The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), a religious education program for children ages 3 to 12, is based on Scripture, Liturgy, and the educational principles of Dr. Maria Montessori.

The children gather in a prepared environment called the atrium that is suited to their age. In the early Church, the atrium was a place where the catechumens were prepared. For the child, too, the atrium is a place to help prepare them for full participation in the life of the Church and to fall in love with Our Lord.

The materials in the Atrium are often three-dimensional figures with a Scripture text, or child-sized items that represent what is found in the Mass, Baptism, or one of the other sacraments. A few of these materials include a model altar and corresponding articles, a raised surface map of Israel, and figures of the Good Shepherd and sheep for the reading of the Scripture text in John 10. As the atrium is a place that facilitates recollection and silence, the child can enter into prayer through their work. With Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, we are responding to the child’s silent plea at every age, “Help me come closer to God by myself.”   

We currently offer Level I CGS for children age 3 through 1st grade on Sunday morning 9-10:20 am at St Joseph. To learn more about CGS or to schedule a tour, contact Christa Bauer at