Catechesis of the Good Shepherd takes place in the Atrium of the Good Shepherd. “Catechesis” is a term which means, “faith sharing” in the Christian tradition. And, so, our Atrium is where the Christian faith is shared with the children through prayer, song, and sequential presentations.
Formally designed and introduced in 1954 by Sophia Cavaletti and Gianna Gobi, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd employs Montessori philosophical “methods” in its approach. The materials are beautifully crafted and are handled by the children. Prayer and song are conducive to worship, celebration and reflection. Work time is meditative.
To quote the foundresses,
“The Atrium is a space where a child can fall in love with God.”
Atria are located all throughout European Montessori schools and are being included more and more in Montessori schools throughout the world. Our Atrium is located next to our three to six year old class with easy access for the children. This room offers the children a wonderful environment in which to explore and celebrate Christian themes. It also serves as a space where interns in training can practice with the materials
While this catechists is primarily Catholic/Episcopalian based, it has been shown to appeal to families who practice their Christian faith in other denominations and non-denominational Christian churches, as well. Therefore, Montessori Christian Academy has chosen this “hands on” curriculum using it as a non- denominational teaching. Also, as the primary faith sharers in a child’s life, parents are encouraged to observe and volunteer in the Atrium, for the Atrium is also a place where adults “can fall in love with God!”