“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19: 14
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based approach to the religious formation of children. It builds upon the child’s rich relationship with God begun at Baptism. The goal is to help each child fall in love with and be drawn into a deeper relationship with God. We are offering this unique form of religious education as part of our school’s Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade curriculum. This program is also offered to parish children for ages 3 through 5.
The classes take place in the “Little Flower Atrium,” a room adjacent to the kindergarten, containing beautiful, child size materials that focus the child’s attention on key scripture passages and liturgical moments in our Catholic Faith. It is a place of work, study and prayer which leads the child into contemplation of God.
After an introduction by the catechist, the children are invited to work with the materials on their own to continue their meditation. Because children learn by using their hands, working with these materials allows them to enter more deeply into meditation, nurturing their relationship with God. It gives them the opportunity to fall more deeply in love with Jesus our Good Shepherd who calls them each by name and leads them into the fullness of His Kingdom.
The foundation of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was begun by Maria Montessori and completed under the guidance of Dr. Sofia Cavaletti, a scriptural scholar, and Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori educator, more than 50 years ago when they founded the Good Shepherd Atrium in Rome. Today the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd exists in 22 countries worldwide.
We are blessed to have this program here at St. Therese Carmelite School and offer this program to our parish children and have it as part of our school curriculum.