Children's Education

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

We are excited to announce that St. John’s is adopting a new hands-on curriculum called the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Mother Judith eloquently described this program in her sermon on May 3, 2020—fittingly, as the Gospel reading included the Good Shepherd parable.

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy, and Montessori methods. Children gather in an “atrium,” a room containing beautiful materials that are used for presentations by the catechist and later used by the children.

The curriculum has been carefully and lovingly designed for three age groups ranging from three to twelve years old. The high-quality materials used are much more than simple, playful toys. These sets of materials (presentations) are displayed individually in a dedicated, sacred space called an Atrium. The presentation will invite the child to work with the materials, allowing the child to ponder their own personal relationship with Jesus.

For children ages three to six, the heart of the Catechesis is the parable of the Good Shepherd, who knows his sheep by name and keeps them safe. For the six- to nine-year-old child, the focus is on the moral parables and the image of the True Vine: "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing." The nine- to 12-year-old child focuses on the history of salvation, God's plan in history, and our response to God's generosity.

We have transformed the large Church School Room into St. John’s very own Atrium! We have been bringing in one family at a time to experience this joyful journey. We look forward to welcoming YOU into our atrium.

For more information, contact Katie Brillat (kbrillat@stjohnstroy.org).