Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a catechetical program for children ages 3-12. It is a reflective-based program of religious formation that helps a child to further develop his/her relationship with God in a developmentally appropriate way. It is rooted in Sacred Scripture, the Liturgy, and the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori.
The Catechesis began in 1954 in Rome, Italy. Sofia Cavaletti, a Hebrew scholar, and Gianna Gobbi, a Montessorian, collaborated and began to work with children. Over the next 60 years, they developed materials and curriculum that spoke to the child’s religious potential and offered an opportunity for prayer, meditation, and religious development. The Catechesis is an ongoing work that strives to reveal the religious potential of the child and respond to the spiritual needs and qualities of the child. It seeks to help children grow and mature in their faith and their relationship with Christ. The Catechesis is offered in over 37 countries throughout the world.
The catechesis takes place in a specially designed learning environment called an atrium. The atrium is a place where children and adults come together to pray, work, and contemplate the mystery of God and the presence of God in our lives. Each individual atrium is designed to meet the developmental needs of the children and provide beautiful space to share in the process of discovering the Word of God together. The atriums, by design, are beautiful and attractive—enticing the children to reflection and work, and surrounding them with dignified images of Jesus. The atriums reflect the developmental needs of the child, using appropriately -sized furniture and designed for individual work and exploration. Each atrium has specific areas that display reflective materials, which the children are free to explore.
At St. Anthony/All Saints we host four atriums on Sunday mornings and Tuesday Afternoons: Preschool (ages 15mo.-3 yrs.), Primary I (ages 4-6), Primary II (grades 1-3), Intermediate (grades 4-6).