She has formed the Missionaries of Charity novices in San Francisco for 7 years and in Rome in 2019. She is doing cutting edge work as part of the Formation Team of the Seminal Infant Toddler Catechesis.Continual work with children in the atrium and knowing deeply their silent plea “help me come close to God, help me be fully who I am” is at the center of Jennifer’s work as a Spiritual Director with adults and families.


This program will occur on weekends in June through February next year. Each day of formation is such a treat. You enter a wonderful process of discovery and deepening your relationship with God.
REGISTER HERE for the whole 90-100 hour course, with CGSUSA certification upon completion.
Full Level 1 course fee with certification: $900.00
Financial assistance offered, if needed
We want everyone that feels called to be formed, to participate!

Observers and Auditors

If you cannot attend the full training schedule, we would like to invite you for a day or weekend as an observer (as an observer, days early in the series would be easiest for absorbing the content) or auditor (has completed CGSUSA Level 1 certification and is looking for a refresher). Just let us know the best dates for you via the link and you can REGISTER HERE.
  • $50 per day


St. Simon Church 1860 Grant Rd, Los Altos, CA 94024

(Simon Room, inside the Parish Center, come in the main Parish Center/Gym doors and turn left)

Saturday-Sunday, June 11-12, June 18-19
Saturday-Sunday July 16-17, only Saturday July 23rd
Saturday-Sunday, September 3-4
Saturday-Sunday, October 29-30
Saturday-Sunday, December 10-11
Saturday-Sunday, January 28-29
Saturday-Sunday, February 25-26
Saturdays: 9am – 4pm (optional hospitality starts at 8:30am)
Sundays:  10am-4pm (optional mass at St. Simon’s starts at 9am)
Also needed for training (not required for observers/auditors):

Thank you to our partners to make this training possible: the Directors of Faith Formation at the Catholic Community at Stanford and St. John Vianney in San Jose