Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
9:45 - 10:45 (August-May) | Parish Hall, 2nd floor
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an atrium, a room prepared especially for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian Faith. The atrium is primarily a place of prayer and is intentionally designed with that in mind. The primary aim of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is to involve adults and children in a common religious experience in which the religious values of childhood are predominant.
The philosophy of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is that even very young children have a religious life. God is present to them in their deepest being, and they are capable of developing both a conscious and intimate relationship with God. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd balances exposure to our liturgy and the richness of our communal sacramental life with reading the Bible.
We believe that there is a deep bond between God and the child, which produces in the child the desire to draw near to God. The catechist's role is to prepare the environment and present materials that "call forth" the child's response rather than "pour in" information. We listen with the child and together we ask, "God, who are you? How do you love us?" Each presentation the catechist gives to the children has specific materials with which the children work. These materials are always available to the children during their work time so that there is additional opportunity for the children to absorb it.
Classes are structured to offer a time of prayer and song, a time for the presentation and a time for individual work by the child. The work of the children is their prayer and is the most important part of their time in the atrium.