A Sacred Space
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Christian formation process for children aged 3 to 12 years. The central aim of this process is to help the child nurture their own personal relationship with God.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is grounded in scripture and the liturgy of the Church, then framed by Maria Montessori’s principles of education. This allows children to hear the Gospel through the use of sensorially rich materials. The children are free to work with these materials that represent essential proclamations of the Christian message. The adult’s task is to prepare the sacred space for the children, called the Atrium, so that they can respond to this relationship first proclaimed to them through Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
The Atrium is a place of community and worship rather than a classroom for academic study. It is a place to be with and enjoy God, listen to the Word, and to pray. It is designed to reflect the beauty of creation and God’s abiding love. The Atrium is divided into three levels or stages, based on the development stages of the children as research by Dr. Montessori.