The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a religious formation program developed to nurture the child’s relationship with God. The format, inspired by the Montessori method, is simple. The catechist gathers with the children in small groups in a beautiful environment containing interactive materials representing the Bible and the Church’s liturgy.
This room, especially prepared for the children, is called the “atrium.” Here a catechist presents key Scripture passages and parts of Church’s liturgy to the children. Also included in the presentation is an invitation to prayer, song, and mediation. The children then have the opportunity to ponder these biblical passages or liturgical prayers while working and praying with the figures representative of the passage and prayers. Often the children’s prayer is done by reenactments of the text and mediation. They may do this by 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. Through this process, the children develop a sense of awe, wonder, and joy in our God.