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St. Louis, MO 63110
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The Atrium

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an integral part of the Villa's religious education program.  It is based on the belief that there is a deep bond between God and the child which produces in the child the desire to draw near God.

The Catechesis provides an environment called an Atrium, in which certain biblical and liturgical themes suitable to the children's developmental needs are presented.  The atrium contains concrete hands on materials consistent with the themes that help children deepen their relationship with God.  The quiet environment in which the child works easily becomes prayer and meditation.

Some atrium materials are:

♥ a prayer table corner

♥ a miniature altar and its articles

♥ child-size furnishings

♥ a Baptismal font

♥ maps of Israel

♥ dioramas that represent the elements of biblical and parable stories

♥ practical life activities for establishing order in the environment and to the child

Each child is taken in a small group once a week for an hour session.  The Catechist gathers the group around the prayer corner and begins with a scripture reading, prayer, and a song.  The catechist will then make a short presentation that will call forth the children's response, and they are then given time to choose an activity that will make possible their inner conversations with God.

More program information may be found at the national website:  www.cgsusa.org

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