Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Coming Soon

Introducing Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at the Cathedral! 

The classes will begin after Labor Day during PRE time, Sundays from 11:30 am—12:30 pm under the direction of our Certified Catechist, Susan Ross. 

What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the spiritual formation for children ages 3-12, based on the Montessori educational philosophy. To implement this approach, a sacred and experiential learning environment, called the "atrium", is created. In the atrium children along with their catechists hear, ponder and celebrate the most essential mysteries of the Christian Faith, revealed to us in Scripture and the Liturgy.

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, an international movement begun over 50 years ago in Rome, recognizes each child’s innate unique relationship with God. Children and catechists come together weekly in a room called the atrium which is a place of prayer, in which work and study spontaneously become meditation, contemplation and prayer. The atrium is a place in which the only Teacher is Christ; both children and adults place themselves in a listening stance before his Word and seek to penetrate the mystery of the liturgical celebration.

The themes presented in the atrium are those to which the children have responded with depth and joy. These themes are taken from the Bible and the liturgy (prayers and sacraments) as the fundamental sources for creating and sustaining Christian life at every developmental stage and, in particular, for illuminating and nourishing the child in his/her most vital religious needs. Catechists join the parents in living with the children a shared religious experience according to the teaching of the gospel: “Except you become as little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 18:3).

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level I at the Cathedral...

We are excited to share that we are beginning our Atrium with Level I; ages 4-6 (must be potty trained).  With time, as the children adapt, they will learn about this special space called the atrium, how to walk, talk and treat the materials and each other while are in the Atrium.  Materials focusing on ‘practical life’ skills, e.g. pouring water or sweeping, are initially presented to the children.  These works are of great interest to them, and as they repeat this work the children gain control of their bodies.  Eventually, this self-control translates into the ability to sit in silence and to pray!

In the Level I Atrium, presentations follow the liturgical year: infancy narratives are presented in Advent, the Last Supper in Lent, the Empty Tomb in the Easter season.  Other materials include articles of the Mass, geography works exploring the land of Israel at the time of Jesus, gestures of the Mass and of Baptism.  The parable that resonates most deeply with children at this age is the parable of the Good Shepherd.  This image is lifted up often and the children take time to enjoy the great love the Good Shepherd has for each one of them.

Children must be registered in advance to attend, please register here.  Questions?  Please contact Aileen Palmer or 435-5281.  To learn more about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, visit the website of the National Association.

 

Posted by Aileen Palmer at 12:21 PM
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