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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Atrium)

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a highly acclaimed approach to the religious formation of children, rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Normally, children gather in an “atrium,” a room specially prepared for them which contains simple yet beautiful materials that they use to ponder the story of Christ and the life of the Church.


First Confession & Holy Communion 

Children in the Level II atrium (for those aged 6-9) may prepare to make their First Confession and First Holy Communion. Typically, it is expected that children will have been enrolled in religious education classes the year prior to the year of sacramental reception (either in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program or the parish’s traditional religious education program). If you have questions regarding Sacramental Preparation for your child, please contact


Catechists & Assistants

All atrium catechists are required to attend 100 hours of formation in each level before leading an atrium. The 100 hours provide the foundation for their continuing study of Scripture and the liturgy, learning how to observe the child, and personal prayer.In addition to the catechist, each atrium also has one or more assistants, who play an invaluable role in enabling the atrium to function smoothly and in assuring that each child flourishes. No special training is required to become an atrium assistant; each catechist provides brief training to his or her assistant(s). Any parent, grandparent, high school student, or other parishioner who is interested in assisting in an atrium is invited to please find the contact information at the top of the page.



For more information about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program, including books that can be excellent resources for anyone whose child is enrolled in an atrium, as well as listings of formation classes for those interested in becoming catechists, visit the national Catechesis of the Good Shepherd web site.

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2021-2022 Classes

Registration for catechism for academic year 2021-2022 began on Sunday, September 5. Classes are available for children in grades 1 through 8. Classes are held on Tuesday evenings from 67pm in the basement of St. Mary's Church and will commence on September 28th. Registration forms will be available in the vestibule of St. Mary's and St. Joseph's church and can be sent in to the parish office. Volunteer catechists are needed. It is very rewarding to help children in faith formation and can strengthen and grow your own faith. If interested in helping with the catechism program at St. Mary's parish, please contact John at

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