ORIGINS AND BEGINNINGS
An important moment in the growth of the Good Shepherd Catechesis in Canada happened in 1978, Rev. Elliott Allen, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College, invited Sofia Cavalletti to direct a three-week inter-session course on the Good Shepherd Catechesis. The response from the many participants, including members of St. Basil’s Parish, was so hearty that Fr. Allen offered one of the large seminar rooms in the Theology building to serve as an atrium in which to prepare children from St. Basil’s parish who wanted to celebrate the sacraments of First Eucharist and Reconciliation.
Another important moment happened when both Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi were invited by Bishop Aloysius Ambrozic, who would become Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto, and Bishop Marcel Gervais, who would become Archbishop of Ottawa, to come to Toronto to offer a three-week international course for two consecutive summers, in 1986 and 1987.
Soon after the interest in this catechesis was growing to the point where a systematic formation programme for adults was established, co-sponsored by the Toronto Archdiocese and the University of St. Michael’s College. In 1992, the Senate of the University of St. Michael’s College accepted the three-cycle course for adults to be incorporated in their overarching Continuing Education Division Certificate Programme— as the Good Shepherd Catechesis Certificate Programme.
(Excerpt from Patricia Coulter’s book, Like Leaven, pages 2-3)