All About the Atrium & Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
The Characteristics of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
· The child, particularly the religious life of the child, is central to the interest and commitment of the catechist of the Good Shepherd.
· The catechist observes and studies the vital needs of the child and the manifestations of those vital needs according to the developmental stage of the child.
· The catechist’s role is to create an environment that allows the child to build a personal relationship with God.
· We use scripture and liturgy to “call forth” the children’s response rather than “pour in” information.
· Children work with unique, handmade materials designed specifically to help them grow closer to God.
What is the “religious life” of the child?
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd gives primary focus to the relationship with God through Jesus and offers a sacred place where the child can be initiated into the religious life. God and the child have a unique relationship with one another, particularly before the age of six. Through the proclamations of the Word, this relationship is affirmed for the child and assists in helping the child to draw nearer to God. To speak about the religious life of the child is to speak about how the child dwells with the mystery of God.
How does Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and the Atrium assist the religious life of the child?
The atrium allows the child space to draw closer to God. It is a place where the child can listen to the proclamations of the Good News from the Word of God; meditate on the Word of God and begin to live it according to the child’s own rhythm. It is a place for the announcement of the Word of God, a place for celebration and also a place for work. It is an environment in which work becomes meditation and prayer. The child’s expression of the religious life is manifested through prayer responses whether silent or aloud, in contemplation, and through artwork.