Nativity Catholic Cluster: Nativity of our Lord and St. Johns Parishes

Religious Education Pre K- Grade 1/Catechesis of a Good Shepherd

Catechesis of a Good Shepherd



Catechesis of a Good Shepherd is a Montessori based Religious Education model for very young children. It began in Rome in 1954 and eventually spread to different countries and cultures starting in 1975.


Children have shown the desire to seek religious experiences and find fulfillment when they are helped to live it in in its deepest and most essential elements. Children learn from a very early age that their relationship with God is full of wonder and joy when given the opportunity to learn within this model.


Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was born from the joy of the children as they encounter God in their lives as he nourishes them with joy. Children are able to responds to the Christian message when it is presented to them at the same level as their developmental stage. This curriculum responds to the needs of the children according to their age and developmental levels. The catechesis becomes an experience of life through education in faith and the celebration of the encounter with the Father, in listening to Jesus, the one Teacher and in obedience to the Holy Spirit (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1074).


They are taught about the message of scripture on their level as they learn about liturgy, sacraments, the preaching of Jesus, the kingdom of God, moral formation and prayers designed for their age appropriateness.


Their mission is to support catechists, parents and others in the Church and beyond as they grow in their understanding of the religious potential of the children. We live out our mission by providing valuable resources for those concerned with the religious life of children.


It is designed to be taught with an adult interacting with each child. There is a prepared environment called an Atrium that is build that enables us to build the relationship between God and the child to flourish. Each theme is presented to the child one on one and then the child is free to choose an activity that will enable them to enter into religious dialogue within their lives.


How does the atrium help to nourish this relationship?

  • The atrium can be compared to a retreat house facilitating recollection and silence
  • The atrium is a place for religious life, for community and worship. It is not a classroom model of instruction.
  • The atrium is a place of meaningful work through which the child can have a conversation with God.
  • The atrium was the place in the early church where the catechumens were prepared. It is also a place for each child to learn as they prepare for involvement in the parish community. (The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, 2).


When: We will begin offering Catechesis of a Good Shephard to children from the age of 3 to 6 (Pre-K-Grade 1). Classes will take place at Nativity of Our Lord Parish as part of our Religious Education Program on Wednesday’s from 5:00-6:00 PM


We are in the process of building a team that will assist us in creating and building our Atrium so that we may implement this Montessori based religious education model in the fall. If you are interested in joining this exciting new project please let us know.


For registration information or to obtain additional information about the program please contact Barbara J. Eretto in the Parish Office at 715-499-1265 or by email at [email protected]