The Catechesis of the Good Sheperd
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the spirituality of children that especially focuses on the child’s relationship with God. It is rooted in the Bible, the sacred liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Dr. Maria Montessori. Dr. Maria Montessori’s approach follows St. Thomas Aquinas’ understanding that “all our knowledge has its origin in the senses.” Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared especially for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials to help them absorb and respond to the most essential proclamations of the Catholic faith.
If an adult hears a beautiful passage from the Bible, the adult might take a Bible, find the passage, and read it slowly and think deeply about God’s words. A child needs another way. In an atrium the child can ponder a biblical passage or a prayer from the liturgy by taking the material for that text and working with it – placing wood figures of sheep in a sheepfold of the Good Shepherd, setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table, or preparing a small altar with the furnishings used for the Eucharist. Some works of the older children include copying parables and moral maxims from the Bible, sequencing written prayers from the Rite of Baptism or the Mass, working with a time line showing the History of the Kingdom of God, or beginning to formulate what their special role and gifts are for fulfilling God’s Plan.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is built on the foundations of the Word of God and the Liturgy. All presentations are based directly on liturgy or Scripture, without any additions or simplifications. The Word of God is not “taught” as in a traditional classroom, but is rather received and explored by the child, together with the catechist. It is also an intrinsically liturgical program, and exists with the aim of allowing the child to enter and participate in the life of the Church with a fuller understanding and joy. For this, the curriculum of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd follows the cycle of the Liturgical Year, focusing on the feasts of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.
Schedule a visit to our Atrium!
If you are interested in visiting our Atrium located at Star of the Sea Preschool, schedule a visit on a Sunday! To register your child to our program please call the office (415) 751-0450. The program is for children ages 3 to 6 years old. For more information please contact Clarisse Siu: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet our Clergy!