Recently the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd made it possible for members to subscribe and view our material manuals online instead of in print format. These material manuals include clear directions for making the materials and now have pictures of the original materials from Rome. They are really incredible! I've been visiting every material in the manual before presenting it this year, and have learned so much! The manuals represent a tremendous amount of work, very thoughtfully done, and I am so grateful.
While looking through the manual for the True Vine Atrium, I came across these cards which present pictures of the articles of the altar and their significance. I had to make them right away! Somehow I missed these cards in my training, and as soon as I saw them I knew that they would meet a real need in the children, and allow them to synthesize what they have learned about the altar in a new way. I offered the cards to several groups of children last Sunday and I could almost see the connections being made in their minds as they worked. After matching all the cards, the children asked if they could add the articles from our sacristy cabinet to the work. They were very satisfied with the material!
I can't count the number of times that the "rightness" of the materials has been proven to me since I began working with the Catechesis. Sometimes, the way a work is presented or made doesn't make sense to me and I am tempted to change it. But I consistently find that the wisdom of the materials comes to light when I see the children at work. Other times, I'll find that something I have sensed is not working is actually being done wrong! Or, as in this case, I'll find that a need I am only vaguely aware of has already been addressed with a material I have yet to discover! I've come to trust the wisdom of the Catechesis and the 50+ years of observation, experimentation, and prayer that it represents. I'm so blessed to be a part of it!