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The Religious Potential of the Child: Experiencing Scripture and Liturgy with Young Children

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This classic book describes an experience with children from ages three to six, an experience of adults and children dwelling together in the mystery of God. Known as the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, this way of religious formation is profoundly biblical and sacramental, and it is, at the same time, deeply respectful of the nature of young children, who make their way This classic book describes an experience with children from ages three to six, an experience of adults and children dwelling together in the mystery of God. Known as the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, this way of religious formation is profoundly biblical and sacramental, and it is, at the same time, deeply respectful of the nature of young children, who make their way to God in freedom and joy.'The Religious Potential of the Child' is not a 'how-to' book, complete with lesson plans and material ideas. Instead it offers a glimpse into the religious life of the atrium, a specially prepared place for children to live out their silent request: 'Help me come closer to God by myself.' Here we can see the child's spiritual capabilities and perhaps even find in our own souls the child long burdened with religious information.Sofia Cavalletti is an internationally known biblical scholar and was a member of the committee that prepared the 'Directory for Masses with Children'. Together with her collaborator, Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori educator, she has traveled throughout the world forming catechists in this essentially oral method and helping to establish catechetical centers modeled on their Centro di Catechesi in Rome. Published by Liturgy Training Publications.


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This classic book describes an experience with children from ages three to six, an experience of adults and children dwelling together in the mystery of God. Known as the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, this way of religious formation is profoundly biblical and sacramental, and it is, at the same time, deeply respectful of the nature of young children, who make their way This classic book describes an experience with children from ages three to six, an experience of adults and children dwelling together in the mystery of God. Known as the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, this way of religious formation is profoundly biblical and sacramental, and it is, at the same time, deeply respectful of the nature of young children, who make their way to God in freedom and joy.'The Religious Potential of the Child' is not a 'how-to' book, complete with lesson plans and material ideas. Instead it offers a glimpse into the religious life of the atrium, a specially prepared place for children to live out their silent request: 'Help me come closer to God by myself.' Here we can see the child's spiritual capabilities and perhaps even find in our own souls the child long burdened with religious information.Sofia Cavalletti is an internationally known biblical scholar and was a member of the committee that prepared the 'Directory for Masses with Children'. Together with her collaborator, Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori educator, she has traveled throughout the world forming catechists in this essentially oral method and helping to establish catechetical centers modeled on their Centro di Catechesi in Rome. Published by Liturgy Training Publications.

30 review for The Religious Potential of the Child: Experiencing Scripture and Liturgy with Young Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mariclare Elizabeth

    This book is essential. Even if you don't have kids.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Cortona

    I read this book for my Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training. It totally just crushes the simplistic scholasticized Sunday School fluff, instead proposing an approach to catechesis that is carefully considerate of the child's development, respectful to his/her needs, historically accurate and deeply essential (not cartoonish or oversimplified), designed to aid the child in his/her natural inclination to draw close to Jesus in the ways Sofia Cavalletti and Maria Montessori found most effectiv I read this book for my Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training. It totally just crushes the simplistic scholasticized Sunday School fluff, instead proposing an approach to catechesis that is carefully considerate of the child's development, respectful to his/her needs, historically accurate and deeply essential (not cartoonish or oversimplified), designed to aid the child in his/her natural inclination to draw close to Jesus in the ways Sofia Cavalletti and Maria Montessori found most effective in their scientific observation of children spanning many decades in cultures all over the world. CGS is revolutionizing the catechesis of young children in the Catholic church and nearly every other denomination. One of my favorite parts of this book were where Cavalletti talked about how the catechist is merely a guide, and needs to be so careful to step aside, facilitating a relationship with Christ but not intervening, letting Christ speak to the child in His own words. Another was where she explained the incredible importance of reaching the child during early childhood - between the ages of 3 and 6, during the prescholastic time when he or she is "free from any preoccupation and open to the encounter with God and to the enjoyment he derives from it" (Cavalletti 155). During the plane of childhood spanning from 6 to 12, the child is in a sensitive period for morality and right/wrong, and if introduced to God then may come away seeing him as a judge overly preoccupied with sin and proper behavior. Finally, I enjoyed the careful sensitivity to observing and recognizing the particular face of God the child needs at this specific point in his or her development, and balancing that with a staunch emphasis on not censoring, modifying, or watering down essential realities or the Word of God.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Very inspirational, full of heartwarming anecdotes and some philosophy, short on practical advice for getting started, and, I suspect, rather a product of its age. I would be interested to see a study of the rate at which children raised with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd leave the faith, compared to contemporaries with either no catechesis, or traditional catechism.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Not an easy read, but thought provoking. Read in preparation for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    It was really hard to stick with this book. The author seemed to write for professional educators and much of it went over my head.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susana Monedero

    Un libro fundamental para todos aquellos que deseen profundizar en la catequesis del buen pastor, en la educación religiosa del niño desde la perspectiva Montessoriana.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Foundational for understanding the purpose and progress of Christian catechesis for the youngest children. A rich study of and meditation upon the capacity of a child's faith.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I loved this book. It confirmed a lot of what I have experienced with young children and their grasp of faith. The illustrations done by the children are wonderful. My only complaint is that it didn't give enough of the nuts and bolts, but that is probably because I always want more details. I highlighted a lot and will go back often, I am sure. I appreciated how she emphasized Christ, not just a vague concept of "God." Definitely a keeper.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eric Chappell

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Elliott

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Heise

  13. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Mary

  14. 5 out of 5

    Scrumhalf

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meggan Manlove

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sandra McCutchon

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janine Kearns

  20. 4 out of 5

    Claire

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Bjorlin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Whitley

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tori Thompson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  26. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

  27. 4 out of 5

    Trina

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dianna

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martha Trahan

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