by Maggie Pawsey
“It is the meeting ground of two mysteries,” Rebekah Rojcewicz said of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. “The mystery of God and the mystery of the child.”
Rojcewicz, experienced catechetic and member of the International Council of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, presented on “The Child as Maestro,” or “The Child as Teacher,” to finish out the day of panels for the Saturday portion of the Festival of Friendship.
Rojcewicz said above all, the Catechesis, “honors that the child is a mystery,” and seeks to be honest with children about God’s great love for them, especially through the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The environment creates a space where children are not held back from the fullness of the faith and their own dignity.
This form of Catechesis also allows our children to teach us in simplicity what we might tend to take for granted as adults. Rojcewicz said children lead us to, “a path of wonder, being in awe of reality… being able to respond in a whole-person way… to thoroughly engage in the truth.”
Children have a “capacity for wonder,” Rojcewicz exclaimed, and a capacity for mystery. She showed the audience some pictures children have drawn while in classrooms of the Catechesis. Many drew Jesus as a shepherd with a smiling face, and one picture portrayed the child and Jesus holding hands, both exceedingly happy and in absolute friendship. The simplicity and honesty of the drawings showed that children understood and found joy in the stories they learned.
When asking children in the class, “What makes Him [Jesus] so good?” Rojcewicz said the most common answer was simply, “He knows his sheep by name.” What an “incredibly personal nature” of the love these children understand.
How much joy would the Church experience if we learned to live like that? Rojcewicz ended her presentation with the simple but powerful prayer: “Give me the heart of a child, and the awesome courage to live it out.”
To learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, please visit cgsusa.org.