“The harmonious development of the human person progressively reveals in each of us the image of a child of God. ‘True education aims at the formation of the human person with respect to his ultimate goal.’” (from Educational Guidance in Human Love and Vatican Council II: Gravissimum educationis no 1)
According to the educational guidance of the Catholic Church, a true education attends to the whole human individual, recognizing that one’s identity is created by God, and our ultimate purpose is eternity with God. With this knowledge, The Way of the Shepherd centers its catechesis and communal life upon the precepts of the Catholic Church, while actively responding to the plea of the new evangelization: “Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ!”
In addition to our core component of Catholic catechesis, The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, we embrace a liturgical spirituality and celebrate the sacramental life of the Church and the cycles of the Church year. Our regular pattern of daily prayer and scripture study, weekly Atrium sessions, and weekly Eucharistic celebrations (including Mass, Adoration, and Benediction), is supplemented by all-school prayer gatherings for Advent, Lent, Easter, as well as special feast days.
In keeping with Montessori educational principles, students are engaged in active and leadership roles in each of our special events. The inner connection with Christ that is ignited in the Atrium finds expression in a communal life of prayer and celebration.
In particular we look forward to the following annual events:
The Eucharist Retreat is a time for all second year children to spend a day deepening their relationship with the Good Shepherd. For those children preparing for their First Holy Eucharist, this is a particularly significant day, as they prepare to meet the Good Shepherd in a new way in His Body and Blood. In addition to several special projects and time to work in the Atrium, the children are treated to a delicious Agape meal, prepared and served by the third year children and their families.
Each May our community gathers to honor our mother, Mary, in a special May Crowning Ceremony. Our second grade students lead an all-school celebration, beginning with a Marian procession, Scripture readings, the Rosary, music honoring our Mother, and concluding with the students crowning the Mary statue with an adornment of flowers.
It is a tradition at The Way of the Shepherd for our children, grades kindergarten through grade six, to take part in an age-appropriate Seder Meal during Holy Week. The students prepare the food and table for the meal, and join together with guides and parent volunteers to recall the Scriptural account of Passover and God’s call to the People of God to “remember” this event. The Seder Meal has become a meaningful celebration in preparation for Holy Week.
The Way of the Shepherd community is honored to serve the local community in a variety of service projects. Throughout the year, students initiate bake sales and clothing drives to support the needs of a worthy cause. Additionally students enjoy participating in all-school service projects such as The Sandwich Project to help feed the homeless.
All Saints’ Day
During the weeks leading up to All Saints’ Day, children spend time learning about many different Saints, while reflecting on their own call to sainthood. On the Solemnity of All Saints, our community recognizes this important feast day with a special celebration. Children are encouraged to dress up either as their favorite Saint, Bible character, creation of God, or to come dressed as themselves, as we recognize we are all striving to become future Saints. During our celebration, older children take turns telling younger children about different Saints they have researched, and all students participate in special prayer and music celebrations honoring the lives of the Saints.