CGS Center for Training

Formation Leader Bios

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Kate with Sofia Cavalletti in Rome (1997)

Finding God:

When wonder becomes a fundamental attitude of our spirit, it will confer a religious character to our whole life, because it makes us live with the consciousness of being plunged into an unfathomable reality.  If we are disposed to reflect on reality in its complexity, then it will reveal itself to be full of the unexpected, aspects we will never succeed in grasping or circumscribing; then we will be unable to close our eyes to the presence of something or someone within it that surpasses us. 

(Sofia Cavalletti, RPOC, 139)

Formation Leader and Consultant Bios


Kate Collins (2010)

Formation Leader
Kate Collins received her master's degree in Pastoral Studies/Theology from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C.  She received her B.A. in drama from The Catholic University of America and completed her master's degree coursework in Theatre 
& Communications at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Kate also completed the Education for Parish Service program at Trinity College.

As a recognized formation leader of this method, Kate holds certificates in all three levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  Kate completed her training as a catechist in levels 1-3 and level 1 formation leader at Christian Family Montessori School (CFMS) in Mount Rainier, Maryland, under the direction of Catherine Maresca; she also participated in the National Association sponsored course for formation leaders in the level 2 curriculum led by Rebekah Rojcewicz. 


Kate is a full-time teacher with Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland, teaching Arts & Humanities to children in pre-k through 5th grade .  She is qualified to teach ESOL, special education, English, and theater.  Kate enjoys integrating the performing and creative arts into all subjects; sometimes she performs in plays.  In May 2013, she completed a graduate cohort in Arts Integration at Towson University. 

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Special Assistant and Consultant

       Amanda Messinger, an AMI certified Montessori teacher and catechist in Levels 1-3, will share, on a part-time basis, her wealth of insights regarding the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) and the Montessori Method. She studied CGS with Rebekah Rojcewicz and Catherine Maresca and gained valuable experience working with them as a catechist and teacher at Christian Family Montessori School in Mount Rainier.  Her long-time career as a Montessori teacher has helped to make her an expert in the Montessori component of CGS.  For several years, Amanda has directed all three atrium levels for a Roman Catholic community in VirginiaRecently (September 2009) she and her husband moved their community's atrium into their home after the original space for the atrium became unavailable.  Amanda is also a founding member of the Center for Children and Theology. 
       Amanda did her undergraduate work at Duke University and holds a M.Ed. from Cleveland State University. Besides her impressive background as a Montessori educator and Good Shepherd catechist, Amanda has a gorgeous singing voice and performs semi-professionally on a regular basis.  Participants in the course will be delighted to hear Amanda singing a basic repertoire of atrium songs, copies of which are provided to each catechist. As a note of interest, Amanda's husband Mike, a patent lawyer in the District of Columbia, has taken training in all 3 levels of the Catechesis; currently he directs children in the level 3 atrium of their Catholic community. 
       In 2004 ,Mike and Amanda, along with their 2 sons, Kevin and Conor, were honored to host two teens from Northern Ireland.  The teens were from the same town but from opposite camps: one Catholic and one Protestant.  Amanda and her family thought it was a wonderful experience to promote peace and understanding between members of two groups of people who sometimes have difficulty getting along.  Leave it to Amanda and Mike to then travel to Northern Ireland where they were able to get the families of the boys together!  A good time was had by all. 
      In recent years, Mike and Amanda have been involved with the Cyprus Friendship Porgram.  (See the link on our Home page, up at the top, to access the brochure.)  They have hosted teens from Cyprus and have done this every summer since 2010.
*Catherine Maresca trains catechists nationally and is Founder and Director of Center for Children and Theology in Mount Rainier, Maryland.  She spearheaded the creation of Christian Family Montessori School (CFMS), which began in her living room, and for many years, with a break in-between, she has been the Director of Religious Education for CFMS.*Rebekah Rojcewicz trains catechists nationally  and is Director of the Good Shepherd Center at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Memphis, Tennessee.  Rebekah was the very first Montessori teacher and CGS trained catechist for Christian Family Montessori School.  She is one of Sofia Cavalletti's official translators for her published works in English.

After training in Alaska: Kate's kids (left) & Amanda and family (right)

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AMI (Association Montessori Internationale):

Catholic University of America:

Center for Children and Theology: 

Christian Family Montessori School:

Cleveland State University:

Duke University:

Education for Parish Service, Trinity College:

National Catholic Partnership on Disabilitiy:

University of Maryland:

Washington Theological Union:

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