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Course Evaluations

Portage La Prairie: Level 1, Part A
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Formation Facilitators:


Heather Skublics Lampman

Judith Vasquez

Murita Chua

Louise Fillion

Part 1 - Formation Experience
The Pace

just right, except for the weather-caused delay there was no rush to finish sessions

Excellent pace, many presentations in the first weekend allowed for a little breather in the second weekend. Would not change this.

I liked the pace the best when we did all the presentations in the morning, allowing for more time in the afternoon to work on the album pages.

The rhythm of the days was good. The days were long, but having time for work in the afternoon was a good shift to renew attention.
At times, I felt completely outside of time, and was reminded of retreats I've been on.

This is a test

This was observed especially in the atrium. However, when there are notes to be taken and the participants do not have corresponding handouts the facilitators to be abit slow to allow the participants grasp the key points.

The pace is good. At first it feels too packed and too much information but at the end it is making more sense. Maybe having small breaks after each presentation to absorb the information and meditate with it would be nice. Also having some stretching and breathing exercises in between might be helpful. Also I really enjoyed sharing in group settings, it helped to rest and use my brain in a different way.

The pace was good.

Excellent pace - I thought the planning of the weekend made an efficient use of my time as a student.

It would be wonderful to have more time so I am thankful to everyone (facilitators, hosts, Father, those who attended) who shared their time, energy, effort & gifts in this CGS experience.

After a presentation it was lovely to have time to digest what was said. I don't think tough that it's retreat like, personally I would take that out of the description. The training is for formation not to be on retreat.

The Presentations

Presentations are very well done, even for me as an adult, the materials helped bring the lessons to life and helped trigger the imagination, something becomed harder to create as an adult

Really amazing to watch how each presenter shows the child the material.

This was my favourite part of the course and the times when I feel I learned the most.

It was nice to actually see how the presentations are done with children.
I think its' really important to see and hear the tone and pacing.

from therese Wright

They were well presented and the facilitators seemed to work in a team. It was helpful for the team giving additional responses at the end of the presentations.
Sometimes we had presentations following each other without a break to note down reflections from the previous presentations.

I really enjoyed the presentations but sometimes couldn't hear the information or it went by really fast. I know we have limited time, I would have liked to go a bit slower. Go over the main points.

Very calm and offered different variations where appropriate.

I thought all the presentations were very good. My lack of CGS experience made me feel out of place when it come to some of the first demonstrations because I didn't know the greater context of the program or the student experience. This feeling went away as the course went on as I was more immersed in CGS.

contemplating, eye-opening, learned more now which we did not learn in younger years in Catechism, deeper understanding of the Mass & faith, encourages creativity, prayer & deeper relationship with Jesus

Super beautiful, prayerful and wonderful. With every presentation I saw the love the formation leaders had for the materials.

Album Page Writing

it was a little difficult at first but working as agroup made it easier and the review of each album page at the end of the sessions helped me understand objective and the process better

This was a balance of work for us to understand what's needed for our album pages. Really appreciated how each of us had a few pages to complete and then at the end we had all of them done.
Perhaps have the presentations with the album page done for us saved for the last day?

This was the hardest part for me personally. I found myself profoundly moved and inspired by each of the presentations but I do not feel that I had the right words to explain what happened and what it meant to me.

This process was very frustrating.
I think I appreciate the value of creating our own pages, rather than being handed prepared pages.
However, the editing process was the frustrating part. We would have something prepared, be told it was wrong and to redo some aspect of it by a formator in our group, and then when we reviewed it as a group, we'd be told that same thing the first formator told us to write was wrong by the other formator.
It seems there needs to be a better sense between the team as to whether there is one correct answer or a lot of room for different answers.
If there's one answer, allow the participants to work it through and come to it on their own, or correct it if it isn't. But the constant recorrecting between the formators became something that undermined the process.
Also, it was genuinely hard to fill these in without notes from watching it, which had been so discouraged.


This was helpful for further reflection on the presentations and building team spirit. Although a sample album page was given on the first day, I feel it would be useful to have the participants working on one or two album pages before distributing them to groups just to sure the process is well understood. In this way perhaps we will not have a repeat of the situation where we had to work on all the albums towards the end of the two weekends.

This was difficult for me to grasp at first. But by the end I feel like I have a good understanding.

Not as much time given in 1st weekend as the 2nd.

I think it would be beneficial to write an album page as a large group before going into small groups, perhaps the use of the page builder on a projector to see how a catechist would write one.

something I need to work on, different from other Catechism programs where content is provided for Catechist volunteers to pass on to the children, sources are helpful in creating them

I found this extremely frustrating, specifically with finding the Christian message and direct/indirect aim. It was frustrating because we would write them down on those big sheets and then they would be criticized so hard. It felt like every single word was nitpicked. Also, sometimes I would ask Heather or Murita for help, we would get a good sentence then it would be criticized and corrected even more. I personally really think CGS should either let us come up with our own Christian message/direct aims or provide us with them.

Album Page Writing
Practicum Sessions

the best way to learn and get comfortable with presentations is to do it even if I fumbled and mostly forgot what to say or ask

These were the best part. Would be easier to have children present, but that presents many other issues!

This was the second hardest part for me personally. As a visual learner, I was enraptured by the actions and materials of the presentations, but I could not recall the words of the presentations as well as I would have liked to.

It was really great to work through the presentations.
It helped to be able to realize which parts of the presentation were awkward or sticking points that I would need to work on.


Adequate time was given for practice in most of the sessions. In some instances there was no facilitator to observe the progress and give feedback, which was a challenge to the participants experiencing the sessions for the first time.

I liked these very much.

Gave good feedback when we were practicing.

I felt a little lost starting out with this because I would forget some elements of the presentation. Although, this is because I don't have any CGS experience.

loved this - challenge was I wish I could take notes during presentations so I can include everything that needs to be in the practicum. .I understand the need & gift of the full experience

This was timed perfectly, not too long, not too short.

Practicum Sessions 
How the Course Fed Participants Spiritually

It was almost like a retreat, there was a healthy time for reflection on the presentations and the lectures

I was surprised by how much I learned for myself. Went in for the children, and came out with more wonder personally.

I cannot even begin to describe how spiritually fed I was. I especially learned about parts of the mass that I had sought answers to my whole life. I believed in them and followed them without knowing the full meaning of them. The Word of God also touched me in new ways that I am very thankful for.

It was a good opportunity to come back to the basics and meditate on Jesus meeting me in my littleness.
It was also very good to have Mass together.


Though the pondering from the scripture passages during the presentations, inspirational hymns, reflections from the materials presented in the atrium and from the members sharing their individual reflections.

I really was so happy that I could feel God calling to me and healing me. It was so beautiful to be together with everyone and feel their love of God and for all of us. I felt especially nourished by the leaders who would be kind and helpful for us to experience the Holy Spirit. It also made me feel like God has a special plan for my life. I enjoyed this very much.

It rejuvenated my love of cgs to help me continue on.

It reminded me that every action, symbol and reading, at Mass, has purpose and meaning. It developed a curiosity that will get me to be more attentive.

it's a new & unique way to share our Catholic faith

It helped me realize how much I love the Eucharist. My two favorite presentations were the precious pearl and the preparation of the chalice. Super beautiful.

The Spirituality and General Environment
What Participants will always remember about this course

the presentation on The Celebration of Lights

I will remember the kindness and the community created. I will remember how generous the host was and how encouraging the entire team was.

Firstly, it is how tangible our faith is. Any children who attend an atrium are the luckiest children in the world because they do not have to puzzle their way through Mass and follow their faith blindly like the rest of us. This is the easiest way to connect a child with the faith.
Secondly, being with a group of young Catholics was so beautiful. It was a fun club to be a part of. I also learned a ton of useful info from everyone during breaks and lunches.


The wonder and awe characteristic .

The support of the facilitators with the organization and set up of the atrium.

How the activities and items transform a room.

presentations, participating, making chalices & patens, meeting wonderful facilitators, experience of being in an atrium, The Liturgy of the Light - praying & singing together

That the Kingdom of God is worth looking for.

What participants will always remember
What Participants would change

Not skipped a session

Perhaps, as mentioned to have the completed album pages for the last couple of presentations.

I am still puzzling through a few things, but I think that is just me.

I found the description of Vatican II (especially the changes in liturgy that were conflated with the Council itself) to be a little bit offensive. I think it could alienate participants from either Traditionalist communities, or other Catholic Rights to hear things that are part of their liturgies spoken of so negatively (like Mass Ad Orientum, or in a language other than their vernacular - like Latin or Ukrainian).

Some of the presentations were only auditory (even being noted as not using the board and so we have to listen), but a few notes on the board can really help with focus. It seemed to contrary to how we're being taught to meet the child where he/she is, to have participants learning styles and strengths ignored. It made me wonder how adaptable this course would be for anyone wanting to participate who needed it.

At times, the side conversations occurring were very distracting. I know it happens to everyone, myself included, so it isn't a personal judgement. But at times, it was a formation team member initiating side conversations. I think that it would be helpful for the formation team to set a model of focus and respect for the pers0n speaking/presenting.


Ensuring a deliberate attention or accompaniment to the participants who are experiencing the atrium life for the first time to ensure they have gained fully from the sessions.

Add naps. And some play time for us. It would help to break up the day. Otherwise I thought it was fantastic!

The time of year to kinimize travel challenges.

I would enjoy more theory, theology and historical background.

could there be way to take notes during a presentation & then also be able to experience it 100% ++?

- what I wrote about album pages
- the price: I personally think the price is ridiculously expeinse. I got 1200$ from my parish (which is amazing) however that just covers the cost of the course. I also don't understand at all why it's so expensive.

What participants would change
Part 2 - Formation Team and Course Host
Feedback for Formation Team

The formation team are very knowledgeable and are very open to learn from each other and the participants. They have no qualms in saying they like what the other has done and would do it in their own class

Keep doing what you're doing! Please only refer to Level 1 as it was already so so much learning.

Thank you for your time and dedication. All of you reached me on some very important spiritual matters that I will never forget.

The main thing I would want to say to the formation is THANK YOU.
I really appreciate seeing the passion and care that goes into the work for each of you.
It was such a blessing to have so many years of experience in the room!

One thing I'd really want to highlight, is that Heather - your love of liturgy was especially touching and infectious! So was your joy at the impact CGS has had on your life.


Well done. They worked as a team; they listened and respected the participants.

Thank you very much for your support and care. It really means so much what you are doing. It is very inspiring and I felt very supported on this journey. Also the food was nice!

They were all very supportive and knowledgeable about this work.

I found the interactive way the history was presented helped me understand the content better. This method could be applied to other presentations.

I deeply appreciate your preparation, planning, time, energy, effort, knowledge & desire to share CGS with us

Louise is secretly my favorite. She is so calm, loving and really sees you as a human. Besides that you all were so wonderful and really showed your love for CGS.

Feedback for Formation Team
Feedback for Course Host

Monique was amzing, she was generous in providing the materials for the presentations, made sure we are fed, delicious banana muffin, there's a lot of space for the sessions and parking, the venue is clean, lots of light

Oh my gosh. The food was the best. And it just kept showing up! Thank you!!! Best host.

Amazing host and parish and parishioners. I will be praying for all of your for the rest of the year in thanksgiving for everything.

The hosting was absolutely amazing! The food was such a blessing. The hall and facilities were incredible.

The only issue is the distance. It really is an impediment. I'm sure it's very hard to find a space, with an appropriate Atrium space, but Portage is just far enough from Winnipeg that I makes the week in July a really hard commitment to make.


The venue was convenient and appropriate for the course. We thank Monique, the pastor and the christian community for their hospitality.

Loved all of it! Being at the church was awesome!


Sometimes I was cold.

Beautiful Church! Church hall is excellent size during this hopefully end of pandemic. So grateful to those who donated food for us

The atrium was beautiful. My only request would be to have lodging included in the fee.

Feedback for Course Host
Part 3 - How can we help you continue to grow in this work?
How Participants Plan to Use Formation

How Participants Plan to Use Formation
contact me
Participants Who Would Like to Be Contacted re: Mentoring

No, thank you.

Suggestions for Continued Support

The website is super helpful! Thank you!

I cannot think of anything right now.


Am contented for now.

A way to keep connected to everyone would be nice. Thank you!

More accessible training would be a benefit.

I am still learning about CGS so I am glad to know that I can reach out to them for support

To help with album pages, please give us the Christian message and direct aims or let us pick them ourselves.

Further Suggestions
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