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What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori, along with careful observation of children by Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi, in Rome.

Through this journey of faith, children will listen to Scripture and meditate on Biblical and liturgical themes, while applying practical life activities, controlled movement, and practiced silence in order to deepen their relationship with God and their enjoyment in His presence.

The religious life of the child is the central interest and commitment of the catechists in the Atrium. The only teacher is Christ.

Faith and Spiritual Formation of the Child

Children are able to develop a deeper understanding of Catholic faith and traditions.

“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven.”

Matthew 19:14

Prepare your child for the Atrium

Mass should be attended as a family as the child will make connections to the Mass through their Atrium experience.

Quiet and slow movement is encouraged in the Atrium in order to facilitate deep contemplation and prayer.

Ensure that your child is fed, has had a bathroom break, and is feeling well in order to allow catechists to facilitate a reverent and respectful environment for all of the children in the Atrium.

The Atrium

Children gather in a room specially prepared for them, called an Atrium, which contains simple yet beautiful materials that they use to draw near to God. In the early Church, the atrium was the place where the catechumens were prepared. For the child, the Atrium is a place of preparation for involvement in the larger worshipping community.

In an Atrium, the child can ponder a Biblical passage or a prayer by taking the material for that text and working with it – placing wood figures of sheep in a sheepfold of the Good Shepherd or setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table.

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Resources for Parents

Please go to the parent page of to find more information on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and helpful literature for parents.

Topics include:

  • Praying with your Child
  • The Importance of the Environment
  • Parent Newsletters

Contact Information:

Joseph Nieves-Serrano
Director of Faith Formation

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