Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The 3-Year-Old Child
Dr. Maria Montessori is a devout Catholic educator and founder of the Montessori pedagogy. She believed that during the first six years of a child’s life is the most crucial period for learning. During this period, the child possess a mind known as the Absorbent Mind where he/she learns many things unconsciously and effortlessly. The impressions and interactions the child gains from his/her environment “does not merely enter his mind, they form it.” She believed God exists in the heart of the child, that young children before the age of five needed to know God and feel secure about His love.

What is the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) - named after the parable of Jesus, the Good Shepherd - is a religious formation for children age 3-12 years. The children explore the Sacred Scripture and Liturgy in accordance to the Montessori philosophy. Through that, they begin to build their personal and lasting relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd at the Atrium as they worked with the materials.

"Young children have a natural ability to enjoy their relationship with God in a very deep way… they are able to give themselves totally to God’s love. It is only before the age of six that children are completely inside this joy.”Sofia Cavalletti.

How CGS Started?
This began in 1954 in Rome when Dr. Sofia Cavalletti, a Hebrew and Scripture scholar, and Gianna Gobbi, a Montessori educator collaborated. They started the very first “Good Shepherd Center of Catechesis” for children and adults. It was through this that they discovered the children’s unexpected capacities in their relationship with the Transcendent. They could observe the profound sense of joy of the children through their encounter with God. Subsequently, their work had spread to the six continents through lectures, seminar, courses, and publications.

What is an Atrium?
An Atrium is a sacred prepared environment - meticulously prepared by the catechists with simple yet beautiful and mostly handmade miniature materials sourced from scripture and liturgy, together with child-size furnitures. In order to facilitate the child to understand abstract biblical passages or pray, the use of these materials help the child to have a more concrete experience by seeing, touching, hearing, and sometimes even smelling!

This setup is crucial as it creates an inviting space where the children’s religious needs are met. It is a place to be with and to enjoy God, to listen to the Word, to pray, and to fall in love with Jesus.

“Young children not only have religious capacities but a particular hunger as well. When a child is hungry, he or she must be fed now, without waiting until tomorrow. This hunger is not always easy for us to satisfy because little children live their relationship with God in a very different way than we do.” Sofia Cavalletti.

What do the Adults do?
In the Atrium, we have the catechists and the parents who works hand-in-hand to support the children’s religious formation. As adults, we learn to respect the personal relationship of the child with God as Christ is the only Teacher. The catechists do not teach, but takes on the role of an unworthy servant of God, providing a service to the children.

CGS @ Kristus Aman

An Introduction:
KA Atrium was setup in November 2021 by a few very dedicated volunteers. On December 13, 2021, it was blessed by former parish priest, Fr. Michael Chua. The first CGS session was  conducted on June 11, 2022.

CGS programme is run as a parent-child programme, therefore parental involvement and support is important.

Session Details:

  • Level 1 (3-6 years old)
  • Saturday, 10.15am - 11.30am
  • Located at 3rd floor (end lot) of KA

Atrium Tour:

  • Available ONLY by appointment; or
  • On Open Days, which happens 2-3 times a year. (Watch out in the KA Bulletin or during Mass Announcements or contact the Chief Coordinator for latest updates.)

Mandatory Requirements:

  • The Child
    ◈ Age of Registration: 3 or 4 years old
  • The Parent(s):
    ◈ To attend a self sponsored 6-day Formation (available once a year, offered by KA).
    ◈ To participate in 4 x Book Club session of The Good Shepherd and the Child - Joyful Journey by Sofia Cavalletti, Silvana Q. Montanaro, Gianna Gobbi

If this is God’s calling for you and your child, feel free to contact us for a chat or for further details.

Terence Lim
Coordinator (CGS)
017-204 2200
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