Our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd sessions will resume. Please contact Rhiannon Jensen in the parish office or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
CHILDREN'S FAITH FORMATION
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is an approach to the religious formation for children ages 3 to 12 that is rooted in the Bible, the Liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori.
Beginning in 1954, Sofia Cavalletti, a Hebrew and Scripture scholar and member of the Vatican commission for Jewish-Christian relations, and her colleague, professor Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori trained educator, developed the Catechesis by observing and working with children at the Children’s Centre in Rome, Italy. Children gather with catechists in an “Atrium”, a space prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials. They use these items to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of our Catholic faith. CGS is presently used in over 37 countries around the world, and many Dioceses throughout the United States.
“If we want to help the child grow near to God, we should, with patience and courage...seek to go always closer to the vital nucleus of things. This requires study and prayer. The child himself will be our teacher if we know how to observe him.”
THE ATRIA AT SAINT MARTIN OF TOURS
SMT introduced Catechesis of the Good Shepherd into our Faith Formation in the fall of 2016. Within this time, we have watched the children grow in their faith through exploring scripture and liturgy materials. They work at their own pace with the materials that set afire within them the love of God. Our catechists help the children explore the lessons in the atrium, drawing focus on items following the liturgical year. Children can work in groups and individually. They plan prayer services, read scripture stories, explore the prayers and structure of the Mass, explore the geography of the land of Israel, and ponder the Kingdom of God and the many gifts that God has given us. In the Atrium children are invited to become collaborators in the building of this Kingdom.