Saturday - 4:30 p.m.
Sunday - 7:30 a.m. - 9 - 11 & 5:30 p.m.
Monday - Saturday: 8 a.m.
Tuesday: 6 p.m.
Monday - Saturday: 7:30 a.m.
Tuesday: 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 3 p.m.
Sunday: 8:45 - 9:30 a.m.
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The word Advent means “coming.” It prepares us to celebrate the coming of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem at the first Christmas. It also anticipates His second coming at the Parousia, when God will be all in all. And it reminds us that Jesus comes to us daily in His Word and in the Sacraments. In the Atrium, we begin the season with an Advent Celebration, where we announce this time of waiting and preparing for the Feast of Christmas, by changing the liturgical color on the prayer table from green to purple. Statues of Mary and Joseph with an empty creche and the Advent Wreath is placed. We sing “Light one Candle for Hope.” You can find this song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-dCFiqOFRY.
The Elementary children review the Messianic Prophecies that tell up about Jesus’ coming. Below are pictures of children working with Bible Geography, Infancy Narrative material, and writing these beautiful Prophecies.
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
What is a “prepared environment”?
The prepared environment is a Montessori concept that the environment can be designed to facilitate independent learning by the child. In a prepared environment, children work with materials of their own choice and at their own pace. They experience a combination of freedom and self-discipline in a place especially prepared to meet their developmental and spiritual needs. You can still help during the weekday assisting in the rooms where the children experience CGS called the Atrium.
Contact Mary Minor for more information firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 1 as part of our Faith Formation programing on Wednesday evenings, on Tuesdays mornings, as well as children enrolled in Epiphany Preschool and Epiphany School. We are planning on adding Second Grade to our offering school year 2019 – 2020. Please continue reading for more information.
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 email@example.com
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
We had a great week of VBS!!! While the older kids were with the Totus Tuus missionaries, 4 and 5 year-olds spent the week praying in the Atrium, enjoying great snacks, making crafts that remind us of Baptism and Eucharist and playing in the courtyard with the fun teen volunteers. Thank you all who helped make this week possible!
During the Easter Season we celebrated Christ’s Resurrection with meditating on the Empty Tomb, the Liturgy of the Light and Baptism. Baptism is a favorite work of the children. The Paschal candle is lit and we remember Christ’s victory over death and His light conquers the darkness. A Baptism candle is lit, the white garment shown and the water of Baptism is presented. When asked why the Priest says I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a Kindergarten child remarked, “That is the prayer of heaven.” Next year we will introduce the oils used at Baptism. You may want to show your child any mementos from their Baptism. If you have any questions about having a child Baptized please contact Jill Fink, Director of Faith Formation, firstname.lastname@example.org or 763.862.4355.
We conclude our year in the Atrium 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 great love and the color of the Holy Spirit.
All children that come to the Atrium celebrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Pentecost Celebration. The gifts are 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 meditated on that first Pentecost. Your child received a red candle and a card with the gift they chose and an explanation of the gift. Pentecost is also the birthday of the church. This year Pentecost is on June 9th. As a family you may want to light a red a candle and pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. God Bless you and your family!
It has been our pleasure working with your children this year,
Mary Minor, Coordinator of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, email@example.com
Additional Class Added
Tuesdays 2:45 – 4:15 pm – Ages 3 to Kindergarten
Tuesdays 2:45 – 4:45 pm – Grade 1 – Grade 6
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd experience required for Grades 3-6.
Please write in time on registration form. Contact Mary Minor for questions, firstname.lastname@example.org
School year 2019-2020 CGS will meet weekly on Wednesdays as part of Family Faith for Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd 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. (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.
click here to print out the form and return it to the parish office.
Click here to access the online registration process by selecting the 2019-2020 Faith Formation Registration. There is a $5.00 fee for electronic registration. Please contact Mary Minor for all questions, 763.862.4348 or email@example.com.
We are working hard to getting our environments ready for the children. Our material making is a labor of love. We even had one of our volunteers make tables out of an old Epiphany pew. You can still help during the weekday assisting in the rooms where the children experience CGS called the Atrium.
Contact Mary Minor for more information firstname.lastname@example.org