OUR FORMATION TEAM
Helping children draw nearer to God
Sr. Bibiana Akpana Ikwun
Sister Bibiana is a nun of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus (HHCJ) and the superior of Canada Mission. She is the Religious Coordinator in Holy Cross Parish Winnipeg, and serves as CGS catechist in all 3 levels. Through her Sisters, the CGS is being used with the First Nation Communities in St. Boniface Archdiocese. Sister Bibiana is a Level 1 Formation Facilitator and has assisted in Level 1 Formation courses for over nine years.
Lynda Catalano has been the catechist at Holy Trinity Church in Fillmore, California, for 33 years, and took her first level 1 Formation at Notre Dame in 1991. She has worked weekly in the atrium with groups of 3 to 6-year-olds, 6 to 9-year-olds, and 9 to 12-year-olds. She has led level 1, 2 and 3 formation courses for adults throughout the United States and internationally, has been on formation teams for CGSUSA National Association courses, and leads courses in Spanish. She is a member of the CGSUSA Formation Leader Discernment committee and has been on presenting teams for Formation Leader Training Courses. Lynda is retired from teaching art, science, Spanish, kindergarten and first graders in a public school, and she has four married children and soon to be five beautiful grandchildren.
Louise Fillion has been living with Level 1, 2 and 3 children in an atrium since 2005 at Holy Cross Parish in Winnipeg, as the Coordinator for the Paroisse Notre Dame de Lorette Parish atrium and presently at the Paroisse Sainte-Anne-des-Chênes Parish; the latter two being the earliest bilingual atriums in Western Canada. Louise also works in the local French school providing catechesis in an adapted method for grades K-8. She enjoys working with parents and children in Sacramental Preparation and providing support to new catechists and assistants. Serving as a level 1 & 2 catechist remains her main source of renewal and joy and she is grateful to God in this present season of learning as an apprenticing formation leader. Witnessing other adults enter into this work and seeing the awe and wonder in their eyes is a blessed gift.
Rhiannon Jensen has been a catechist for 11 years, working in the atrium at all three levels. She has a passion for making materials and building beautiful atrium environments for children to encounter Christ. Rhiannon has led Level I formation courses for adults in California and Alaska. She currently lives in Garden Grove California with her husband and son where she continues to serve in the atrium at St. John Neumann in Irvine CA and as Director of Faith Formation for Children.
Marty began her formation in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 1983 with Sofia Cavalletti, receiving Level 2 formation from her in 1985. That year, she opened the first atrium in the Southwest U.S. at Holy Family Catechetical Center in Phoenix, AZ which became the prototype for atria in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Maria Christlieb from Mexico City and Rebekah Rojcewicz from the U.S. were also instrumental in her formation as a catechist. Marty continues to work with children in the Toddler, Level 1, 2 & 3 atria and has been facilitating adult formation in Levels 1, 2 & 3 throughout the U.S. since 1991. A retired speech and language pathologist, she holds a Master of Arts degree from Aquinas Institute of Theology in Pastoral Studies with an emphasis on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Marty is a life-long Roman Catholic. She and her husband Bert have four grown sons.
Carolyne-Marie is a CGS catechist and Formation Facilitator for Levels 1-3. She is one of the founders and a past board member of CGSAC. Carolyne-Marie continues to "listen to God with children" as a catechist in all three levels in her parish atrium in Toronto. She received her initial formation from Sofia Cavalletti, Gianna Gobbi, and Patricia Coulter.
Heather Skublics Lampman
Heather Skublics Lampman has been involved in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd since 2006, most consistently at Holy Cross Atrium in Winnipeg. She also set up an Anglican atrium at St. Luke’s parish and has been able to use Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in Holy Cross School, including one year with a proper atrium space. She has been involved in formation in Manitoba, Alberta, B.C. and Quebec since 2011, and is currently mentoring to become a level 2 formation facilitator. Heather teaches religion and music at Holy Cross School in Winnipeg, prepared its students for sacraments, and coordinates the school’s religious life. Heather is a past Chair of the CGSAC Board, and is currently involved on the Formation Committee. She is a mother of 3, and loves to welcome others into her home!
Kim began her journey in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 1997. She is a recognized Level l Formation Leader with CGSUSA. Recently "retired" from being Director or Religious Education at St. Patrick Parish in Tacoma, WA, Kim remains in parish ministry as the coordinator of CGS (a role she has held since 2001), serving primarily as a level 2 and level 3 catechist. She is married to Todd and has 3 grown children all married, two grandchildren on the way, and a dog named Bella.
Deb started working in CGS in 1989. In 1998 she received her Level 3 certificate and the following year started working as a Formation Facilitator. She has facilitated L1-L3 CGS courses across Canada as well as in Nairobi, Kenya and Fort Portal, Uganda. She received her MAPS-CGS in 2012 and her Doctorate in Ministry - Homiletics in 2021. Deb took on the responsibility of forming CGS catechists in an association in 2004. In Jan 2006, CGSAC was recognized as an official federal charity . Deb served in leadership positions in CGSAC through till 2019. She continues in her work as a catechist, Formation Facilitator, Formation educator, family physician, and grandmother of 5, soon to be 6 amazing grandchildren.
Murita is the Coordinator for all Children’s Ministries in the Archdiocese of Vancouver and a recognized CGS level 1 formation facilitator. She currently serves children as a level 1 catechist at Reach for the Stars Montessori and at John Paul II Pastoral Centre Atrium and a level 2 & 3 catechist and coordinator at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Murita is a workshop presenter, mentor, catechist and archdiocesan consultant who has been training catechists in PREP (Parish Religious Education Program) and LWC (Liturgy of the Word with Children) since 2004.
Shelley is a catechist and teacher who lives with her husband Jerry in Eagle River, Alaska. She has been a CGS catechist since 2009 and a Formation Leader since 2016. She is an adjunct professor of Christian Education at St. Herman's Orthodox Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska, a special education teacher, and a mother of 5. As one of two Orthodox Christian Formation Leaders in the US, Shelley offers CGS courses at Orthodox seminaries and parishes in the US with both Catholic and Orthodox-adapted content.
Diane Olsen has been involved in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd since 1990. She became a CGS Formation Leader in 2002. She coordinated the CGS program at Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa KS for 23 years. Diane has a B.A in philosophy and math from St. John’s College in Santa Fe NM and an M.A. in Pastoral Studies with an emphasis on CGS (MAPS-CGS) from Aquinas Institute in St. Louis MO. She is married, the mother of six and the grandmother of thirteen.
Paula went uncertainly to catechesis training in 2006 only to fall in love during the first presentation. She helped establish and serves at the atrium at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Kitchener, ON. Paula writes a weekly blog (thebetterpart.net) and records The Better Part Podcast for level 1, level 2, and level 3 children, reflecting on the Sunday Gospel reading. She and her husband, Jim, have five children and live in Waterloo, ON.
Joann has served as a Pastoral Assistant for Children's Ministry in Catholic parishes in the past. She began her involvement with CGS in 1998. She helped to begin the atrium at St. Michael Olympia, Washington, and currently serves as a Level 2 and Level 3 Catechist. Her ministry as a formation leader began in 2007, and she was recognized as a L2 Formation Facilitator in 2015. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies and Psychology, a Master's in Community Leadership and Master's in Pastoral Studies with an emphasis in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Annette began her journey in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 1996. She is recognised by CGS-USA as a Formation Facilitator for both Levels 1 and 2. She serves as a catechist in all 3 levels in her local parish and schools. Annette holds a Masters of Pastoral Studies from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO. She and her husband, Joe, have five children and three grandchildren and live in Grand Rapids, MI.
Kathleen has been part of an Atrium Community in a number of parishes since her initial CGS formation in 1984. While always in the role of catechist, she has also enjoyed the role of Atrium mom and grandma.
Kathleen has been a Formation Facilitator for Level 1 since 1991 and Level 2 since 1996. She served on the International Council for CGS 1999-2007; was the former Coordinator for the Office of the CGS, for the Archdiocese of Toronto and currently serves as a catechist at Corpus Christi Parish in Toronto.
Trinka began her CGS formation in 2007 and helped develop atria with two communities in Tacoma, Washington. She currently serves as a formation leader for Level I and as a catechist with the Children's Wisdom Center. Trinka spent many years as a speech-language pathologist in a public Montessori school and has a master's degree in Pastoral Studies with an emphasis on Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Maria Notturno began her journey in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2014 at Cloverdale Catholic School, South Surrey, BC. Maria is a certified Level I Formation Facilitator who currently serves as Pastoral Assistant for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Mary, Queen of Peace in Sammamish, Washington, and as a catechist in all three levels. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Toronto, and spent a few years in formation with the Missionaries of Charity. She participated in the seminal infant toddler course in Menlo Park, California in 2018 and hosted the course in Kirkland, Washington in 2019.
Susan is a founding member of CGSAC. She began her journey with The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd over 40 years ago and has been trained by its founders. She opened and directed the atrium at St Benedict Parish, Toronto for 20 years, serving hundreds of children and has been instrumental in opening several atria. She delights in training adults to become catechists knowing that each adult trained means that even more children will have the chance to experience this work.
Lynne began her formal journey in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd with training and the start-up of the parish atrium at St. Anthony, Renton, in 2003. She is currently the Coordinator of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. Anthony and is a recognized Formation Leader with CGSUSA.
Jo Thornley Cox
Jo Thornley Cox has served in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd since 2001. She is a Level I and Level II formation leader recognized by CGSUSA. She is grateful to have worked on formation teams in Missouri, Kansas, North Dakota, Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Ontario. A graduate of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College near Terre Haute, IN, she also earned a primary certificate from the American Montessori Society. She worked as a Montessori directress, a Catholic school teacher, and a parish director of religious education before coming to CGS. As a charter member of the SonFlower Region of CGS, she served on its board many years. She is co-coordinator of CGS at a Catholic school/parish in Kansas City, MO. Jo and her husband have three children and a granddaughter.
Nancy established the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in Winnipeg and has been working in this method for over 25 years. She is Montessori trained and has an MA in pastoral ministry from St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. She is a spiritual director and member of the Chemin Neuf Community, a community rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.