Dear Parents of Children Ages 3-6,

Welcome to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd!  My fellow catechists and I are looking forward to a year full of forming new friendships and growing in our love for God and his Church.  Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will begin on September 5, 2019.  The class will meet on Thursday mornings from 8-9:25 am in St. Dominic Hall on St. Peter's campus.  Please note: the sessions are for children 3-6 years of age.  The children must be toilet trained and have had their third birthday by August 31, 2019 to participate.

Volunteers are welcomed to assist the catechists.  If you are interested in assisting or visiting the atrium, please sign up here.  Classroom volunteers are required to be VIRTUS trained.

The CGS program will be in session from September 5, 2019-May 14, 2020.  Please see below for planned dates when CGS will not be in session.  You will be contacted by email for any other cancellations that are not scheduled.

      NO CGS on the following dates:

            October 31, 2019 Parent Teacher Conference Week

            November 21, 2019 Thanksgiving

            December 19, 2019 Cleaning Atrium week and Christmas Break

            December 26, 2019/January 2, 2020 Christmas Break Continues

            March 19, 2020 Spring Break

Please contact me with any questions or concerns that arise during the year.  Thank you for allowing me and the other catechists to be part of your child's religious formation.

   In Christ,

Sister Rose Marie Weber, IHM

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Coordinator and Catechist

St. Peter the Apostle Parish and School


Thank you for all the support and donations to the CGS program!  
I have created a needs and wants list in a Signup Genius for ideas.   
Here is the link to volunteer your time:

During a typical atrium session, the whole group comes together for a lesson at the beginning of a session.  The Montessori method allows for the children to choose materials they are drawn to for their "work time" after the lesson.  They may choose material from the new lesson or any of the previous lessons.  There's many choices, but one interesting aspect is many children go back to the same work area each week and really grow spiritually in one particular area before moving on to another.  At the end of the session, after materials are cleaned up,  the class comes back together for a few more group songs before saying good-bye for the week.     

Following are pictures of the children

during their work time -

this is always a busy and productive time.  

There's lots of spiritual growth, learning, and discovery! 

Here's one of the preschool classes singing a song 

at the end of one of their atrium sessions.  

The children love to very carefully set up a beautiful altar.  


The cruets are prepared before Mass begins;

they love to prepare their own cruets.  

There are always children at the altar area.

Silver polishing - taking care of the things we are given

is an important part of stewardship.

Many children grow spiritually using their creativity.  

Cutting, pasting, poke art, tracing, etc.

Taking care of the world God has given us

Polishing plant leaves




Polishing plant leaves

 The kids can find and label the places

where Jesus walked in Israel.

They've learned about three cities:  

Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. 

 And, of course, all the children love working with

the Parable of the Good Shepherd materials!


  • God and the child have a unique relationship with one another particularly before the age of six.
  • The growth of this relationship should be assisted by the adult, but is directed by the Spirit of God within the child.
  •  Children need their own place to foster the growth of that relationship.
  •  The child’s spiritual growth is best served through tangible but indirect means.

The Atrium - A Prepared Environment:

The atrium (or prepared environment) is one of the elements that helps the relationship between God and the child to flourish. After a theme has been presented, the child is free to choose an activity that will make possible the inner dialogue with the “Interior Teacher.”

How does the atrium help to nourish this relationship? 

  • The atrium can be compared to a retreat house facilitating recollection and silence.
  • The atrium is a place for religious life, for community and worship—not a classroom for instruction.
  • The atrium is a place of meaningful work through which the child can have a conversation with God.
  • The atrium was the place in the early church where the catechumens were prepared. For the child, too, the atrium is a place of preparation for involvement in the larger worship community.


Our Atrium 

We are very blessed at St. Peter with an amazing atrium for the children to do their work.  Invite your child to share with you his or her favorite parts of the atrium and explain the work he or she does in some of the different areas.

  The Prayer Table (currently set up for Advent)
The Altar  

Liturgical Year, Liturgical Colors,

and Vestments of the Priest

The Mystery of the Incarnation:  Geography of the Land of Israel

Liturgical Year, Liturgical Colors,

and Vestments of the Priest

The Mystery of the Incarnation:  Geography of the Land of Israel

The Mystery of the Incarnation:  Infancy Narratives

The Mysteries of the Kingdom of God:  The Parables

The Good Shepherd

Practical Life

(pouring, spooning, sponging water, polishing)


Practical Life

(pouring, spooning, sponging water, polishing)