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"Respect for the child's nature, which God Himself demands of us, compels us to search most carefully for those conditions in which children can abandon themselves most easily to God."
-Dr. Maria Montessori

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Information

  • Children are welcomed into a prepared and prayerful environment called the “Atrium.”
  • The Atrium is specially curated to meet your child's specific spiritual and developmental needs. 
  • The hands-on materials help the child and adult ponder the mysteries of our faith found in the Scriptures and the Liturgy.
  • The trained catechists that are present take the role of "co-listener" alongside the child when pondering these mysteries.
  • The Atria are mixed aged groups (K3-K5 in Level 1, 1st-3rd in Level 2, and 4th-5th in Level 3).

Click here to learn more about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

You can register your child my clicking HERE (Registration will open to the public on August 1st.)

Cost is: $105 per child. 

Registration opens for returning CGS families on July 1st, 2024. Parish families who are new to our program are welcome to register starting on August 1st, 2024. Non-parishioners are welcome to register for remaining spots starting on August 15th, 2024. There is an additional registration fee of $35 if you are not a parishioner of Christ King or St. Pius X parishes.

Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist are an extension of the life of faith. With this in mind, children are required to participate in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for at least one year in addition to their Sacramental preparation year. Traditionally, preparation for the Sacraments is done in 2nd grade, but every child is on a different spiritual journey. In order to assist the child in learning to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, the child needs time in the Atrium. If your child is joining our program in 2nd grade, please anticipate that your child will need to wait until 3rd grade to prepare for the Sacraments in this program.

Process of Preparation:

Discernment in the Atrium

After a child's first year in the Atrium, the children are invited to pray if the Good Shepherd is calling them by name to receive the gifts of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist for the first time. This invitation happens early in the year (usually in October/early November). If a child feels called to prepare for the Sacrament, they write their name on a card and place it on our communal prayer table. Parents/guardians then receive an e-mail with an invitation to attend a Sacramental Preparation Interest Meeting in November.

Parent/Guardian Interest Meeting

Later in November, parents/guardians are invited to come to an interest meeting which highlights the process of preparation and learn how the family is an important part of this process. 

Parent and Child Meditation Series

In the second half of the year, the child preparing will attend three (3) mediation sessions with a parent or special adult. These meditations lay the groundwork to prepare our hearts to respond to the voice of the Good Shepherd in the gift of these Sacraments.

Sacrament Retreat

After the meditation sessions, the child and at least one parent will attend the Sacrament retreat in early May. The retreat will happen on a Thursday evening, Friday evening, and Saturday. On Friday evening, the children will celebrate their First Reconciliation as part of the retreat.

This is a powerful part of the Sacramental preparation process in that it really connects the healing power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation with preparation for the greatest gift that Jesus desires to give us.

The children see this experience as a special highlight of their time in the Atrium.

Celebration of First Communion

Following the retreat, the child is invited to receive the gift of the Eucharist for the first time at one of the First Communion Masses at Christ King or St. Pius X parish in May. 

You can find the schedule here. The color indicates what day of the week your child's Atrium session is taking place. Each day in that color is when we have a session. Days not in that color, we have off. For example, if your child is registered for Level 1 on Sunday mornings, every day in red is a day that your child has Atrium.