The children at The Way of the Shepherd Catholic Montessori School participate in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd faith formation program. Designed by Maria Montessori, and further developed in the 1950′s by Sophia Cavaletti and Gianna Gobi, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a unique program founded in both Sacred Scripture and Liturgy and rich with the spiritual teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Level 1 is designed for children ages 3-6, and Level II and III, also referred to as The True Vine, are for elementary children ages 6-9 and 9-12.
The Catechesis proclaims the message of Jesus to children by presenting His parables in a Montessori learning environment. Preschool children are attracted to the Good Shepherd’s abiding love for His sheep. They develop a special love for Jesus, the Good Shepherd, even before they realize that they are the sheep. The children hear the Bible story in the words of the catechist, using actual scripture verses, and discuss and reflect on what they heard. Materials that accompany the teachings are available for the children to re-enact the story.
Level II builds on the covenantal love between God and His children, but adds the element of the merciful, forgiving love of Jesus and calls for a response from the children. Older children receive meditations to enhance their preparation for the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation.
Level III focuses on the plan of God to join all people together. The child focuses on God’s generosity and the responsibilities that accompany His gifts. They are posed the question,”What is my place in the Kingdom of God?”
8:00-11:00 am Level I Children’s House- Alinder (South) (2 sessions)
12:40-2:40 pm Level II E1 (North) (1st/2nd grade half)
8:00-11:00 am: Level I Children’s House- Johnson (South) (2 sessions)
12:40-2:40 pm: Level II E1 (North) (1st/2nd grade half)
8:00-9:00 am: Mass at The Church of St. Paul
9:20-11:20 am: Level III E1/E2 (North) (3rd/4th grade half)
12:40-2:40 pm: Level III E1/E2 (North) (3rd/4th grade half)
8:00-11:00 am: Level I Children’s House- Sack (South) (2 sessions)
12:40-2:40 pm: Level III E2 Grades 5-6 (North)
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Resources
- The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd National Association
- Parent Resources and Newsletters from the National Association
- Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Articles by Suzanne Lewis, CGS Formation Leader
- USCCB Website with NAB Translation of the Bible and daily readings
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Videos
Material Resources for Catechists in Training
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based religious formation program for children, beginning at the age of three. It seeks to create and facilitate a sacred, “hands-on” space for children called an Atrium, in which both the children and their catechists can hear, ponder, and celebrate the most essential mysteries of the Catholic faith as revealed in the Scriptures and the Liturgy. Originally developed in Rome by Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi fifty years ago, the Catechesis continues to spread world-wide.
At The Way of the Shepherd, the children look forward to their weekly Atrium time where they spend an hour and a half to two hours working, listening, praying, and enjoying time with each other and with the Good Shepherd.