Welcome to the Religious Education Ministry serving families with children from ages 3 through 18. This 100% volunteer based Ministry is dedicated and committed to working with the youth of the parish to strengthen their spiritual foundation and prepare them to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation. We look forward to working with you and your children!
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (ages 3-6)
The Good Shepherd, c. 300, Musei Vaticani, Rome
To learn more about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, we recommend these resources:
The Child in the Church, Maria Montessori (2017; original publication 1929).
The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey, Sofia Cavalletti, Patricia Coulter, Gianna Gobbi, Silvana Q. Montanaro, and Rebekah Rojcewicz (2014).
Listening to God with Children: The Montessori Method Applied to the Catechesis of Children, Gianna Gobbi (1998).
The Religious Potential of the Child, Sofia Cavalletti (1992).
See also The National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd United States (www.cgsusa.org).
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a unique approach to faith formation for children. It follows a Montessori method of learning, engaging children with age-appropriate, hands-on materials. The children work in a specially designed and dedicated classroom called an “Atrium”, a sacred space just for them. Guided by trained and certified adult catechists, the children encounter scripture and liturgy in a prayerful and contemplative way. The child’s time spent in the atrium fosters a deep and loving relationship with Christ and his Church.
Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian doctor best known today for the philosophy of education that bears her name. A Catholic, Montessori believed that her pedagogical method “could only find its fullest expression when applied to the teaching of the Catholic faith.”
(E. M. Standing, “Editor’s Forward,” The Child in the Church, Maria Montessori (2017) p. xiii.)
In 1954 in Rome, Sofia Cavalletti (1917-2011), a Hebrew scholar, and Gianna Gobbi (1919-2002), a colleague of Montessori, took Montessori’s principles as their cue to establish Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Over 60 years later, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd can be found in parishes around the world.
At the Cathedral of St Joseph (Hartford, CT) we offer Level 1 of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, serving children ages 3-6. Children meet in the Cathedral Atrium on Sundays, 9:30-10:45am. Families interested in this program must enroll their child(ren) using the current school year’s registration form. (see below)
Religious Education Program (Grade 1 through Confirmation)
Webpage in progress