"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.
You may be wondering how these materials help the religious life of children? If an adult hears a beautiful passage from the Bible, the adult might take a Bible, find the passage, and read it slowly again and again. He or she may think deeply about the words and perhaps speak to God in a thankful or hopeful prayer. But a little child, too young to read, needs another way. In an atrium the child can ponder a biblical passage or a prayer from the liturgy by taking the material for that text and working with it - placing wood figures of sheep in a sheepfold of the Good Shepherd, setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table, or preparing a small altar with the furnishings used for the Eucharist. Older children who do read often copy parables from the Bible, lay in order written prayers from the rite of baptism, or label a long time line showing the history of the kingdom of God." www.cgsusa.org
The Good Shepherd Atrium at St. Edward Campus serves children from 3 to 6 years of age. The children are introduced to Jesus The Good Shepherd as their first understanding of God. In this way they are invited into a divine relationship based on trust and nurture. Their time in the atrium is a sacred time when they can reflect on and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.
The Vine Atrium welcomes children from 7 to 10. Having learned to read, these children not only receive Bible stories through physical materials, but also through the written Word. Their time in the atrium is a mix of prayer, quiet reflection, and work with each other.
Pilgrimage People. The Pilgrimage People meet for a lesson and fellowship. A number of special events are planned for the year, including an overnight Urban Adventure in downtown Chicago. Location and time varies, so please check the Pilgrimage People Calendar.
The YAC youth grow in their own leadership roles as they define their time together under the mentoring of Dean Buchmand and Pastor Kathryn. Please call the church for information regarding their current events.
Adult Formation amplifies the Christian journey. On the second Wednesday of each month, adults gather for a simple supper of soup and bread followed by an evening designed to educate and inspire.
"The Journey to Adulthood is a complete youth ministry program of spiritual formation for 6th-12th grades. It uses Bible study, prayer, rites of passage, outreach ministries and both serious and playful activities to underscore its two guiding principles:
1. Manhood and womanhood are free gifts from God.
2. Adulthood must be earned.
There are three two-year segments of the program:
Rite-13: The first two years (6th & 7th or 7th & 8th graders) that focus on celebrating the individuality of each young person and their creative potential. The Rite-13 liturgy (A celebration of Manhood and Womanhood) is the community expression of this and a rite of passage form childhood towards adulthood .
J2A: The middle portion of the program (8th & 9th or 9th and 10th graders), engages youth with the skills and critical thinking involved in adulthood. The youth plan and embark on a pilgrimage together at the end of this segment. This experience is often the spiritual highlight of their youth.
YAC: This is a mentor-based program that helps older teens (11th and 12th graders) discern and carry out a ministry within their church or in the larger community. Vocation and development of a personal credo are also emphasized. A final rite of passage sends them out into the world as ambassadors of Christ." J2A Resource
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