What is the spiritual potential of the child?
Although young children may not yet have the language capacity to describe their inner spiritual lives, here at St. Martin’s we believe that they still have the ability to communicate with God in their own way. Following a Montessori-based spiritual curriculum called the “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd”, we offer children the time and space to explore that nameless quality of faith that cannot be touched, only felt.
Started in 1954 by Sophia Cavelleti, a pupil of Maria Montessori, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd weaves together scriptural understanding with the ephemeral qualities of spiritual connection. The epicenter of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is the prepared environment of the “Atrium”.
Children are invited to visit and interact in the Atrium as they wish. Located in the classrooms of St. Martin’s, the Atrium is filled with materials designed to help children grasp the timeline and the concepts of scripture. A Catechist, trained under the guidelines of the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, meets with the children in each classroom once per week.
The Atrium is a sacred space offering children a place to connect with the presence of God that is both unique to the child and a gift to the adult who stops long enough to notice.
A global movement, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is represented in at least 37 countries and counting. In addition to offering the Catechesis program as part of St. Martin’s School, St. Martin’s Church offers Atrium levels I, II and III as its Sunday School program. For more information about Sundays at St. Martin’s Church, please visit the Church’s website at http://www.stmartinsnj.org
To learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, please visit their website: http://www.cgsusa.org