The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a religious education program based on the Montessori model of education. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd began being developed in Rome by Sofia Cavalletti, a student of Maria Montessori, around 1954. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has now spread to over 35 countries and is used not only by Catholics, but now by some Episcopalians and other faith traditions. This program centers around having an Atrium, a special and sacred place designed for the child to have a space to go where they can pray, learn, and feel God’s presence. Good Shepherd has catechetical programs for children aged 3 through 12. At Christ the King, our Atrium is designed for the 3-6 year old child. Wednesday nights, 3 - 6 year-olds not yet in 1st grade meet in the Good Shepherd Atrium for class. Classes are from 5:45 - 7:00 pm.
Faith Formation staff member,Father Antonio Hernandez, and a number of parish volunteers are trained in the Good Shepherd methods. Wednesday night classes are led by trained Good Shepherd Catechists. They are aided by several classroom assistants. Presentations and learning experiences you can expect your child to experience include:
Orientation to the Atrium
- Introduction to the Prayer Table; encouraging the child to pray by openly talking to Jesus
- Altars I, II, III (children learn the various articles used on the altar as well as their purposes)
- Singing religious songs that correlate with the lessons
- Hearing biblical stories while seeing them acted out with figurines (ie. Gabriel appearing to Mary, the Wise Men visiting the infant Jesus, the angel and women at Christ’s empty tomb); the stories are read directly from the New American Bible text to correlate with what they hear at Mass
- Hearing parables while seeing them acted out with figurines (ie. Parable of the Good Shepherd, Parable of the Pearl of Great Price, Parable of the Leaven)
- Gaining a basic understanding of the geography of Israel and places where Jesus lived and traveled
- Understanding the colors of the Liturgical Seasons and celebrating the changing of those seasons
- Gaining a basic understanding of the Liturgical Calendar
- Learning the names of the various garments a priest wears at Mass
- Engaging in various coloring, tracing, and other artworks to reinforce lessons
- Fostering the child’s prayer relationship with God
If you have questions about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and the Montessori method, you may learn more by clicking on the links below or contacting Susan Kehoe (285-2888 ext. 108).
Great Bible Verse... Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’