Tuesday, August 23, 2011

With Thanksgiving for Sofia

I just received the announcement below from The National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd saying that Sofia Cavalletti died this morning at the age of 94. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Sofia in 2004 when visiting Rome. She was a woman of great strength and intellect, who loved God deeply and cared passionately about the spiritual lives of children. As we prepare for a new year of Christian Formation at Christ Church, we join with friends all over the world who give thanks to God for Sofia and the tremendous gift she has given us in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Luke 1:46-47

Dearest Friends,
With tears and with peace, we want to share with you that our beloved Sofia Cavalletti, at 94, a founding mother of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, has entered the celestial pasture of the Good Shepherd. There is great rejoicing in heaven for her with Gianna, Tilde, Fr. Mongillo, Maria Christleib and Tina, along with members of her family who have gone before her.

Francesca Cocchini sent the following announcement from Rome, Italy: “Dearest, this is only to say that during this night – at ten after midnight (Tuesday, August 23) Sofia encountered the Good Shepherd face to face.” The funeral mass will be on Wednesday, August 24.

Francesca also shared the announcement for the Italian newspaper, Repubblica:
“The Maria Montessori Association for the Religious Formation of the Child sings the Magnificat for the life of Sofia Cavalletti who gave the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to the Church. Eucharist is at 11 am, Wednesday, 24 August, at S. Giovanni dei Florentini Church, Rome.”

Sofia goes ahead of a large family of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechists and children in thirty-seven countries around the world. A Hebrew and scripture scholar, Sofia began to work with children in 1954, collaborating with Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori educator. Together they were called and inspired by the children they served to listen, watch, and deepen an understanding of children’s spirituality in relationship with God.

Sofia leaves to the world an approach to the Christian formation of children from the ages of three to twelve that is theologically sound, systematic, and rich in Bible, liturgy, and sacred history. Sofia’s reverence for the Bible and liturgy, her fresh and compelling style of writing and speaking, her wise and intelligent way of discussing complicated theological themes simply, her sense of humor, and personal warmth will be greatly missed by many.

Please go to our Facebook page (The National Association of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd) to share your prayers and remembrances of Sofia and feel free to forward this email to other catechists & friends you know who may not yet be members of our association.

With great love and affection,
The Board and Staff of CGSUSA
The National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has posted a beautiful tribute to Sofia on their home page. You can see it by clicking here.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Leslie. Sofia was an amazing woman who devoted her life to something that is now bearing fruit a thousand-fold all over the world. I am so thankful for her life and work!

  2. This summer in my training I watched a video of Sofia talking about her work. It was very touching to hear her speak of how grateful she was to be a part of the development of CGS. Thank you for posting this Leslie.

  3. Thank you for letting us know! I have linked to this post from my blog, and I thank God for her life and work.


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