School year 2021-2022 CGS will meet weekly on Wednesday evenings as part of Family Faith for Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade children. There will also be a Level 1, (ages 3-Kindergarten) and a Level 2, (grades 1-3) and Level 3, (grades 4-6) sessions offered on Tuesday mornings and afternoons. (Level 3 requires previous Atrium experience) During the Tuesday morning session there is opportunity for small group studies.
Payment: Payment: Registration $120.00, (family maximum $300.00) due at the time of registration by check, cash, or automatic withdrawal. Students will be placed as space permits. Non-members of Epiphany Parish are welcome to join our programs but add $50.00 per family to offset costs.
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The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a Montessori-based Catholic faith formation program in which children can grow in their relationship with God through a deep engagement in Scripture and Liturgy.
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 we offer CGS to children age 3 – to grade 4 as part of our Faith Formation programing on Wednesday evenings, on Tuesdays mornings, as well as children enrolled in Epiphany Preschool and Epiphany School.
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
Why is it called “Atrium” anyway? When children experience The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd the children enter a specially prepared environment called the ATRIUM. The Atrium is not a classroom, but can be likened to a retreat house for children. The word “atrium” actually means “portico, or porch entrance to a large house.” The Atrium was a term given to this space by Maria Montessori. 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. We are busy making materials for our new Atriums or Atria. If you would like to help us by sewing, painting or woodworking contact Mary Minor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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