Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Atrium Information

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials that they use.

Click here to learn more about the CGS.

Email Mary for more information EMAIL

Come Holy Spirit!

We end the atrium year with a celebration of Pentecost.

We know about Pentecost through: The Liturgical Colors.  The children are introduced to the colors of the Church year. They come to know the color red as a color of a feast of great love and the color of the Holy Spirit.

The Pentecost Celebration

All children that come to the Atrium celebrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Pentecost Celebration.  These are the same gifts we received at Baptism, Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Fortitude, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.  They come from Isaiah 11:2-3a.  We also read from Acts 2:1-8 and meditate on that first Pentecost.  The children receive a red candle and a card with the gift they chose and an explanation of the gift.  Pentecost is the birthday of the church.  As a family you may want to light a red candle and pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

God Bless you and your family!

Registration

Online Registration for all Faith Formation 2024-2025 is Open.

Register by July 10 for the early discount rate of $103 per child / $303 per family.

Registration after July 10: $133 per child / $393 per family.

Final registration deadline September 4 (after this date, children will be on a wait list).

Non-members of The Church of the Epiphany, add $50.00 per family. 

Mandatory Parent Meetings for 2024

Parents with children enrolled on Tuesdays, will meet without children for a Parent Meeting on September 17 at 6:00 p.m.

Parents with children enrolled on Wednesdays, will meet without children for a Parent Meeting on September 25 at 6:00 p.m.

 A final schedule will be published on September 1

CGS is based on the belief that God and the child are already in relationship. Our work as adults is to provide a place for the child to grow in that relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. This place is called an atrium and is prepared with materials specifically designed for the children to work with to draw them deeper into the essentials of our faith. At Epiphany CGS is offered to children age 3 – grade 5 on Wednesday evenings, Tuesday am and Tuesday pm, as well as children enrolled in Epiphany Preschool and Epiphany School.

Information You'll Need to Know

As parents, we find that we pray often and earnestly for our children. We ask God to keep them safe, to make them well, and to help us as we care for them. But there is another gift of prayer that comes to us: the gift of praying with our children. There is a big difference between the child’s prayer and that of the adult. It is precisely this difference that makes it such a privilege to pray with little children. They lead us to an enjoyment of God that we may have been missing. When allowed to pray naturally, their simple words come straight from the heart.

What is prayer? We have probably been told that prayer is talking to God. But talking is only one of the ways that young children communicate with God. They help us understand a broader and richer notion of prayer: to pray is to listen to God and to respond to God, to receive God’s gifts and to respond.

One way to respond is to pray as a family at Mass. Below are tabs with ideas and resources for praying with your children.  You can also go to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd USA website for more ideas.

If you have heard of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, you have probably heard the terms “atrium” and “prepared environment”. Here are explanations:
Why is it called “Atrium” anyway? The word “atrium” means “portico, or porch entrance to a large house.” The Atrium was a term given to this space by
Maria Montessori (Acclaimed educator). It was chosen because in the ancient church, the atrium was a gathering space between the Church Proper and the street. It was the place where the catechumens, those preparing for initiation to the Church, would receive instruction. The Atrium has a similar purpose for our children, as it is a place to help them enter into full, conscious and active participation in the liturgical and communal life of the
Church.

At the start of the year, we discuss why our prayer table has a green cloth.  It is the liturgical season Ordinary time.  Does that mean ordinary? It means ordered.  Our lives are ordered around God, around the Feasts of Jesus. A favorite work in all grades in the atrium is the Liturgical Calendar.  The Liturgical Calendar helps orient our family to the life of the Church. Children usually see this in Kindergarten or First Grade.  The calendar shows all the Sundays of the year, the liturgical colors, and major feasts.  The older Elementary child will label all the days of the year and feasts and how the date of Easter is calculated. Click on the Liturgical Calendar button for more information.

Please find your welcome letter and schedule for:

Tuesday
Wednesday

CGSUSA was formed in 1984 in North America with its main aim being that of “involving adults and children in a common religious experience in which the religious values of childhood (contemplation and enjoyment of God) are predominant.” Other aims include building community among catechists in supporting their work with children in aiding the growth of the spirit of this method of catechesis, establishing rapport with the wider ecclesial community, and encouraging, documenting, and spreading the research related to the religious life of the child through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

Click here to visit the National Association Website

Please click on the Level 1 Part A for registration information for nearby courses.  Please click on  https://wosatrium.weebly.com/trainings.html for listings of more trainings offered.  Please contact me with any questions, Mary Mary EMAIL

LEVEL 1, Part A

Prophecy of the Names of the Messiah
Before the birth of Jesus, God sent prophets to the people of Israel to help the people in their waiting and to give them clues about who was coming. A prophet is someone who listens deeply for God’s voice and then speaks God’s messages to the people. The prophet Isaiah gave us the clue that the one to come would be a child called by many names.

The second prophecy we offer the young child (Isaiah 9:5 or 9:6, depending upon your translation), tells of a Baby whose birth we are awaiting. This birth is so special that it has been prepared for ages in advance. Hundreds of years before the birth of this Child, the prophet has given this child names. As we proclaim these names, it allows us time to ponder the mystery of who this Child is, and the children love hearing these powerful and beautiful names, so much so that they will enrich the child’s prayer language.

Click to read in it’s entirety.

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