Helping children draw nearer to God

Like the work of Maria Montessori, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is carefully structured around the developmental needs of children at different stages. Each atrium has mixed-age groups of children within the same level, engaging in activities specially designed to meet their deepest needs and capacities.
Level 1



In the Atrium the children discover


God is love, 

Jesus is Risen, 

and We are His sheep


through meditation on scripture and liturgy.


The children contemplate selected accounts of Jesus' life such as the birth of Jesus and the Last Supper. They explore the liturgy of the church by considering the gestures of the Mass.

In the parables of Jesus they encounter the mystery of Kingdom of God, while in the Parable of the Good Shepherd the children enter into the mystery of our covenant relationship with God.

The children work with child-friendly figures in dioramas and miniature articles used in the church (eg. baptismal font) to help them wonder and ponder answers to their questions. They are also given opportunities in the atrium to celebrate the seasons of the church: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.

Level 2



As children move into level 2, firm in their relationship with God, their questions become: 

What is God’s plan? 


What is my role in God’s plan? 


In response, we study God’s Plan of Salvation as shown to us in the bible, and the gifts that we have received from God through time. 

The children are developing their moral intelligence, so we listen and reflect together on the parables Jesus told of mercy and justice, as well as His moral guidelines such as “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” The children age 6-9 are trying to discover their role in God’s plan and their own place in the community of believers - the church - so they are given the tools to enable them to access the Word of God (Bible) and the prayers of the church in the rites of Eucharist, Baptism and Reconciliation. Many atriums offer the children a special retreat in preparation for celebrating 1st Reconciliation and Eucharist.

Level 3



The children want to know more about God’s Plan of Salvation. Their perspective has widened, so they ask:

What is God calling me to do as His co-worker in the Kingdom?

What gifts have I been given to use in this work? 


To help the children find answers to these questions, timelines of God’s Plan of Salvation are studied, along with the great figures and events in the Bible scriptures: Creation, The Flood, Abraham, Moses, the prophets; as well as the miracles in the New Testament.

To further explore the gifts that we are given to help us on our spiritual journey, we study together the rites of Eucharist, Baptism, Reconciliation and Healing. 

We reflect with the children on the teachings of Jesus to help us understand the meaning of life and our call to live as co-workers with God in the Kingdom.

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