The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
God and Child with the Adult
An interpersonal relationship is always a mystery, all the more so when that relationship is between God and the child. We believe that there is a great bond between God and the child which produces in the child the desire to draw near to God. The ‘catechists’ role is to prepare the environment and to make presentations that “call forth” the child’s response rather than “pour in” information. They listen with the child and together ask, “God, who are you? How do you love us?” The adult is a co-wonderer with the child as they together enjoy meditating on the questions generated by the Scriptures with the prepared environment as a developmental aid.
That children need their own place to foster the growth of that relationship with God and be helped to participate in the life of the church. Only through the Atrium the child can really “live in the Spirit” and be the true light of the world.
“Help me come closer to God by myself.”
The Prepared Environment/The Atrium
The Atrium 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 nurture 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 work which becomes 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 worshiping community.
La Casa Del Buon Pastore
“The Home of the Good Shepherd Atrium”