Catechesis of the Good Shepherd


cgsReader Diane wrote me this week to share the good news about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd website. While I’ve heard wonderful things about the “Atrium” program that exists at many parishes, I have never known the origins or format of the program.

According to the website, “The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials that they use.”

For a list of churches which offer the Atrium program, click here.  Please note that this list may include non-Catholic parishes and that I have not personally reviewed the Atrium curriculum.

Does your parish have Atrium or employ the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program?  I would love to hear more about your experiences!


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Find Lisa’s books on her Amazon author page.

1 Comment

  1. hello! My name is Silvina and I’m from S. California. We are about to begin our second year of our Atrium (level 1) for children 3 to 6. It has been an amazing experience so far. CGS is actually Catholic in origin, since Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi, its creators, are Catholic, but it has been also used by Anglicans/Episcopalians, since they share, at least in form, many elements of the Catholic liturgy.

    The main objective of catechesis at this level is fostering a relationship of love between the child and the Good Shepherd, in a time when children are particularly open -and hungry- to discover the presence of God in their lives. It is very meditative, and allows the child to to ponder in his heart with wonder at the mystery of God… it is this meditative character, together with the fact that the approach has worked with children of very different social/economical/cultural backgrounds all around the globe, that has prompted the Missionaries of Charity to adopt it as their program of catechesis in their missions around the world.

    The “program” is 100% Catholic, deep, rich, and covers all the aspects of religious formation: relationship of love with God, response in prayer, meditation, liturgy, the Word of God, the Church…

    God bless,

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