Developmentally, children begin to view God as a “judge” by age seven. Studies show that nurturing the relationship between the preschool child and God; helping them to “fall in love” and introduce lessons and create an environment in which they can truly listen and hear Jesus introduce himself as the “Good Shepherd” is extraordinarily beneficial to their faith development, even into their adult years. Below is an  open letter: To Parents of 3-6 Year Olds from a Parent of Teens.

“I have been very blessed to be the mother of three amazing children. I have watched my babies grow into three strong and independent teens. Sure, we’ve had some of the ‘normal’ teen drama and I’m sure there will be more to come, but we have also witnessed the way in which the Holy Spirit has touched each one of them. How did this come to be? Well, you may doubt what I am about to tell you, but this much I know…I have watched and heard them say and do things that I know for a fact came from being “children of the Good Shepherd.”

I’m sure many of you have heard of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) here at our parish. It is beautiful faith formation for children – especially for the youngest of them. When our children entered the atrium (the learning room for the catechesis) their eyes filled with wonder and excitement. The entire room was a spiritual and delightful place for them to be. The environment was so calm and so serene – not like any other I have ever experienced – especially for children so young. They were shown so many wonderful things and in such a tranquil setting.

I was fortunate to be an aide for those first few years. I watched children walk slowly into the atrium and quickly ‘get to work.’ They practiced setting the model altar – they loved when an adult would light the candles and they could extinguish them. They colored vestments, herded sheep, mixed dough and touched mustard seeds. They learned beautiful songs and shared wonderful stories. I can sincerely say my kids are better prepared for the world because of their time spent in the atrium. They know how to work independently, they know how to be compassionate, and they know that they are never alone. They have learned that it’s ok to ponder, to be still and to listen to their heart. They can work on their own and have the self-confidence they need to do it all by themselves.

Trying to instill these values at such a young age is a tough task. CGS helps to do just that. It teaches our precious children that each and every one of them is very important. Time in the atrium allows them to experience wonder and awe in their own way; it places values deep in their soul that will one day help them to be strong and independent teens. I truly believe that with all my heart.

Even now, as my kids are pulled in so many different directions, and just getting them to church is sometimes a task in and of itself, I still see glimpses of that earlier time. I see the value they place on each other as well as themselves. I see a beautiful soul that knows right from wrong. I see how they put others first without compromising their own being. They have been given the foundation needed to see them through the difficult years ahead. They know they are children of the Good Shepherd and that they are loved. What more could a mother ask for? Let us hold each other, and our children in prayer, A grateful mom

Jesus said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” 

On line registration for our CGS Faith Formation programming for ages PreK – 8th grade at Christ the Redeemer Parish in Lake Orion, MI begins Monday, July 10, 2023 at



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