We have a small carpentry shop at our Food Bank in Juarez, Mexico, where we teach woodworking and furniture making to those interested in this valuable trade. We recently discovered a new purpose for the shop and equipment.
The program we follow for teaching catechism to the children is called the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS). It is a Montessori-based method and includes a lot of hands-on learning using figurines and objects. CGS encourages the teachers to make as much of the material as possible. Two of the women catechists expressed interest in learning how to use the equipment in the carpentry shop to help them do this, so Rick, an experienced woodworker, has been volunteering his time to teach them.
Pictured below is one of the sets that they made (next to a spiral notebook to give you an idea of its scale). It is a table in a room meant to represent the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples. When they are learning this lesson, the children can arrange figurines of the Lord and the Apostles around the table as they reflect on that event. They often come up with some profound insights that inspire the adults.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a beautiful way to learn about the Christian faith, and we’re so glad that the shop equipment can be used in this important ministry.