This program is currently open to all three- to six-year-old children in Our Catholic Community. We meet weekly at 10:00 am Wednesdays at St. Joseph. Please contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd uses the faith formation process started in 1954 by Sofia Cavelletti, who, with the help of Maria Montessori, developed a process for the young child to discover the joy and wonder of the faith. The children gather with their catechist in the atrium, a very special place where everything has a specific purpose in helping to bring the young child closer to God. The atrium is less a place of instruction and more a place where Christ is encountered in word and action.
The environment is a very important part of this formation process. Here everything is appropriate to the ages and sizes of the children. Each week a new presentation is given to the children, there is time for prayer, and then the children choose the work they want to spend time with using the materials in the Atrium. The catechist then moves from the presentation to the background, allowing the children to select the work they wish to do. The work may involve nomenclature, or naming the articles used in our faith; parables with quiet reflection on what Jesus is saying; learning the prophecies and stories of Jesus; or discovering the places where Jesus went. There are gestures and prayers from the Mass. Each work has material that the child works with individually as a way of entering into the lesson. An important part of the space is the prayer corner where the children gather for prayer and song. This space reflects the church season we are currently in.
Catechists for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd receive 90 hours of training for each level of the program.