Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

child with magi workA three-year old is setting a model altar with an altar cloth, paten, chalice, candles, and crucifix.   Later she carefully arranges a small bouquet of flowers.  A four-year old sits in front of a model of a sheepfold, moving model sheep and shepherd while listening intently to an adult read the scripture account of the Good Shepherd.   Two five-year olds sit across from each other; one sewing while the other traces images from a scripture account and makes a book.

Welcome to the Atrium, a prayer space designed to meet the spiritual and developmental needs of children using the Montessori method.   By means of the beauty, silence, self-direction and prayer fostered here, the mystery of the child encounters the mystery of God. Lovely hand-made materials to work and pray with, proclamations of God’s Word, meditation and song, all appropriate to the child’s way of approaching God, invite him or her into a lifelong relationship with the Good Shepherd who gives “life to the full.”

In the Atrium the child explores prayer, scripture, liturgy, Holy Land geography, practical life, and art expression during a weekly 2-hour session.  Could the Good Shepherd be calling your child to the Atrium?

 What are the different Atrium session levels and when do they meet?

Atrium sessions are offered weekly  2-hour sessions between late September and May in multi-age levels.  Click the name of each level to learn more.

Level I (Ages 3-6)

Level II (Grades 1-3)

Level III (Grades 4-6)


Please Note: At this time, all Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Sessions are in wait list status

CGS Calendar

CGS Parent Handbook

Sacramental Preparation

Parent Newsletters:
Altar | Biblical Geography | Colors of the year  | History of the Kingdom of God | Intro to the Atrium | Who is this child

RCIA Adapted for Children – Children who are preparing for the initiation of sacraments through the RCIA adapted for children participate in Atrium sessions as part of their preparation process.  They are usually registered in one of the Level II/III sessions.  In addition to the Atrium sessions, there are also interviews, retreats, and Sunday Dismissals that are a part of this initiation process.  We are often looking for adults willing to sponsor RCIA children or to otherwise assist with the RCIA ministry.  Please contact the Steward for RCIA, Debs Dugan at 360-272-7117 or e-mail her at for more details.


We are forming book groups to begin in the fall that explore one or more of the transformative writings of the CGS founders.  Possible titles include Joyful Journey and Ways to Nurture the Relationship with God.  Past participants have found these to be like mini-retreats that further your own spiritual journey. Are you interested in weekday mornings or evenings? to learn more.


Pastoral Liturgy Magazine 

How to bring Montessori methods alive in your home with 0-3 year olds

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd National Assoication website

NW Catholic article on Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Sheepfold: CGS Formation for Adults in Western Washington