St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
There's a place for you here.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Frequently asked questions | Level I Training Course | Level II Training Course | Contacts | Sofia Cavaletti
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a spiritual formation program for young children. This unique approach requires a special commitment by the parish, but the fruits are profound for the children who participate, for their families, and for the adults who act as their guides (called "catechists"). Offering Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is transformative for the entire congregation.
Adults who participate in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd know firsthand that it is unlike traditional "Sunday school," and find it a deeply enriching spiritual experience. We hope that you will consider receiving training to be a catechist, regardless of whether you have young children.
If you are a child who participates in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, your work is intentional and self-driven. Using the Montessori Method combined with a contemplative classroom, called an atrium, you are encouraged to pursue your own endeavors of the spirit through thought- provoking presentations and repetitive, meditative activities.
Ultimately, your work is to wonder. To wonder about who Jesus is; to wonder about the world and where your relationship with God fits into that world. Your work is to begin aligning your inner clock with the liturgical calendar of the church year. Your work is to begin to understand that all of God’s children are called to live into a way of life that incorporates all people and is at its core innate to us all.
If you are an adult who serves as a catechist in one of our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atria, your work is also intentional and child-driven. Your work is simultaneously to encourage the children’s wonder while allowing their discoveries to blossom largely unassisted. Each presentation or work that is given to a child becomes a tool for that child—tools that she can use to break open her relationship with Christ. As a result, the relationship between a child and a catechist is reciprocal. While a child is becoming familiar with a presentation he is uncovering spiritual truths which he shares with the catechists.
To learn more about what your child’s work can be, please contact Abigail Whorley for more information. St. Stephen’s currently offers one Level I atrium serving children ages 3-6 and Level II atrium to serve children ages 6-9 on Sunday mornings, and one Level I Atrium for ages 3-6 on Wednesday afternoons. Watch a video of work in the Atrium here.
Registration for the 2013-14 session which begins in September will be open in late summer. The availability of space in our Atria depends upon the availability of trained, committed catechists (adult guides). If you would like to consider this ministry, please contact Abigail Whorley for additional information.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: Frequently Asked Questions
How old does my child need to be?
3-6 for Level I
6-9 for Level II
How often does it meet?
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd meets every Sunday morning from 10:10-11:00 a.m. during the Christian education period as well as on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Families are encouraged to participate by volunteering either to assist in an atrium or help make materials. Families are also asked to commit to bringing their child to a session no fewer than twice a month.
Is there tuition?
May I visit?
Catechists are always willing to schedule a visit with you. Parents, however, are not encouraged to spontaneously drop in as it can be disruptive to the children.
May I be a Catechist?
We regularly offer Level I training. For more information on becoming a Catechist, please contact Abigail Whorley.
Read more about the late Sofia Cavelliti and her work here.