Thursday, March 5, 2009

How Lenten observances can nourish your child's soul

Since we are in the season of Lent, I thought it timely to spend the next month and a half discussing various Lenten observances and how they can be used to nourish your child's soul. Many Lenten practices -- like fasting and abstinence -- do not always apply to children. Many Lenten observances -- like Stations of the Cross -- do not seem very "child friendly." Yet we can adapt these practices and observances to help our children grow spiritually and and build a personal relationship with Christ.

In this blog, I will often refer to some of the things I've learned as a certified catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. I thought it might be good to tell you a bit about this program, in case you have not heard of it.


The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was developed in the 1950s by a Roman Catholic Biblical Scholar named Sofia Cavalletti. It is a world-wide program that is currently used in 32 different countries. It uses a hands-on approach to faith formation. There are no workbooks and no tests. Instead, the children use a variety of handmade materials to deepen their understanding and relationship with our Lord. It is solidly Catholic and follows the teachings of the Magisterium. At the same time, it brings catechism to a level that reaches into the depths of a child's soul. In short, you can feel the work of the Holy Spirit when you step into an atrium!

If you want to learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, please check out the website of the National Association at


Some topics we will cover:

- Surviving Stations of the Cross with young children

- Favorite books, CDS and videos/DVDs for Lent

- Celebrating Palm Sunday

- How to make Holy Week meaningful to your children

Those are just a few proposed topics. I actually have many, many other ideas! If you would like to see something special, please let me know.

Don't forget to subscribe to this blog (on the left hand side of the page), so you will know when new articles are posted.

Cheryl Schroeder Basile


  1. I too teach catechesis of the good shepherd. It is an awesome experience. I currently teach 3-6 yr old and am trainig this fall for 6-9. I'd love to share stories...

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Doug! Isn't the Catechesis awesome and awe-inspiring? And with each level of training, it becomes more beautiful.