Mass 12:15 PM
Reconciliation 4:15-4:45 PM
Mass 5:00 PM
Mass 10:30 AM
Sacramental Preparation at St. Aloysius is a collaborative effort between parents as primary teachers of their child, catechists, and the community of faith as experienced through Sunday Liturgies.
In support of parents in their role as primary teachers, parent meetings offer
insight into the curriculum as children experience, in the method of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
These enrichment opportunities offer theological reflection on the sacrament and helpful information and insight for parents preparing their child.
Introduction to the
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a Montessori-based method which helps children ages 3-12 to discover liturgy, scripture, and prayer in a beautifully prepared environment known as the Atrium. The Atrium is in the former baptistry in the lower Church.
As far back as the Acts of the Apostles, there is evidence of the community of Jesus, Christ's followers, initiating new members through a single celebration of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. Today the decision one makes to enter the Catholic church is just as significant as it was in early Christianity. Even though we may not face threats of martyrdom, we are called to be daily witnesses to the gospel and to take a stand for all that is life-giving and just.
At St. Aloysius the journey to becoming a fully active member of our faith community begins with the process commonly called The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It is designed to address the needs of three primary groups:
We begin with an overview, called "Come and See" of the practice of Catholicism in general and the history of the faith. It is presented by various speakers on four
consecutive evenings in September and everyone of any faith is invited to attend any or all of these. It is an introduction to the RCIA process utiliizng Fr. Robert Barron’s series on Catholicism.
The first period of RCIA is called “inquiry.” It continues for two months (typically through October and November). The purpose of this time is to welcome and get acquainted with those in attendance and to answer their questions. It is a time of unhurried reflection and discovery of Jesus in the Gospels. Each inquirer is unique and must make the journey at his or her own pace. The group usually meets on Wednesday evenings, or after Sunday Mass. We try to tailor our meeting times to best accommodate the needs of participants.
The second period of RCIA is called "catechumenate" which comes from the biblical Greek and literally means "one who thoroughly sounds out something." Participants may declare their intention to follow the gospel through the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming. In these sessions the growing faith of those involved is nurtured and strengthened by witness, word and prayer. It continues to meet weekly.
The third period of RCIA is that of “purification and enlightenment”. The celebration of the Rite of Election is usually held on the first Sunday of Lent at the Cathedral, marking the beginning of a
reflective time, and a time of prayer and meditation for all. Lent is an especially appropriate time for this final step of examination of one's motivations. The season of Lent is seen as a spiritual retreat calling all of us, baptized or unbaptized, to a renewal of heart and recommitment to our baptismal promises. Meeting weekly, we pledge ourselves to a gospel way of living, to discipleship of Jesus Christ, and to witnessing his message to all we meet. This period culminates with the Easter week services and the joyous acceptance of new members to the Catholic faith.
The last period of RCIA is called “mystagogy.” The name comes from the Greek and refers to the profound and joyous “mystery” of living life fully aware that Jesus is Lord. This may be the final stage of the formal process, but it is the beginning of a lifelong journey. Continuing to meet weekly for the rest of the Easter season, the newly initiated are prepared for their new membership in the church through the sessions, but particularly through their participation in the Sunday Eucharist. It is a time of exploring prayer, ministry, and commitment.
If you are interested in becoming a full member of the Roman Catholic Church, or would like to know more about becoming Catholic, contact us, at 313-309-1261 for more information.
For more information, publications and more, visit the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Church Magazine, Summer, 2008
America Magazine, Sept., 2008
During 1954 in Rome, Hebrew scholar and theologian Sofia Cavelletti made a discovery that changed her life. She saw a way of being in the presence of God that is both unique to the child and a gift to the adult who stops long enough to notice. With her Montessori collaborator, Gianna Gobbi, Dr. Cavalletti began a lifelong service to children that is helping children worldwide to encounter and explore the mystery of God.
CGS is an approach to the religious formation of children that is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in a room specially prepared for them, called an atrium, which contains simple yet beautiful materials that they use to draw near to God. In the early church, the atrium was the place where the catechumens were prepared. For the child, the atrium is a place of preparation for the involvement in the larger worshipping community.
We believe that there is a deep bond between God and the child, which produces the desire to draw near to God. The adult’s role is to prepare the environment and to present materials that elicit the child’s response. We listen with the child and together we ask, “God, who are you? How do you love us?"
Everything we do in the atrium helps the adult and child experience and express joy. Prayer is the aim of the atrium, and our joy becomes a spiritual practice. In the atrium, adults are not traditional ‘teachers’, but rather co-wonderers with the children. “I wonder how the tiny mustard seed is like the Kingdom of God? I wonder what power is inside the mustard seed that makes it grow so large?” Together, they enter deeply into the Light and Love of Christ.
We explore the scriptural and liturgical traditions of our faith, lifting up those aspects that experience with the children have proven to be most essential. For the youngest children (ages 3-6), these include prayer, Eucharist, Baptism, Parables of the Kingdom of God, Biblical geography, infancy narratives of Jesus, and the Paschal mystery. Older children (ages 6-12) continue these meditations and receive an introduction to Bible study, salvation history, moral parables, the sacraments, Old Testament studies, and each person’s place in the Plan of God.
The CGS curriculum is broken into three developmental levels that build upon one another: Ages 3 to 6, 6 to 9, and 9-12. Adults take part in substantial formation courses at each level to learn who the child is and how to ponder with the child the mysteries of God’s kingdom. Catechists across the US and around the world commonly express how this work has profoundly deepened and enriched their own faith journeys.
Formation courses occur in all regions of the USA by the national association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. There is also a wide selection of books and other resources to help those who wish to learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and children’s spirituality available from the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
© 2016 St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church. All rights reserved.
ST. ALOYSIUS CATHOLIC CHURCH
1234 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Fr. Loren Thomas Connell, OFM, Pastor
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