CGS Connection – Spotlight on Level 3: Ages 9-12

A Spiral Method of Education

Spotlight on CGS Level 3 – Ages 9-12

In Level 3 of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, with the 9-12 year old children, we circle around again on topics previously touched upon and go in to much deeper depths. Having introduced the Level 2 children to the 3 Moments of Salvation History – Creation, Redemption, Parousia – the Level 3 children continue to ponder their collaboration with Jesus in the time of Redemption that we are living and to look forward with great anticipation to when He will come again at Parousia.

One of the central materials in the Level 3 Atrium is called “The Plan of God.” God’s plan is to bring all of creation back into full blessedness of union with Him. All people of all times have been working for or against this plan. Our own life is part of this plan and we are each called to contribute. This mission for children to take into their rapidly approaching adolescence is fundamental to their identity and purpose in life.

The guideposts and fuel for this mission are specifically mentioned on “The Plan of God” timeline: The Holy Bible and the Sacraments of the Church. Old Testament Prophets and Typology Bible Studies model for children how to read the Scriptures with salvation in Jesus always at the center. There are also presentations which highlight scripture passages which point to Parousia, which speak of Jesus’ miracles as signs of the Parousia, and which provide opportunities to read texts in search of Virtues or lack thereof. There is wonderful material tracing the history of the Jewish people and God’s faithfulness to them (and by extension to us) whether life is in a period of brightness or darkness. Children reread previously discussed parables from their now older perspective as well as encountering new, age-appropriate parables which continue to model life in the Kingdom of God.

And of course, the full power and strength of Jesus, because of His sacrifice on the cross when the Good Shepherd laid down His life for His Sheep, comes to these children and to us in the Holy Eucharist at every Holy Mass. There are numerous materials to enrich their study of each intricate part of the Mass. We discuss the Propers of the Mass vs the Ordinary of the Mass, sample some of the BEAUTIFUL prayers called the “Preface”, realize the reach of the Mass by examining the Prayers of Intercession, and value the 2000+ years of continuity by studying the Mass as a Memorial of the Paschal Triduum of the Last Supper, Crucifixion, Resurrection and preparation for Parousia.

In addition to the Sacrament of the Eucharist, by the end of CGS Level 3, children will have worked with materials to lay out in order, the full Liturgical Rite, gestures, and prayers of Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation and Anointing of the Sick. (The 2 vocational Sacraments are appropriately left for study during Adolescence.)

Almost any of the Level 3 materials could be used to further our understanding of the faith or of the Mass as Adult Catholics.