Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) utilizes a Montessori-based education method for children's faith formation, providing children ages 3-6 with a prayerful space to explore their Christian faith and develop a relationship with Jesus, our Good Shepherd.

Tuesdays | 3:00 - 4:30 pm

Fridays | 9 - 10:30 am



While adults might sit for hours reading about philosophy or theology, young children learn best by actively engaging their whole bodies and all their senses. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a distinct approach to catechesis, through which the youngest children build deep, lifelong relationships with Christ and His Church. Originating in Rome in the 1950s, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd uses a rich Montessori approach to engage children as young as 2.5 in age-appropriate, hands-on materials, based on Sacred Scripture and the Liturgy.

Because it engages children so profoundly, it has become the best approach to young children's catechesis in a growing number of dioceses, parishes, and schools around the U.S and the world, and now here at St. Ann.

In the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, typically 10-20 children gather with a catechist and assistant in a room called the "atrium," which is reserved exclusively for this purpose. In centuries past, the atrium was the space between the street and the sanctuary of the basilica, where the faithful prepared to enter the Church and participate in the Liturgy.

Some children will receive a presentation from a catechist, while the other children select materials to work with that they have previously been presented. Children will typically work with several materials during each visit to the atrium, and they will work with each material many times over the years.

The atrium is filled with a rich variety of beautifully-crafted hands-on work materials related to Christ's life, His parables, the Liturgy and the Sacraments. It also includes many meditative art materials that help children quiet their bodies and minds. Visitors to an atrium are often astounded at how fully even the youngest children immerse themselves in this quiet, meditative, retreat-like environment.

Interested in learning more? Have a child you'd like to get involved? Want to volunteer as a catechist or assistant?

*Space is limited - Please register as soon as possible.*

Contact Grace Hofius at